|I love using our rain barrels to catch water for the garden!|
When I did the Tree pose, in the first couple of class, I managed to get my foot up to my thigh and raise both hands in prayer pose and stay there for the entire length of the posture, which means my balance and ankle strength is improving. The first few sessions, I either couldn't keep my balance or couldn't get even one hand to the middle of my chest. My balancing stick is getting higher and straighter too.
I have trouble with some of the floor poses like Locust and Bow Pose, I think because my back isn't that flexible. Still, I'll keep working on it.
I've found that in many of the poses, contracting my stomach muscles really keeps the pressure off my back so that is helping.
Outside class, I've noticed some benefits to hot yoga as well. I've had pain in my right shoulder and upper arm for a couple of years now, mostly due to knitting and computer use. It hurt even to raise my arm or to do a twisting motion, like when I was cleaning out the kitchen sink each day. I noticed today that the pain is much less and I didn't feel any pain when I wiped out the sink last night. To me, that is huge!
Yoga as a whole has always made me feel lighter and more agile, when I walk or whatever I'm doing. When I was going to yoga classes at the Y, I only went 2 days a week at most because I liked the teacher for the Monday/Wednesday class and the time was also good for me. I know I would have benefits from going more days a week. With my hot yoga studio, there are several classes every day of the week to choose from so there are more chances to attend. I think over the long term, this will help my flexibility and joint pain more than just going two days a week.
Right now, I'm listening to the Hot Yoga Doctor's 90 Minute Master Class audio, which I got as an MP3 instant download. The audio was recorded in a live hot yoga class and it has precise instructions for the poses which I know will help me improve my technique. There are also tips and corrections so I can work on these things outside of class as well as in my own classes. I can't wait to put it on my ipod so I can listen whenever I have a chance.
As soon as I've had a chance to really review the audio, I'll post more information about it. I also got a 90 minute video as well so I can work on my poses at home. If you would love to have the Hot Yoga Doctor's Master Class but can't really afford it at the moment, these 90 minute instant downloads are a great way to go.
The Hot Yoga Doctor's website is a wonderful place to get more information on techniques and poses. You can download a picture of each pose to help you and there is a very active forum too if you have any questions about your own hot yoga practice.