Friday, December 28, 2012

Bikram Yoga Tips - Sweaty Hands

Just $14.99 for this Hot Yoga MP3 - a complete hot yoga class
When you are doing your hot yoga practice, do sweaty hands get in your way? Do your hands slip in the Standing Head to Knee pose, for instance? The instructor will tell you to wipe your hands before doing the Standing Head to Knee pose, but I would do that, and a few seconds later my hands were sweaty and slipping from my foot anyway.

A few days ago, I got a great hot yoga tip from the Hot Yoga Doctor's email newsletter about sweaty hands. Gabrielle Scanlon says the problem in the pose isn't the sweaty hands but the strength of your fingers. Instead of wiping the sweat off, you should be focusing on a stronger and stronger grip to strengthen your fingers over time. If your fingers are strong enough, you won't have to worry about sweaty hands.

This was a big insight to me. My wrists and fingers are often stiff and the joints are painful from years of doing bead work, knitting and using the computer. My fingers weren't very strong and they need to be, plus it will help my joints. I'm finishing my second month of Bikram yoga and am just now losing the towel and focusing on strengthening my fingers. I realize this will take time but the important thing is to begin with proper alignment and a strong grip before I worry about taking the poses deeper.

On the Hot Yoga Doctor's forum, there is quite a discussion about wiping sweat during class. I used to take a towel to class and wipe the sweat from my eyes but after reading the comments and Gabrielle's advice, I don't even take a towel to class anymore.

One reason not to wipe the sweat is that sweat helps cool your body and if you wipe it off, you aren't allowing it to cool you. Another reason is that wiping is just a distraction during class. Sometimes I do get sweat running into my eyes to the point where I can't see and I use my fingers to wipe it then. I know some people's sweat actually stings their eyes but this is due to the salt content of their sweat. For me, over time and drinking more water, my sweat no longer does sting my eyes.

It's free to sign up for the Hot Yoga Doctor's email newsletters, which are packed with Bikram yoga tips like this one. Just go to the Hot Yoga Doctor's website. Besides the free newsletter, you can find a very helpful forum, videos and more Bikram yoga tips.

You can also download an MP3 of an entire hot yoga class so you can practice at home or pick up extra tips. Just click on the photo above. I have this MP3 and love it. I put it on my ipod so I can take it with me anyplace I go.

During 2013, I want to write about other hot yoga tips I pick up, tips which help me to take my Bikram practice to the next level. If you have a favorite hot yoga tip, I'd love to hear from you.

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