I have a debate for you all today — regular yoga or hot yoga?
Lately I’ve been really into power yoga, but if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I didn’t always enjoy yoga. In fact, I used to hate it. But a couple years ago, that all changed. I finally “got” yoga, and I even wrote a blog post about how I went from hating yoga to loving it.
(Rocking my “Vegetarian… except for bacon” shirt, heh!)
But while I absolutely love vinyasa-style flow yoga and power yoga (SO great for running cross-training), and have even learned to crave it when I haven’t done it for a few days, the jury is still out for me and hot yoga.
A couple months ago, I bought a Living Social deal for 10 hot yoga classes for $20.
If you’ve never done hot yoga before, it’s basically a series of specific yoga poses done in a room heated to about 100 degrees. The room is heated to warm and lengthen your muscles, preventing injuries and allowing for a deeper release and stretch. The movements are much slower than power yoga and you hold the poses for longer. You will be VERY sweaty — the goal is to help the body flush out toxins in the form of sweat.
I finally got around to going to a hot yoga class over the weekend with my friend Lauren. I’ve done hot yoga a couple times before, but not in a reeeeeally long time. But I did know that I would need a towel to put over my mat and a huge container of water — there would be a LOT of sweating happening!
90 minutes later, we emerged looking like we had gone swimming. While I enjoyed the workout, I didn’t like it nearly as much as I do power yoga. I didn’t feel as stretched out as I normally do (I missed the flow and runner’s type stretches like triangle pose, lunge, etc.), and I had a harder time calming my mind, likely due to the 90 minute length. Hot yoga is also a lot slower than the power yoga I’m used to, which gave me time to let thoughts of “this is a waste of time” and “this is weird” creep back into my mind like they used to when I first started yoga.
I think I need to view hot yoga as a challenge to remind myself to quiet my mind and embrace the experience; a big part of yoga, I’ve learned, is not just physical, but mental. The added heat with hot yoga makes it even more challenging to relax, embrace the moment, and not panic or mentally give up on the experience.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried hot yoga? If so, did you like it? Should I give it another chance? How do you like it compared to regular yoga?
A couple blog-related updates:
- By popular demand, I have added a “favorites” category to my recipe page! Boy was it hard to choose :) Go see if you’ve tried my favorites and please let me know what yours are, too! Did I miss any really good ones?
- I FINALLY updated my health tips & favorite posts page! Go check it out :)
- I updated my running training page with my current PR’s (personal records) — yay!
- Stay tuned for a giveaway tomorrow!
I was feeling motivated last night, apparently! Most likely because working on the blog = not working on school work ;)
Speaking of — time to pack a quick lunch and then I’m off to give a group presentation in my Medical Nutrition Therapy class, eek! Wish us luck!