Tag Archives: hot yoga

Ten Tips for Starting HOT Yoga!

30 Jan

Hello friends,

If you are interested in starting a hot yoga practice, and have questions about what to expect, check out this blog post on my new site: truebodymindsoul.com !

Ten tips for starting HOT yoga

Best,

Amber

 

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365 Challenge Day 139 – Revolution

6 Oct

40 Days to Personal Revolution – Day 29

Today was my third and last day of the fruit and vegetable fast.  It went great!  I definitely felt tired, and a little weak, but strong enough and energetic enough to go for a long walk with a friend and make it to a 90 minute class of hot yoga.  Not sure if tomorrow I’ll switch back to coffee, or stick to the green tea for a bit longer.

Tonight for dinner I had two bowls of blended zucchini soup, and a salad with cucumber, tomato, a shredded carrot, and a half of an avocado.  Believe it or not I feel completely full and satisfied!!  It’s amazing.

I spent a good portion of the yoga class thinking about the rice and beans I’ll get to eat tomorrow : )  So as soon as I got home I cooked up a huge pot of red lentil dahl, and of sauteed cabbage, carrots and cauliflower with turmeric and ginger.  It’s going to taste sooooooo  good.

365 Challenge Day 138 – Cleanse

4 Oct

40 Days to Personal Revolution- Day 28

In the fourth week of the 40 Day program, there is a 3-day fruit fast.  I didn’t have any intention of doing it, since my friends and I are all just doing the program in a very unstructured way and adapting as we like.  I also don’t think having just fruit is necessarily that healthy because that’s a lot of sugar.  But yesterday I realized I was going to have an extremely mellow weekend, with not much planned, and I’m just coming off a cold from last week, so I spontaneously decided to go ahead and do it.  Except I’m having mostly vegetables and a little fruit.  The funny thing is I didn’t even realize the fruit fast was in the fourth week, I had thought it was later in the program.

I actually started yesterday.  Here is what my day looked like:

Morning – Green tea (with a little soy milk); a big green smoothie with spinach, celery, strawberries, banana, and some chia seeds (they really help cut the hunger.)
Midday – A blended carrot soup with carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and one potato, boiled with salt, pepper sage and bay leaves.
Evening – baked spaghetti squash served with fresh parsley, salt and pepper. 
Snacks – more green tea, a couple of bananas. 

The day went really well yesterday, and I felt fine!  Didn’t get hungry.

Today so far I’ve had:

Morning – a smoothie with a banana, almond milk and some green tea matcha and some chia 
Midday – a blended mushroom soup with baby portabella mushrooms, onions, garlic, celery, sage, salt, pepper, and a little almond milk for creaminess.  It was delicious!!  I also had a tiny bit of sliced avocado and tomato. 

But today I’m really dragging.  I feel tired.  In yoga class this morning I felt like my body was filled with wet cement!!  The 90 minutes felt like 2 hours!!  And I think the green tea I had in the morning was nothing compared the two cups of coffee I usually drink before a 9am class.  But I’m sure it was really great for me to sweat in the hot yoga class during this detox.

But I don’t feel hungry, and I don’t feel unsatisfied.  It feels really great to be eating this way this weekend.  I bought a bunch of fruits and veggies to make more green smoothies and more hot veggie soups.

 

365 Challenge Day 137 – Baptiste!!

4 Oct

40 Days to Personal Revolution – Day 27

So for the last 27 days, some friends and I have been going through Baron Baptiste’s book, 40 Days to Personal Revolution.  My main focus has been on daily yoga, daily silent meditation, and healthy eating.  Other friends are focusing a lot on journaling as well.  Anyway, I went to yoga class today, and guess who was in the back row of the class: Baron Baptiste!!!  He’s in town doing a workshop and was just there taking class.  I talked to him afterward and told him that I was doing his program with some friends around the world, he was thrilled!!  It was a fun surprise.
Yoga: Hour of Power class at the studio. My body felt great, strong. (Although my mind was pretty distracted having Baron in the back row : )
Meditation: I paid the price for my late night yesterday. Twenty minutes of meditation at 9pm, and I could barely keep from dozing off!! I think I stayed mostly conscious though, I felt the twenty minutes pass, in fact, felt kind of long.
Food: made a simple, healthy, yummy carrot soup with celery, onion, garlic, one potato, sage, bay leaves, salt and pepper. I just boiled everything and then blended it. It really hit the spot. I almost never cook fat-free, but I wanted something light.


Decluttering: Okay, I have a problem. Evidence suggests I am a food hoarder. My freezer is completely packed to the top. The stuff on top is all good stuff, some frozen Indian food for my son, frozen berries for my smoothies, black bean burgers for my daughter. And I know there are some bags of peas in there. But I have no idea what’s underneath and behind those things. I hope to find out this weekend.

365 Challenge Day 134 – Revolution

3 Oct

40 Days to Personal Revolution – Day 24
Yoga: 90 minutes of hot yoga. Blissful : )  I recently read that sweating releases endorphins.  That explains A LOT.  No wonder I’m so blissful by the end of class and so addicted to my hot yoga!!
Meditation: 20 minutes at work in my lunch hour, it was a nice break : )
Food: soft tacos with refried beans, vegan cheese, avo, corn salsa, mango salsa, and cabbage. Yum!

365 Challenge Day 129 – Revolution

26 Sep

40 Days to Personal Revolution – Day 19
Yoga: HURRAY, I felt well enough again today to make it to class. I missed it!! I actually participated more than I expected to because I’m still not 100%. It felt really good to be there.
Meditation: Will do 20 before I sleep.
Food: For a while I’ve been interested in making a savory green smoothie. Had my first attempt tonight with spinach, wakame, celery, radish, garlic, a quarter of an avocado, and squirt of sriracha. I drank half thinking it was not bad for my first try, and then decided it was kind of gross and threw the rest away. Oh well. Then ate peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes, which was totally satisfying!

365 Challenge Day 109 – Essentials

6 Sep

One thing that I love about yoga, is that the only thing really required to do it, is our body.  Period.  There are a few things we can add to make things a little more comfortable, like stretchy clothes and a sticky mat, but more than that starts to be too much!  I recently saw a yoga mat that had built in speakers and a plug for an MP3 player… seriously?  I would be very curious to know if even one person bought that!  How cumbersome!

Although hot yoga does add a couple of “essential” items to the list, like a water bottle, and a towel, for me it also makes the point much more obvious that what we need is so minimal.  It’s so freakin’ hot and sweaty, that I feel bad for people who are wearing any amount of jewelry! Heavy make-up would probably have disastrous effects.  I occasionally see a person wearing a sports watch, and wonder how it doesn’t bother them.  And I especially feel that long hair would be such a burden!  Although I’m sure there aren’t that many people out there who would cut all their hair off just to be more comfortable in yoga : )

Now, if I can just bring this desire to pare down to the bare essentials to rest of my life!!

365 Challenge Day 106 – Sweat

1 Sep

I have never been to class that was so humid as today.  It rained last night, and was predicted to rain today, so outside was already humid.  Being Labor Day, there were only two classes offered at the studio today, and just about every single spot was taken, probably more than 50 people in the room. Oh. My. God.  It was so hot and humid, and I sweat so much, that by the end of the class my fingers were pruned like little raisins, like they get after a long hot bath!

Sweat is physically cleansing, and can be emotionally healing.  I’m not very familiar with the Native American tradition of using sweat lodges as a spiritual ceremony, but I’ve been told they can be very powerful.

I’m not sure how it works, but the heat and sweat are definitely a big part of what makes hot yoga such an intense, powerful, renewing, and healing practice.   Bring it on!

 

saltwater-tears-sweat-sea-giannina-berrios

photo credit: http://fineartamerica.com

365 Challenge Day 95 – Gear

24 Aug

Eighth day of daily yoga.  Feels like longer!  Probably because that’s more classes than I usually take in a couple of months!  It’s going well.  I managed to fit a class in even though I stayed up very late (watching dance movies with my daughter : )  And slept through the morning options.  I went to a friend’s BBQ 40 minutes away.  I was on the early side and people were just starting to show up when I had to chose between hanging out longer, or rushing out to catch the last class of the day.  I decided to go.  I said a quick goodbye and made it to class just in time.  I think it was the right choice.  If I had wanted to stay, I would have, and done a practice at home.  But I enjoy going to class so much more than practicing at home, so that was my motivation.

I’m feeling like I want a day of rest tomorrow, but it’s late and I’m tired.  I’m hoping once I get a good night’s sleep I’ll feel motivated again tomorrow!

Here is the thing, now that I’ve been going everyday, I’m thinking I may have to invest in some better yoga clothes.  But I’m resistant.   One of the things I have always loved about yoga is the simplicity of it.  All it really requires is your body.  When my parents did yoga in the 70s they didn’t even have sticky mats.  For a long time I resisted even using blocks or any props, although now I love them : )  I have a pretty good mat, that is nice and thick, and I have a sticky towel for over the mat that I find essential for hot yoga, but that’s about it.  I don’t have any fancy yoga clothes.  I have some cotton yoga pants from Old Navy that I cut into capris.  I have a couple of cotton sports bras.  I have a couple of cotton leotards (yes, leotards) that I wear so my belly doesn’t show when my t-shirt rides up when I’m upside down.  I’m used to the feeling of soaking wet cotton against my skin when I do hot yoga, it’s just part of the experience for me!!  Plus, I guess I don’t drip as much sweat because it’s mostly getting absorbed.

I did already buy some headbands.  My hair is too short to pull back, but long enough to hang into my face and I spent one entire class planning to shave it off.  But I bought some headbands instead, and that has made a huge difference!!  My friend told me that having fabric that wicks away the sweat will make a big difference, and I’ll feel a lot more comfortable.  In any case I wouldn’t mind having more options to chose from because I’ve been wearing the same thing every single day and doing laundry every single day.  If I knew exactly what to buy, I’d get it, but my main concern is I’ll spend $100 on pants and a tank top and hate them. Today was a bit chilly and I started think, I really need a nice hat, and a hooded sweatshirt, to put on when I come outside with sweaty hair…  This is a very slippery slope!  I could easily spend $300 gearing up!!

Vinyasa Love

18 Jun

Vinyasa is a style of hatha yoga, and I LOVE it.  Vinyasa simply means linking the movements of the asanas (the poses) to the breath.  Vinyasa yoga is generally taught as a flow, meaning there is a fluidity between the poses as opposed to holding the poses in a static way.  The type of vinyasa yoga that I do is taught in a room heated to about 100 degrees (this is in no way related to Bikram yoga, which is not vinyasa.)  The combination of the heat, the sweating, and the breathing, brings a real purification aspect to the practice.  The breath is done in an audible way, called ujiyi breathing, which sounds like an oceanic flow, it calms the nervous system and sounds very soothing, it also requires a lot of focus.  The gaze is set to a particular spot in each pose, called drishti, as opposed to just looking all around the room.  There are also the bandas to focus on, which is tightening the muscles in the pelvis and the abdomen.  As you can imagine, all of this requires extreme concentration!  This is why the practice is a type of moving meditation!  It is also why the practice could never possibly get boring, there is always a way to deepen.

The style that I do is based on Ashtanga yoga, which means it is pretty athletic.  We go through sequences fairly quickly.  We sometimes jump from one posture to the next.  We incorporate some pretty advanced balancing postures, but when we want to.  One of the things I love about the place I practice is there is a lot of emphasis on being true to what is needed in the moment, not forcing or comparing; and there is always an opportunity to grow.

Over the years I had tried yoga many times, going back to when I was a kid, because my mom used to teach yoga!  I wanted to like it!  But the truth is I didn’t.  And I didn’t really know enough about yoga to know that there were different styles that I should try.  I also used to think that hot yoga sounded horrible.  But on one cold, damp, winter day, about 7 years ago, I decided to give it a try.  And it was a perfect fit : )