For the longest time the idea of stretching was never appealing to me. I mean who wants to patiently stand around stretching each muscle group for 30 seconds in hopes to gain flexibility. The problem was that there was no structure in my stretching routine. I felt like I was just doing a few stretches that I vaguely remembered from my high school gym class. I train about 4-6 times a week in martial arts causing my muscles to be super tight. It became evident that in order to prevent injuries from occurring I needed to start stretching. That’s when I discovered hot yoga, or did hot yoga discover me?
It’s been almost a year since I added yoga in my routine and I can tell you that it made a big difference both physically and mentally. When I first started I couldn’t touch my toes, now I can put both palms on the floor with my legs straight. I am also more conscious of my posture now and my body feels way more relaxed.
The breathing techniques taught in practice can be applied to many stressful situations that we may come across. Just being conscious of your breathing and taking that 10 second pause to deeply inhale and exhale can really help you avoid getting stressed. There has been many times that I started feeling anxious or angry, and because of yoga’s breathing techniques I was able to stay relaxed in a potentially bad situation.
The reason I prefer hot yoga as opposed to regular yoga is that the heat opens up the muscles allowing a deeper stretch to be executed. Not to mention it’s fucking hard as hell to complete a yoga class in a 40-45 degree room! But once you complete the physical and mental challenge you leave that class feeling like a new person. There’s no words that can describe the feeling after a hot yoga class but I promise you it’s worth the heat!