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Hot Yoga?
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I went to this Yoga studio today, it was Bikram Hot Yoga. So I like the poses and the pace, it seems like it would be a good program. The only problem is they run the thermostat at 104F (I asked and this is what they told me). I made it 60 minutes of a 90 minute class and bailed, the heat was absurd. Doing yoga is a sauna just does not seem healthy, which sucks because I liked the actual poses, etc. The only good thing about the heat is half the womens were in bikinis and the room was about 80% womens, but even for this I don't think I can take the heat.

Has anyone done this hot yoga. Can anyone tell me why 104F makes any sense. I understand you want to get the muscles warm, 90F would do this or you could put some clothes on. It was packed so I guess people like it, maybe it's just me. If you want to get ready for St. Croix 70.3 and you live up north maybe this would make sense.

*********************
"When I first had the opportunity to compete in triathlon, it was the chicks and their skimpy race clothing that drew me in. Everyone was so welcoming and the lifestyle so obviously narcissistic. I fed off of that vain energy. To me it is what the sport is all about."
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I tried it last year with the thought of using it to help with flexibility. Only made it through about 4 visits before I threw in the towel. I stupidly went after a longer run session and only made it about half way through before I started getting all dizzy and developed tunnel vision. That was the last time for me.

As for the high heat and humidity, I am not sure of the reason other than clearing sweat from your eyes for 90 minutes. I seem to remember something about every move focusing on the heart? Hopefully somebody who knows can explain it because I am interested in knowing as well.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I've been doing Bikram Yoga for about a year. I like the improved flexibility and balance I have obtained.

As for the heat, they say it is to improve blood flow and is part of teh meditative aspect. They also tell you that this pose helps digestion and that pose helps oxygen flow. I don't buy into that part of Bikram but the instructors and many of the regulars buy into it.

One thing I do not get is how they stress you should not drink anything during class. This is absolutely the only time I have ever heard this. I drink anyway, but only between poses, which they reluctantly allow.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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I go to hot yoga occasionally - I have never heard them say to NOT drink water in class - the instructors always stress that you SHOULD hydrate and they often have reminders on their websites and in the lobby to bring enough water, and also drink a fair amount of water beforehand.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I hope the exit was at the back so when you DNF'd the class you didn't have to slink past all the scantily clad perspiring ladies.

I also hope you had the common decency to wear a skimpy speedo to set the womens at ease and give them something to oggle....
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I do hot yoga weekly. Really helped with my heat acclimation. By the 3rd time you're usually used to it.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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The purpose of the heat is to separate the pansies from everyone else. ;-)

Slowguy

(insert pithy phrase here...)
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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It's not for everyone. You can also create internal heat in other forms of yoga that will be a lot safer from a physiological aspect. Some love it, some hate it. I am not a "fan", but will do it on a rare occasion with my friend who loves it. Any yoga that you like and do, is good yoga.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [slowguy] [ In reply to ]
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Did it for awhile. Liked everything but the heat. It's a bit silly, really. They claim the heat makes the muscles more limber and you have a lower chance of injury, but that happens long before the 100-110* mark.

I could see doing a couple of classes for heat acclimation if you are Canuck racing the Phillipines in January, or if you are just really tired of being cold all winter.

I tried doing it in the spring/summer, and it ruined my week ( I live in Texas, it's hot enough, thank you!)
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I've done it a few times, stuck it out but probably lost 4 lbs each time. Problem for me (I am a heavy sweater anyway) is it takes for me days to recover to the point where I can have an effective workout, so I don't do it much. I like the mental aspect, forcing the body to perform in a very uncomfortable environment, it reminds me of a TT.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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this is the only hot yoga:



especially this: http://www.youtube.com/...ture=player_embedded
Last edited by: SeasonsChange: Dec 29, 09 22:10
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Re: Hot Yoga? [slowguy] [ In reply to ]
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The purpose of the heat is to separate the pansies from everyone else. ;-)

Slowguy
*********************************************************************************************************************************


Bikram hot yoga saved my ass, injury free IM training (as long as I keep attending classes) yes it's tough as hell, thats one reason I attend, challenging both physically and mentally, suck it up Buttercup.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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Specificity of training:
You'll workout in heat, so learn how to hydrate, sweat and perform in heat. If you're racing in extreme heat, that's a plus. Of course, spending time training in Kona might be more specific, and there are bikini womens there too.

Hot yoga:
Experimental Physiology has a study showing ambient temperature increases pituitary hormone responses.
90F-95F seems to be the sweet spot on ambient temperature's effects on prolonged cycling.

Any yoga:
You'll gain strength from all the poses. That may help in swimming, biking and running.
You'll stretch things that over-tighten until they are properly flexible. Do you want to go beyond that, be too flexible, thus risk injury?
PubMed has conflicting studies indicating yoga may ward off depression, or help lower back pain. However, there are also studies showing high injury rates from yoga. Hot yoga may also be associated with "altered perceptions and full-blown psychotic episodes".

Small changes in ambient temperature have an effect on body core temperature. Who knows how hot the room really is.
Wikipedia says this about core temperature:
  • 37 °C (99 °F) - Normal body temperature (which varies between about 36.12–37.5 °C (97–100 °F))
  • 38 °C (100 °F) - Sweating, feeling very uncomfortable, slightly hungry.
  • 39 °C (102 °F) - Severe sweating, flushed and very red. Fast heart rate and breathlessness. There may be exhaustion accompanying this. Children and people with epilepsy may be very likely to get convulsions at this point.
  • 40 °C (104 °F) - Fainting, dehydration, weakness, vomiting, headache and dizziness may occur as well as profuse sweating. Starts to be life- threatening.
Maybe take a thermometer to learn how hot the room actually is, and how your temperature changes in the room. Compare that data to where and how you'll be racing.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I did one class and almost fainted. I came home and my wife said I looked worse than after any IronMan. With 30 people in the room, the instructor was very attentive to me as a beginner, often suggesting that I take a break or do only part of the move. But, only taking limited water at 30 and 60 minutes killed me. I usually go through 2-16ox bottles in a 60 min Spin class. I did not go back for the free 2nd class.

It did open my eyes to an area of fitness where I am extremely weak - to see some of these people with such flexibility, balance, and grace. I sought out a regular Yoga class at the YMCA and (will) go to that regularly in 2010...promise. I think it could take the place of or reduce my need for massage and chiropractic - bouth of which I no longer have the $$$ for.



"You can't always do what's right; but you can always do what's left." Them Crooked Vultures
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I used to do bikram yoga twice a week when I was training for IM; it helped me with improved flexibility, core strength, injury prevention and heat acclimation. I haven't been in a while and miss it.



"You can never win or lose if you don't run the race." - Richard Butler

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Re: Hot Yoga? [Brian in MA] [ In reply to ]
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It it great for recovery and injury prevention. Stick with it! I have been doing it for 7 years! Not all studios keep the heat over 90 degrees.

Joe
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I will warn you on this....take heed. Being new to yoga 6 months or so via my wife's nudging I am still learning the ropes. On class 2 I found myself in 'The Pigeon Pose'.

I had no warning and managed to lay down a crop duster type fart. The kind that sounds like kids feet skipping hop-scotch down the sidewalk. Apparently a fart in yoga class is nothing new b/c I was laughing so hard I had to break out of the pose and the instructor said ....'oh is THAT how you feel then'. Mama-san gave me the stink eye though...not pleased.

Just be aware yoga can incite mustard gas attacks:)
Last edited by: slowerthanslow: Dec 30, 09 6:18
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I've been doing it for a year now and love it. I don't think we are at 104F. I think usually around 100F, sometimes a bit lower if there are a lot of people in the room.

Not drinking???? WTF? That sounds absurd! We absolutely are encouraged to drink, whenever we need it. I cannot imagine doing it without drinking and I would challenge any instructor who said otherwise.

Mine is called Moksha, not Bikram, so I don't know if that is different. Moksha could be a brand name for all I know.

I have an upper back issue and every time I have gone to regular unheated yoga, I have pulled my back out of alignment. That has never happened to me in hot yoga. I used to have to go to a chiropractor once a week for my back and I don't have to anymore.

It has really helped me when I have come from Canada, down to a hot weather/high humidity race.

I do it once a week because that is all I can fit in but I know I would benefit from a second or third class as well. It has made my core so much stronger, much more so than gym ab work ever would do. It is also a huge stress reliever for me.

Ours is without music and there are certain classes that are totally silent - ie the instructor just makes a click noise to tell you to go to the next pose.

Bikinis???? Yikes! I wouldn't go if I was expected to wear a bikini! Bra top and short yoga shorts is as far as I go and I am the most uncovered there. Most of the women in my class wear capri tights and a long bra top (ie torso covered). The men wear tri type shorts and maybe a singlet to start, which soon comes off.

My husband says it's just like wrestling training in a garbage bag from his high school days..... only the scenery is a lot better :)
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I did it regularly a few years ago, didn't have a problem with the temperatures. But I'm part lizard, so the more heat the better I like it..
105 is standard for Bikram. Can't fit it into my current schedule, I miss it.
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I just started hot yoga back in November and I really like it. I wasn't too sure about it after the first class - it was a lot to take in, so I'd encourage you to try it again if you are on the fence. The big key for me is pre-class prep: stop eating three hours before class (seriously) and drink water like crazy before you go. I also like to get to class about 15-20 minutes early so I can lay on my mat and acclimate. For the first few classes, take it really easy - lay down when you feel dizzy or just need a break. Being in the room is a workout all by itself. That mentality takes some getting used to when you're surrounded by the "yoga people" who are effortlessly doing all of the poses.

As far as the not drinking thing, the only thing I can figure is that there is a part at the beginning where everyone is supposed to drink together and I had one instructor make me wait to take a drink until then. My advice would be to try a different instructor if that's possible because there are definitely many different approaches with instructors. I generally ignore the more militant instructors and do what I can/feel like.

Good luck!

M

------------------------------------------------------------
The beatings will continue until morale improves

My blog
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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Hot yoga studios can vary in max temperatures and class rules. True Bikram Yoga studios are supposed to follow strict guidelines (104 degrees, 30% humidity, no water breaks until after eagle pose, taught by a Bikram certified instructor, etc.). Bikram actually tried to regulate this by making studios that called themselves 'Bikram Yoga' buy into a franchise and follow the same format, or else cease using his name. So generally if you're looking for a rigorous hot yoga class, go to one in an actual Bikram studio. If you want one that is less rigid, look for those that call them selves Hot yoga. Usually the studios aren't heated as much.

That said, my personal experience with Bikram yoga is that it saved my triathlon racing/training 9 years ago. Despite racing successfully for 8 years prior, I felt fragile, like I was always on the verge of major injury. As a last ditch attempt at self-rescue, I started attending a Bikram yoga class twice a week. The heat and deliberate movements (always the same 26 poses, 2 reps of each) worked like magic, and within a month, I felt much more stable and strong. Increased flexibility=strength, really. Because of the same sequence of poses each class, it was easy to track progress from week to week.

The heat is challenging, yes. But the mental aspect is almost as valuable as the physical benefits. Move slowly, and sit out when you have to, but stay in the room if possible. You'll be glad you did.

(One other advantage of the Bikram branding, if you will, is that you can go into a Bikram studio virtually anywhere in the country---the world, actually---and the classes will be consistent. I try to fit in a bikram class whenever I travel. It's great after sitting for hours on a plane or in a car.)
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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My wife and I have been doing Bikram for about two years consistently. She does it 4-6 times per week and I do it once a week to try to get some of the tightness out of my hips and back from triathlon training.

One of the things I really like about Bikram is that, unlike other yoga, you are coached into a pose, and hold the pose. I have problems with other forms of yoga because I am told to get into a position Ive never heard of, and by the time Im in it, everyone is two positions further along.

Dont mistake it Bikram is a self-admitted beginners yoga. The heat and humidity in the room are designed to make the room the same environment where it began in Calcutta. If it is nothing else, it is consistent world-wide. No matter if you are in Germany, France, Mexico, or the US. The class is the same everywhere, every time.

I live in Las Vegas, and we have our fair share of women who dance professionally for a living Many Cirque du Soleil performers, as well as the girls who call themselves dancers (but are really just poor college girls trying to earn their tuition at least thats what she said. She wouldnt lie would she?) all doing Bikram.

Back during the aerobics/step/group exercise boom of the 80s and 90s I always had problems because I am not coordinated. For a generally uncoordinated buffoon like me, its perfect. I still have problems with the balancing series, and Camel pose make me want to puke, but I keep at it.
Besides, its not the heat that gets you, its the humidity!

Jason

*****
It's a dry heat!
Last edited by: mohole15: Dec 31, 09 8:40
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Re: Hot Yoga? [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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I used to love doing Bikram yoga when I lived in Michigan--- Training in the heat over the winter was a nice break and helped me acclimate for warm-weather races I would travel to in the Spring. Accepting and working through an uncomfortable situation is also a great lesson. When I used to do it, whenever I wanted to quit I would look over at other people who were obviously out of shape yet still in there, and I'd suck it up. Not to mention, how could you bring yourself to walk out of a class full of open minded and flexible women???

You might want to find a studio with an introduction to Vinyasa (or Ashtanga yoga first series introduction) and take that class. Vinyasa classes are taught in normal-temperature rooms but start off with a series of sun salutations to generate some body heat, and the introductory versions move slower than usual vinyasa classes and take time to teach you each pose. Smaller (non-Bikram) studios also generally have smaller classes and more individualized instruction.

-Marc
Last edited by: MarcK: Dec 31, 09 10:10
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Re: Hot Yoga? [MarcK] [ In reply to ]
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I'm doing St. Croix this year and figured I would start doing Hot Yoga to get acclimated early and keep going. I wanted to know how long you acclimatize for and how long til after you lose it? After reading this and doing some searches I came across this article: http://www.rotc.usaac.army.mil/...matization_Guide.pdf

How do you become heat acclimatized?
a. Heat acclimatization occurs when repeated heat exposures are sufficiently stressful to elevate body temperature and provoke perfuse sweating. Resting in the heat, with limited physical activity to that required for existence, results in only partial acclimatization. Physical exercise in the heat is required to achieve optimal heat acclimatization for that exercise intensity in a given hot environment.
Table 1. Benefits of Heat Acclimatization
Thermal Comfort Improved
Exercise Performance Improved
Core Temperature Reduced
Sweating Earlier & Greater
Skin Blood Flow - Earlier
Body Heat Production Lower
Heart Rate - Lowered
Thirst - Improved
Salt Losses (sweat and urine) Reduced
Organ Protection - Improved
3 Heat Acclimatization Guide
b. Generally, about two weeks of daily heat exposure is needed to induce heat acclimatization. Heat acclimatization requires a minimum daily heat exposure of about two hours (can be broken into two 1-hour exposures) combined with physical exercise that requires cardiovascular endurance, (for example, marching or jogging) rather than strength training (pushups and resistance training). Gradually increase the exercise intensity or duration each day. Work up to an appropriate physical training schedule adapted to the required physical activity level for the advanced military training and environment.
c. The benefits of heat acclimatization will be retained for ~1 week and then decay with about 75 percent lost by ~3 weeks, once heat exposure ends. A day or two of intervening cool weather will not interfere with acclimatization to hot weather.
How fast can you become heat acclimatized?
a. For the average soldier, heat acclimatization requires about two weeks of heat exposure and progressive increases in physical work. By the second day of acclimatization, significant reductions in physiologic strain are observed. By the end of the first week and second week, >60 percent and ~ >80 percent of the physiologic adaptations are complete, respectively. Soldiers who are less fit (APFT run times >15 min) or unusually susceptible to heat may require several days or weeks more to fully acclimatize.
b. Physically fit soldiers (APFT run times <14 min) should be able to achieve heat acclimatization in about one week. However, several weeks of living and working in the heat (seasoning) may be required to maximize tolerance to high body temperatures.


Looks like 2 straight weeks of daily heat exposure would be sufficient. Does anyone know if a long term approach exists? Would Hot Yoga twice a week for 4 months do the same thing?
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