|after my first ever full class (at Audubon park) my friend Sora on the left and me (drinking water) on the right|
Since moving to the south and becoming a yoga teacher I've had to consider the heat quite a bit. I've asked my fiance to teach me about why and how we sweat and cool ourselves (being in his second year in medical school I pretend he knows everything a seasoned doctor would know). I've had students tell me they want to sweat out toxins in class, I've had students tell me it's just too hot to move, I've had times when we left the air conditioner on high throughout the entire class so that they were only heated from the inside using movement and ujjayi breath.
In my own practice I know I'm going to sweat. I bring a bandanna to class to wipe my own sweat when I'm teaching- and that's just walking around the room talking and adjusting people! The humidity down here immediately covers me and in classes where the windows and doors are open I sometimes leave a puddle on my mat. But, I have to say that I'm not one who would take a class (although I have) in an intentionally heated room (i'm talking Bikram and hot classes) because that's just not for me.
I recently came across this article on elephantjournal called "Are supporters of excess heat & sweat in yoga class just full of hot air?" by Dan Pitko that I really liked. He has done some research and makes everything clear and to the point. He makes the argument that yogis need to exercise caution when practicing in a hot room that is also humid.
I'd love to know what you think about heated yoga. Do you need a heated room to feel warmed up enough to stretch? Do you believe that the warmth of your movements and breath is enough? Have you ever felt woozy in a heated yoga class (I have!). Leave me a comment!
(Also, no matter what type of yoga you're practicing and where please make sure that you are staying hydrated and always do what is right for you (ie take breaks when needed and lower your head to the ground to cool off)