Traditional Hot Yoga is a practice in which you go through 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, at 105ºF (40.5ºC), absolutely drenched in sweat for 90 minutes. A lot of people read that description, cringe, and immediately think WHY?! Why would someone put their body through that?
The answer is actually quite simple: because it feels incredibly good! Like, NEXT LEVEL good, not just physically, but mentally, & spiritually. So much so, that we had a sit down with a very experienced yoga instructor to learn about the reasons behind these magical effects.
Frani Assaf has been a hot yoga teacher at the Sweatbox Studio in Capitol Hill, Seattle for over fifteen years. In her past life, she worked as a PR consultant, and amidst deadlines and vast amounts of pressure, longed for some peace and well-being. She happened to find so much of it in hot yoga, that she decided to become a full-time teacher and “share with other people the thing that changed her life.”
Happily, she agreed to share her light with us, and after an insightful conversation, we discovered 6 reasons behind the magic of hot yoga*:
1. IT’S A LESSON IN SELF-COMPASSION
During the first few hot yoga classes, “you need to accept that you have no idea what you’re doing.”
It’s easy to forgive yourself for not knowing how to backbend all the way in the heat –because seriously, why would you? Also, it feels incredibly good to allow yourself to rest as many times as you want, even if everyone else around you is still going strong. It’s perfectly normal –in fact encouraged- for people to take multiple breaks throughout the class.
In a world where we should supposedly be pulling everything off, its great to have a space where imperfections and forgiveness are the rules. Even after 90 minutes of getting a lot of things wrong, you still leave with an incredible sense of accomplishment for trying.
2. IT REQUIRES YOU TO BE PRESENT & LET GO
“You have to let go of a lot of thoughts to stand on one leg in the heat.” You really have no other choice. If you start thinking about tomorrow’s deadline, or yesterday’s mistakes, guaranteed you’ll fall flat on your face…