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.

Yoga Quotes

Frog in a yoga position surrounded by purple and yellow flowers

If you’ve been following the blog during our first few months, you’ll have realised that we’re passionate about all aspects of yoga. We believe it can change your body, mind and spirit for the better.

We’re glad to be part of a worldwide family of yoga lovers that includes expert practitioners, novices and people who just like the idea (our picture of the stone frog in violas was taken at Petals from the Past, in Alabama). The yoga community is chock-full of characterful, inspirational people. Today we’re sharing a few of our favourite quotes from other lovers of yoga about the power it has to transform lives.

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Yoga is a powerful vehicle for change. As you build strength you start to believe in your own potential.

– Tiffany Cruikshank

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True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming.

– Aadil Palkhivala

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The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.

– Sakyong Mipham

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Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.

Yoga is a light which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice the brighter your flame.

– B.K.S. Iyengar

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When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally. It comes from inside, like a kind of will to do something. Try to be sensitive. That is yoga.

–Petri Räisänen

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Yoga is not a religion. It is a science: science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.

Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements. Once you understand the grammar of yoga, you can write your poetry of movements.

– Amit Ray

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Yoga, as a way of life and a philosophy, can be practiced by anyone with inclination to undertake it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any one individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner of the globe, regardless of class, creed or religion.

– Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois

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If you’re curious to explore whether yoga can help you achieve your goals, check out some of our most popular posts or dip your toe in the water by booking an introductory session, either with us in Lancashire or at your local studio.

Journey to Savasana

How hard is it to liberate your mind at the end of a hot yoga class when this has been the first moment you’ve had to yourself all week? Step away too quickly and your shopping list, what to cook for tea, how to entertain the kids on a wet weekend will all fly through your mind at the speed of light.

However much you try to unwind and refocus your breathing and centre yourself, you just can’t help it, can you – or can you? Is there a trick to carrying the relaxation you feel through to the rest of your life, or is it time to head for the showers?

Relaxation is a key part of the class. As the session draws to a close, it’s your opportunity to celebrate all your hard work and invest a few minutes to kick-start the recovery process.

This is where your body grows stronger and the benefits of your yoga session start to materialise. At Bolton Hot Yoga, we revitalise and reflect at the end of each class with a guided meditation. It doesn’t take long, it’s set to some great music and it’s designed to just give you enough time to cool down and recover.

Learning to focus on your breathing, to scan your body and check your posture all help you stay healthy. There is a traditional name for this part of the session – Savasana – often associated with adopting a relaxed posture, lying flat on your back. You’ll get yourself comfy in whatever position you find best – it may be sitting or in pose of the child – you choose. We’ll dim the lights, help you slow your breathing and allow you to finish off a great class in a quiet state of mind.

As with anything, the more you practise, the better at meditation you’ll get. As you feel those muscular tensions easing away from your body and find out how to free your mind, you will become calmer, more in the moment, and able to be more present in your daily life.

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Yoga for Men

You can be forgiven for thinking yoga is the domain of ladies wanting to have a gentle stretch and relax (until you’ve been to one of our Hot Yoga classes, that is!). That’s one of many myths surrounding yoga.

Yoga is just as life enhancing and effective for men.

Ryan Giggs OBE, the Welsh national football coach and former player, believes that participating in yoga extended his playing career by ten years. Setting any sporting allegiances aside for a moment, Giggs must surely have been doing something right to have become the most decorated player in (British) football history.

He first took to yoga after the bitter disappointment of missing a key Champions League game with a hamstring injury. He was determined to find a solution to his injury woes as he didn’t want to miss a single match, even switching his car to an automatic transmission to spare those well-insured legs unnecessary work.

His solution? Sports Yoga. After just a few sessions, Giggs became a convert and passionate advocate for the practice, even convincing Manchester United to hire their own yoga coach.

Yoga helped him and other players stay injury free and, just as importantly, to recover after big matches that were physically and emotionally demanding. Yoga’s concept of mind, body and soul working in harmony helped Giggs deal with the pressures of playing at the highest level in his sport for one of the world’s biggest clubs under intense media scrutiny.

If you’d like to research more, take a look at this FT feature about Ryan Giggs and his love of yoga.

Whatever the views of a sporting legend like Giggsy, we believe the only way to learn whether a sports activity suits your lifestyle is to try it out for yourself. Why not take the first step by researching local studios to find out if yoga can help support you on your fitness journey? We suggest trying a few studios as styles of yoga vary so much.

Our yoga style is very much inspired by strength and conditioning. It will help balance your sports to keep you in great shape. Everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome – yoga doesn’t discriminate on grounds of age, gender, fitness or anything else.

Who knows, it may extend your playing career by ten years too!

The Yoga Magic Three: Mind, Body and Soul

Ever wondered why yoga works for so many people? Yoga acts on three different levels.

Mind

It’s simply this – after a busy, sometimes stressful, week it’s hard to still your mind and stop replaying things over and over again. In a 60 minute class you’ll get loads of space to completely unwind. You won’t have chance to think about work, your shopping list, what to make for tea, you will just be able to lose yourself in the music and in the here and now.

Body

Your body will thank you for your investment in posture and alignment. After a day hunched over a keyboard, stuck in one place or rushing about, you will have chance to unwind and relax your shoulders and neck. Your spine will decompress itself and you will create much needed space between your joints, warming and mobilising that golden synovial fluid that protects your joints.

You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling much more refreshed and ready for the new day. Better sleep allows your body time to produce those hormones that regulate hunger (leptin). Your blood pressure will typically lower, allowing the oxygen and nutrients to circulate round your body and work their magic.

Soul

Your mood will lift, and you will feel more relaxed and positive. You’ll leave the studio feeling a calmness, happiness and sense of achievement that will support you through the rest of your day.

Why not test it out? If you live in the Lancashire area, come and join us to see if the benefits we enjoy from Hot Yoga are true for you too. Or, if that’s too far to travel, take the first few steps towards a more energised mind, body and soul by checking out yoga studios in your local area. Your future self will thank you for it!

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