hot stuff

2 Feb

I love, love, love a hot class. I don’t believe that it’s even safe for me personally to do yoga at the level I am practicing, in a cold room. It’s also pretty pointless, my muscles just don’t open in the cold. My most important reason? Because if it’s cold I hurt. My body aches and refuses to cooperate. Heat is the magical component for me that creates the possible out of the impossible. It also creates that tapas within to help me burn through any of the emotional baggage I need to dissolve.

 I was on the treadmill yesterday kicking my own butt with sprints, creating that juicy heat within my own body and I actually turned the fans on. I realized that most of us are conditioned to be cool. I remember at the beginning of my yoga journey how awkward it felt to be hot. It was all I could think about – how hot I was. I think most people need an adjustment period of hanging tough to learn to adjust and accept the heat.

 I had one student at the Livermore lab a couple of years ago though who helped me re-think the heat. She was the only student I’ve ever seen that actually got more flexible in the cold. She was such a classic pitta, and she taught me a lot. Dosha has a lot to do with yoga style and temperature.

As a teacher I hear two things: “Please turn the heat UP”, “will there be heat at the new studio… PLEASE?”, and “not everyone likes it so hot”, “I would come to your classes, but it’s WAY too HOT!” There is so much passion behind it! It’s definitely a love or hate relationship.

 At the end of the day, I have to stay true to what I love. Power yoga to me, should be very, very warm. I agree that there are variations to that theme, but for the most part I believe that if you’re going to find that yoga edge of where your body will take you, it is safer and more effective for the majority of us to be warm. If there are more beginners in class, I keep it cooler. It’s so hard to lose beloved friends to a cooler room, but it’s impossible to please everyone.

 What does your body say? Hot or cool?

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