Ed Wood, owner and lead instructor at Yogafurie Hot Yoga, dispels a few myths about hot yoga in this article.
According to Ed, Hot Yoga is not more powerful than regular Yoga. Hot Yoga is just Yoga – they have the same benefits, which are many! Yoga can change us at the most fundamental level, whether the room is heated or not. An intelligent Yoga practice is a powerful method to develop health and promote all-round wellbeing.
“Don’t buy into the idea that Hot Yoga detoxes your body” says Ed. The human body has no detox mechanism. However, Ed suggests that our bodies do have waste elimination systems. An authentic physical Yoga practice, with all its attendant mindful movement and breathing, greatly promotes the full and correct function of these. A recent article in the Guardian supports this idea. The author Dara Mohammadi says, “There’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s nonsense. Diet and exercise are the only way to get healthy.”
So… Why hot yoga?
Our muscles and joints are wrapped in sheets of connective tissue that anatomists call fascia. Fascia live in a nourishing liquid environment called ground substance. In his book “The Balanced Body: A Guide to Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy”, Donald Scheumann describes the role of fascia in more detail, noting that the viscosity of our ground substance directly influences freedom of fascia and muscle tissue. Hydration of course plays a key role, but so does temperature. Our fascia will move more freely in warmer environments, according to Ed. We get closer to our true range of movement.
There’s more about ground substance and the role of fascia in movement in Tom Meyer’s book, Anatomy Trains.
Ed’s personal experience is that mindful breathing develops much more quickly in a heated practice environment. The heat heightens the sensation of the practice, and people very quickly learn that a regular, full breath will drop them quickly into a calm mind despite the heat. This scales up to a students’ life outside the studio, and lays a foundation for deeper breath work as practice progresses.
In summary, Hot Yoga delivers the same results as regular Yoga but usually, more quickly. Generally, the effort level is greater due to the heat. By investing more effort students accelerate the positive response to traditional yoga practices.
Ed Wood Yogafurie offers Hot Vinyasa Yoga classes in Bristol. Over the last three years Yogafurie has helped a growing number of people discover an incredibly powerful way to keep fit and stay healthy.