Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 things NOT to do in Hot Yoga Class by Gabrielle Scanlon

I subscribe to a free hot yoga newsletter from The Hot Yoga Doctor, Gabrielle Scanlon. Today, I received this great list of "Top Ten Things NOT To Do In A Hot Yoga Class" in my email and I thought I'd share it with readers.

   I must admit to having done some of these myself over time
  *sigh* ... but then again, yoga IS a journey.

   I hope you enjoy this enough to see a possible reflection of
  some of your own behaviors!
   Top 10 Things I Recommend You DON'T Do In A Hot Yoga Class!
   Yep ... none of these things are really going to add to your
  yoga class - so do your very best to avoid them!

   <1>   DON'T gasp or hold your breath or breathe through your
        mouth. If you hear a sudden "haaaaaaa" as you finish a
        pose, it probably means you've been holding your breath!

        And mouth breathing under stress (for example: hard yoga
        pose!) tends to trigger paradoxical breathing, which
        mimics anxiety. Always breathe through the nose, except
        when directed otherwise (kapalbhati blowing for example).

   <2>   DON'T wear loose clothing or fleecy track-suit pants.
        We've probably all done it - or at least seen someone
        turn up to their first yoga class wearing classic yoga
        gear - long baggy pants and a loose t-shirt.
        Unfortunately it traps the hot air and soaks up the
        sweat, making your clothes heavy, hot and clingy - and
        more importantly, it's harder to lower your core
        temperature efficiently. Not a good recipe for hot yoga!     
   <3>   DON'T gulp too much water. You'll end up feeling sick and
        downright uncomfortable in some of the belly-down poses.
        Trust me ... I've been there!
   <4>   DON'T talk to others in class. It is tempting, especially
        when a tough pose is held for a long time, to turn to
        your friend in class and discuss what is going on.
        I've even heard inane conversations about "relationship
        issues" going on during class. Leave your gossip outside
        the yoga room please!

   <5>   DON'T ignore the instructor or anticipate poses or
        deliberately procrastinate. It simply means you are not
        "present" and you will not get the best out of your

   <6>   DON'T make up your own poses or do a pose modification
        without first consulting your instructor. It could be
        dangerous and you may not be approaching it in the right

   <7>   DON'T wipe the sweat away (unless it's stinging your
        eyes). Your sweat is there to cool you down. It is
        counter-intuitive, but wiping it away WILL make you
        hotter. So don't. Refer to this article again:

   <8>   DON'T push past pain ("no pain, no gain" is NOT yoga!).
        Work to your own edge - that's all you need to do.

   <9>   DON'T eat a large meal 2-3 hours before class. I won't
        describe what is likely to happen!

   <10> DON'T come to class after drinking alcohol or taking
        drugs, no matter how "brave" you feel.
        (Yes, I have taught classes where someone had had a few
        shots before coming. He admitted it to me after class -
        and had spent most of the class on the floor. He said
        that he'd never do it again - it was that unpleasant!).

   <11> BONUS TIP! DON'T compare YOUR practice to that of anyone
        else - including your own! Who cares what you could or
        couldn't do yesterday - it has no bearing on your regular
        enjoyment of the benefits.
        Our bodies can work in mysterious ways, so just let the
        yoga work for you.

   There ... I'm sure NONE of that above refers to you, does it now? ;)

  Gabrielle :)
   PS. The Hot Yoga MasterClass actually has a TON of information
  about how to CORRECT common mistakes that I have seen some
  students still make after years of practice ...


  1. SO good!! I don't think I've ever heard #10 in a list about Bikram Yoga before, but such a great point! Reminds me of an article that we did about Bikram Yoga Etiquette a while back

  2. Thanks for the comment! I can't imagine going to class after a couple glasses of wine or any kind of drug. The other day, I had a headache for a couple hours before class and took a slippery elm bark pill, which is a natural form of aspirin and I got nauseous during class-something I never do. I'd have preferred the headache!