Inner Happiness

“To find inner bliss and happiness through yoga, learn to accept things as they are by changing your thoughts.”
– Debasish Mridha

The hot yoga studio is my happy place: it’s there I can challenge myself to be happy with who I am and what I can do.

There, I can share my achievements with others who celebrate with me, rather than compete against me.

It’s there I feel grateful for what I can do physically, and there I feel humble for the emotional support I get from the people around me.

It is the place where I’ve learned to accept my limitations and appreciate my abilities.

Five Things We Love About Hot Yoga Classes

The heat

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? In your first few classes, the heat may not seem like the blessing it is. Before long, you’ll find yourself loving the heat and enjoying (perhaps even craving) its effects on the body.

Learning control

All forms of yoga emphasise mind and body working smoothly together. Hot Yoga is self-paced, so we are always in control, learning to sense when we can push and when we should rest. As you maintain the hold in a challenging position you never imagined you’d do, you’ll feel how much stronger and better balanced your body has become.

The energy

In our demanding world where energy is a precious resource, it’s good to be able to recharge. The less we do, the less we feel like doing. It’s so easy to fall into bad habits with the best intentions. Exercise turns this negative cycle on its head because the more energy we expend through exercise, the more our bodies can do over time.

Camaraderie

Many people think of yoga as a solitary, serious exercise, but in a class, it’s far from that. An inspirational teacher passes her energy and enthusiasm on to students, and in turn, they help boost each other.

The afterglow

After a good hot yoga session, you’ll feel the same buzz of collective achievement you experience with team sports. Ever watched the winning football team at the end of the Champions League final jumping up and down together holding the cup? Expect that kind of feeling – not so intense, of course, but every time – you’re never on the losing team with yoga.

Our Style of Yoga – Vinyasa Flow

We love to go with the flow. Our yoga is a modern style of movement to fantastic sound tracks designed to energize, challenge and relax, all at the same time. Whatever your fitness goals, we can help and support you in your journey to achieve and eventually exceed them.

Our sequences flow with the breath. One sequence you’ll often experience when you practice with us is sun salutation early on in the class to help you warm up and connect with your breathing. This close connection between movement and breathing is an important feature of our style of yoga: vinyasa flow yoga. Poses flow seamlessly into each other in a logical way allowing for progression and success.

This style suits us perfectly because it allows a large range of options and postures to accommodate everyone, including total beginners and people with joint issues, more advanced and experienced athletes at the peak of their fitness and those working to regain fitness following an injury.

Yoga naturally helps muscles develop an extremely high level of static strength. Our sequences vary from fast paced ones to much slower ones, and contain isometric muscle contractions to challenge your fitness further. Isometric muscle contractions happen when your muscles are working hard but are not changing in length or creating a lot of movement at the joints. This allows the muscles to strengthen without placing stress on the joints which is one of the reasons yoga can be so helpful for people with joint issues and athletes recovering from injury.

Is our style of vinyasa flow yoga for you? Well, the only way to find out is to try it and see! If the first class you found doesn’t suit your style or your psyche, move on. Not all studios are the same. Keep trying different teachers and yoga styles until you find a combination you have a great connection with.

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What Is Ghrelin? Turning a Foe Into a Friend.

Today we’re going to jump right in to the science of hunger.

Scientists tell us that getting enough good quality sleep plays a massive part in weight loss. It’s no surprise studies have shown that people who haven’t slept well spend the next feeling tired, but what might be more of a surprise is they also feel more hungry. As we’ve mentioned in an earlier post, sleep-deprived people tend to eat more, make poor food choices and emotionally-driven ones.

Ghrelin, the hunger hormone

Our bodies are regulated by hormones and one little known one is called ghrelin.

Ghrelin sends messages to your brain that prompt it to take action. It tells you when you need to eat, and when your body should stop burning calories and start to store energy as fat. It’s a complex survival instinct designed to help us cope in times of famine.

When our ghrelin level soars, it’s so much harder to think rationally about our eating choices because your body is just on survival mode.

When you sleep soundly, levels of this hunger hormone drop. On the other hand, people who don’t sleep well start the day with too much ghrelin floating round their system, insistently nagging away at their brain to take in extra calories. When we’re trying to lose weight, that’s the last thing we need.

Sleepless nights also lead to high levels of stress hormones and resistance to insulin, increasing the body’s struggles to balance our food intake and energy requirements.

If you’re thinking about making healthy lifestyle changes and/or would like to lose some weight, all the experts agree it makes sense to think about increasing your activity levels. One of the best ways to promote a great night’s sleep that will drive down your hunger hormone levels and increase your body’s insulin sensitivity is to find a form of exercise you love and want to take part in.

Any exercise you enjoy doing is a great first step towards a healthy, more deep and restful sleep. For us that’s hot yoga – any form of yoga will help relax you and reduce those pesky stress hormones!

Looking After Your Yoga Mat

There are lots of different yoga mats on the market and, although there’s no right or wrong selection, some will suit you better than others. Don’t leap into your purchase – just as it makes sense to audition your hot yoga studio, a little research beforehand will help you find a mat in your price range that suits your particular needs, preferences and style and suits your pocket.

Some mats have a lifetime guarantee but every mat will benefit from some care and attention to make sure it lasts the distance. Each type has a recommended treatment method to keep it in tip top condition – check the manufacturer’s instructions for details.

Hot yoga brings its own mat care requirements. In the lovely studio heat you will definitely find yourself sweating, which will leave a salty residue on your mat.

It’s may be tempting to leave your mat rolled up in the boot of the car and forget about it from one session to the next. But just as you can’t leave your gym kit rolled up in the back of the car from session to session and expect it to be fresh as a daisy for your next session, it’s the same for your mat.

We suggest that you get into the habit of washing the mat down after each use with warm water and a soft cloth, then leave it to dry naturally, unrolled. The minute or so it takes to do this will repay you, making sure the mat can do its job when you next practise.

There are plenty of commercial mat cleaning sprays on the market. Some of us make our own natural cleaner by shaking water and cider vinegar with a couple of drops of essential oils, such as lavender or tea tree oil. Before you use a commercial spray or your own blends, double check what your mat is made out of, and the care recommendations as some cleansers could affect the mat’s lifespan.

Hot yoga has extra requirements to factor in when choosing a mat. You’ll need a grippy mat to absorb the moisture and stop you sliding during the postures. One option for hot yoga is to opt for a mat towel to put over your mat. There are some good ones on the market with little gripers on one side to help stop you slipping and sliding. These are easy to clean too – most can go in the washing machine.

One way to put your investment in a yoga mat into perspective is to consider how much you are prepared to pay for trainers. After all, your yoga mat is your space – your oasis. Some people go so far as to think of it as their sanctuary: a place where they can leave all the stresses and strains of their daily life behind as they invest time and energy into creating a healthy body, mind and spirit.

22 Signs That You Should Be Doing Hot Yoga

  1. A really good, body and mind workout would be great but you don’t know how to fit it in a busy schedule
  2. You’ve heard a little about yoga and wonder what all the fuss is about
  3. You are struggling to justify buying that really nice pair of leggings you’ve seen
  4. Your current fitness regime is boring and you wish you could try something new
  5. You’d like to feel more in tune with your body and more at peace in your mind
  6. You think you ought to exercise more but don’t fancy doing it alone
  7. You love the heat and find a sauna invigorating
  8. You have a VERY stressful life or job
  9. Health and fitness seem like things other people are passionate about, not you
  10. You’re afraid you’re not bendy enough for yoga
  11. You enjoy the sense of well-being and adrenaline rush that exercise gives you
  12. You’re tired of feeling constantly tired
  13. You’ve tried several different ways to keep fit or lose weight, but have never found the right thing for you
  14. You have recently visited an elderly relative who has had a fall and don’t want to be in the same situation
  15. You find yourself always rushing from place to place and struggle to relax
  16. You secretly envy people who are strong, flexible and well balanced
  17. You’d prefer a holistic approach to keeping fit
  18. You’re happy to embrace who you are, but that doesn’t rule out being more active
  19. You wish you had more stamina
  20. Life is too serious and you want to have more fun
  21. Your best friend has taken up yoga and and you can’t help noticing she looks better for it
  22. You wish there was a simple way to feel better about your future

If two or more of these statements resonates with you, we believe you’d most likely benefit from Hot Yoga sessions. For more information on our classes, click here.

Restore your Composure with Pose of the Child

This restorative pose is perfect way to manage the hot conditions in our studio. It is our go-to resting position for those moments when we need to relax after some of the more demanding poses to help us regain our composure. It’s a great posture for relieving the stresses and strains that can build up in our bodies not just during the class, but from the day as a whole.

  • It gently releases the tension in your lower back
  • Extended child’s pose alleviates tension in the shoulders
  • It allows your parasympathetic nervous system to kick into gear
  • With wide knees, as in our picture above, it’s great for the hip flexors
  • It slows and calms the mind, especially with the forehead resting on the third eye

Many of us have busy everyday lives, juggling tasks and responsibilities and it can be tempting to try and push ourselves constantly throughout the day both physically and mentally. This pose is perfect for creating a balance, allowing the mind to clear while the body relaxes and recovers.

In order to get yourself into balasana (child’s pose), kneel down, sit back on your heels, and inhale as you lengthen your spine. As you breath out, fold from your hips and rest your head on the floor. Use a block for support if you find it more comfortable. You can then either place your arms by your sides with your palms facing upwards or extend your arms for a lovely shoulder stretch. Breathe evenly into the pose and enjoy the sense of release it brings as you finally have the time and space to calm and free your mind whilst relaxing your body.

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as embarking on an exercise programme.

Extend Your Warrior

This strong posture will help you feel grounded and powerful. Feel the stretch from the tips of the fingers to the edge of your foot and see why this is such a popular choice in our classes.

You’ll find your length and alignment in this pose is enhanced by the hot yoga studio heat and by using the mirrors to check and refine your posture. Our talented teacher will remind you to push your weight evenly through your feet as you actively stretch and reach.

Done correctly, this pose has so many benefits: stabilising your shoulders and pelvis; mobilising and opening your hips; helping build strength and flexibility in your legs; and engaging those precious core muscles that will protect your spine.

This posture reminds us to rise up with strength and steadiness to challenge our physical limitations and turn them into personal achievements.

Want to challenge yourself more? A good teacher can adapt this pose to challenge even the strongest yoga warrior. The teacher’s talent lies in assessing the level of challenge needed, taking their students further than they thought possible, but at the right pace.

Want less challenge? That’s easy – we can suggest lots of progressions to help you start your yoga journey, but before you know it, with regular practice and expert help you will be well on your way to being the strongest warrior you can be.

If you’d like to learn more about hot yoga, use the tag cloud to browse through our earlier posts, or better still, come and join us.

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme.