If you practiced hot yoga within the last 10 years ago then you likely visited a Bikram or Moksha studio but now it seems that most local studios are incorporating heat and humidity into their classes. Practicing in a hot room will certainly warm your body entirely which will naturally limber up your body, however this can often lead muscle and joint injuries as the practitioner will often over do it. It is crucial to be well hydrated for a hot class otherwise you will experience dizziness, light-headedness, or nausea. There is not enough research out there to date but some have stated that hot yoga will help you burn more calories and lose more weight. The problem with the current studies are that they have used extremely fit participants which is great for that small percentage but most people are practicing yoga to get into shape rather than maintain their current state. Yoga is not meant to be practiced with an elevated heart rate and this is why you should not practice in the heat if you are pregnant, diabetic, or have any cardiovascular disease. So we want to be clear that we are not saying do not do hot yoga, we believe all yoga is good, were just saying proceed with caution and be sure that you are really enjoying the practice and not getting tricked by the endorphin rush that it provides.
There are many reasons we chose to do not hot yoga at Navina Yoga, first and foremost, we feel we simply have enough intensity in our lives and the purpose of our practice in yoga is to cultivate energy, not expel it. Our goal is to not only make this practice accessible for everyone but also to create space for a sustainable practice. We want you to feel energized and ready to take on the rest of day post practice, not racing to change your clothes and chug a litre of water. We live in an extremely fast paced society and our constant push is exactly what will draw many to a hot room environment but our intention is to help the practitioner let go of this constant push and create space for a balanced practice. Our physical health is very important and our lower temperature actually offers an opportunity to work harder and cultivate more strength, the room does not make you sweat, your breath and movement do. We can safely practice inversions and arm balances, which is definitely going to create some beads of sweat and well, they are just so fun to practice! We may think we work harder in a room with heat, but having worked in both settings we see the opposite as true. Students build strength way faster in a lower temperature room. Another really important factor to consider when exercising is your heart health, high intensity workouts will often deplete our resources and it can be very taxing on your health long term.
The hot room can certainly provide an oasis from our crispy winter temperatures and being cold in a yoga class is certainly not desirable either, so we decided to offer the temperature we know best; not hot, not cold, but toasty. With the temperature set to 28 degrees the room offers a cozy atmosphere that is conducive to working hard and keeping your breath calm. This reasonable temperature also allows us to utilize the big windows in our space and there is nothing better than practicing in natural light versus a hot stuffy room without any natural light. So when deciding what practice works for best for you, be sure that you are focused on all aspects of your health and no matter what practice you decide is best for your needs, just keep rolling out your mat and take the best care no matter what!