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Thread: Hot Yoga

  1. #16
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    Ha, that is so me. Just in the last few months I've started getting some serious work done on the psoas and iliacus and it's made an ENORMOUS difference in both my running and my yoga. It's kind of intimate and very uncomfortable to have someone's fingers digging around in your abdominal cavity, so you've got to trust your bodyworker, but I can't even begin to describe what a difference it's made. Those muscles can be so tight and full of adhesions, especially in people who if they're not sitting, are working mostly in the sagittal plane. All the yoga in the world won't release adhesions - I could stay in Wheel all day long, but I couldn't get my right foot to stop turning out and I couldn't get my lumbar spine to bend at all in any direction. It's so different now!! Just last month I was able to get my sit bones on the ground in Staff pose for the very first time.

    (But I still can't do Sundial. Although I got the closest I have yet the other day - now I don't remember how the teacher instructed getting into it, there are so many different ways and I seem to get along much better with some procedures than other.)
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  2. #17
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    Oak, who is doing your bodywork? What kind of practitioner?
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknrollgirl View Post
    Emily,
    It is funny, I can do all the hard stuff like crow, and side crow and all the koudinyasanas, strength is not my issue. I am SO tight in my hips and hamstrings. Partly genetic and partly from running and cycling. So the 85 degree classes really help with my flexibility.

    So like sitting in staff pose, awful. Sitting with a wide leg straddle awful. Chataranga....easy peasy.
    My strength is getting there but certainly not where yours is. We don't even attempt koudinyasanas in the practices I do (in fact, I had to google it to see what they were -- eeek!) Chataranga, planks, etc. no problem, but I'm only middling on crow, can't do side crow yet. My flexibility is actually pretty good. Staff pose, no problem. Recently during a seated forward bend, my instructor could tell I was almost there with chest fully on legs, so he came and gently pushed my back down to help me "get there", and that felt SO GOOD on my back, I could not believe it. I have always had tight hamstrings, but they have certainly improved in this practice!

    The poses that are the very hardest for me are anything involving the hip flexor. I am very weak there, especially on the right, from the surgery I had on my ilium on that side. So anything with lifting the legs to the front while standing I have a very hard time with. I used to not even be able to step all the way through from downward dog to a lunge on the right side without assisting my leg with my hand, but thankfully I finally am able to do that, and now it seems incredible that I ever couldn't, but that's how weak I used to be on that side in the hip flexor, even though my quad was strong from cycling.

    One thing I've definitely learned is that every student in the practice has weaker and stronger skills in certain areas. Movements and poses that are super difficult for me are easy for some in the practice, and vice versa. That is why I am so in awe of yoga instructors as they are super strong, super flexible, and have amazing balance as well.

    It's generally in the mid-upper 70s during my practice (in the morning), but with the humidity, the heat index is in the 80s if not 90s, depending on time of year, so that does help a lot with flexibility. But boy do I sweat!
    Emily

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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    (But I still can't do Sundial. Although I got the closest I have yet the other day - now I don't remember how the teacher instructed getting into it, there are so many different ways and I seem to get along much better with some procedures than other.)
    I had to look it up as I don't always know all the names for the poses, especially since the practice I go to is conducted in Spanish, but I realized that YES, I can actually do Sundial! We did it in a couple of practices in the past two weeks, first time ever for me, and I even got a "muy bien" (very good) from the instructor. So, there are "easier" things I can't do, but this is something I can do.

    That's wonderful about your bodywork, Oak. Glad it's made such a difference for you!
    Emily

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  5. #20
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    I'm so glad to hear about all the great responses to this thread! Hot yoga might not be the *best* for the body, but it gets me up and sweating, and meditating, and I feel so good afterwards. I run cold all the time, so there's nothing better than walking into a hot room, sweating my head off, and coming out feeling hot. It's such a relief from always being freezing.

    My favorite pose is savasana, or corpse pose . My least favorite is downward dog - because I have a very weak core/nonexistent upper arm strength. I'm hoping to someday be able to do vinyasa, after I get over my extreme dislike of downward dog, since vinyasa is all about chataurangas.
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  6. #21
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    I absolutely LOVE hot yoga. My problem is that if I am going too often (like 3 times a week) I lose weight. I realize this will make people want to punch me through the computer screen, but it actually is a problem for me. I want to maintain a healthy weight like anyone else, which means I have to be careful not to lose. Yes there is another side to the struggle people, and I know that some of you know what I am talking about.

    I find that when I run or bike I don't have the same problem, but then again I am assuming with hot yoga it has to do with losing water weight through sweating.

    Either way, hot yoga is my favourite way to exercise and I am really looking forward to finding a good studio in the city that I am currently living in.

  7. #22
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    . Staff pose, no problem. Recently during a seated forward bend, my instructor could tell I was almost there with chest fully on legs, so he came and gently pushed my back down to help me "get there", and that felt SO GOOD on my back, I could not believe it. I have always had tight hamstrings, but they have certainly improved in this practice!


    Emily,
    Together you and I would make the perfect yogi!

    I don't think hot yoga is bad for your body. I just think it needs to be kept in balance like all exercise. My teachers are very careful with the hot classes and always say..."hot rules are in effect". We only have 1 class that goes over 95 degrees.

    I do have to be careful in the summer. If I run in the heat and take a hot class the same day I can get light headed. I have low blood pressure. So in those situations, I always drink electrolytes during class. I did take more cool classes this summer because of it.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Oak, who is doing your bodywork? What kind of practitioner?
    I was wondering the same thing.

  9. #24
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    My massage therapist is doing most of the hip flexor work. I'm seeing a new guy this summer and we're getting a lot of really good work done. It was actually my Florida LMT who first suggested doing my psoas after a few years of working together and building trust, but now that I know what it's about, I asked my Ohio guy to do them once I'd seen him enough times to feel comfortable. I think he might not have done them if I hadn't asked. Which makes me think about an article in one of their trade magazines I was looking at in his waiting room, talking about how a lot of LMTs don't even do glutes because of the perceived intimacy. The author's take was that that was ridiculous because they're such an important muscle group, and I agree, but then again I think there can be a pretty big divide between LMTs who see themselves as health care professionals, and those who see themselves as working in the beauty industry. Plus, I know for myself I'm shyer about the deep hip rotators and adductors, which probably need more work than I'm asking him for right now.

    I also started seeing an AMAZING new chiropractor. She has credentials out the wazoo - among other things, she worked on the US Olympic Team at Salt Lake City, which takes a special certification from the IOC - as well as the Ohio State football team (which she might guilt me out of watching football before it's all over) - and she kind of works more like an osteopath than any DC I've been to before. A lot of ART on the shoulders (ow) and a lot of easing the vertebrae and pelvic bones into position, very little cracking.

    I guess all in all, I'd recommend to any cyclist or runner, if you have a LMT you trust, ask them to at least check your psoas and iliacus. Those muscles almost can't help but be involved in any back, hip or even breathing problem (the psoas has fascial connections to the diaphragm too, and I'm definitely breathing more easily and fully since we started working on them). You can get a pretty good idea of the state of your iliacus on your own, by digging your fingers just inside the rim of the pelvic bowl, through the transversus.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 10-16-2015 at 04:32 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeganBikeChick View Post
    My favorite pose is savasana, or corpse pose . My least favorite is downward dog - because I have a very weak core/nonexistent upper arm strength. I'm hoping to someday be able to do vinyasa, after I get over my extreme dislike of downward dog, since vinyasa is all about chataurangas.
    Tee hee, I love savasana too (though today I had to squelch an incredible urge to scratch my nose!) but I also loooooove downward dog. That one is easy for me, which is a good thing, since my instructor relies on it a LOT. And I love chatarangas. The practice I go to is a blend of many different styles but always has a long vinyasa sequence after the warm up, and that is one of my favorite parts. It was much tougher when I started out, though. Patience and persistence is key!
    Emily

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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknrollgirl View Post
    . Staff pose, no problem. Recently during a seated forward bend, my instructor could tell I was almost there with chest fully on legs, so he came and gently pushed my back down to help me "get there", and that felt SO GOOD on my back, I could not believe it. I have always had tight hamstrings, but they have certainly improved in this practice!


    Emily,
    Together you and I would make the perfect yogi!

    I don't think hot yoga is bad for your body. I just think it needs to be kept in balance like all exercise. My teachers are very careful with the hot classes and always say..."hot rules are in effect". We only have 1 class that goes over 95 degrees.

    I do have to be careful in the summer. If I run in the heat and take a hot class the same day I can get light headed. I have low blood pressure. So in those situations, I always drink electrolytes during class. I did take more cool classes this summer because of it.
    Haha, yes we do make a perfect yogi together.

    I can't imagine running and doing yoga in the same day. For me it is an either/or thing. Walking and yoga, yes, but not running. They both take too much out of me, and I sweat quarts doing each one.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  12. #27
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    OK, I went to a 1.5 hour Hatha class today. It was way too easy, but the kind of stretching I need. Plus, my SI joint is killing me.
    So much more professional, and the instructor remembered me from 6 years ago. Except for one couple that was there, I was the youngest person in the class. Of course, it was at 11:45 AM, so, who else would be there? I will be trying out some other classes in the future. This time is going to be kind of tricky, as one of my clients was at the gym, doing a group training class, while I was on the treadmill and elliptical. I had already told her I was joining, and we agreed not to acknowledge each other.
    Oak, I agree about the intimacy thing. The first PT I went to, in 2007, was a former racer and spent a lot of time working on my psoas and groin. I don't think my current PT would do this! But, the other good thing about the new gym, is there is a fantastic LMT there, who my friend has worked with since he broke his hip.
    Last edited by Crankin; 10-16-2015 at 04:25 PM.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    OK, I went to a 1.5 hour Hatha class today. It was way too easy, but the kind of stretching I need. Plus, my SI joint is killing me.
    I'm sorry to hear that, Crankin! An easy, long yoga practice does sound nice, though. In Belize there was a "restorative" practice on Sunday mornings that was like that. Sometimes it was exactly what I needed. And I'd like something like that now, while I'm nursing an injury, my back is sore, etc. The practice I go to is so intense that I have to really gear myself up to go if I am not feeling 100% physically.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
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  14. #29
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    Not the most reliable of sources, but this does confirm some of what I've been told about the dangers of hot yoga.

    It's easy to say "just leave if you don't feel good," but even I've had a teacher who gave lip service to the idea of protecting oneself, but would "gently" urge his students to go "a little farther," and literally every time I went to one of his classes I'd injure myself. Fortunately nothing that didn't heal in a few days, but I finally just had to stop going to his classes, because it never felt unsafe to the point where, emotionally, I was ready to stop; it was just physically unsafe.

    Non-Bikram hot studios may well be less rigid about letting practitioners drink water, and about calling 911 when it's warranted. Just be careful!!


    Crankin, hope your SI feels better soon.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #30
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    We are a non Bikram studio for sure. They encourage us to drink and take a break in child's pose AND to not spend all our time in the hot room. They teach balance at my studio. I am pretty lucky to have such an awesome place so close by.

 

 

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