Hello internet! I went to a great yoga class yesterday and wanted to tell you about it! The class was a combination of yin yoga, hot yoga, and assisted movements, and I thought it was incredible (in part because I am studying for my exams and it provided much needed stress relief)! For those of you who are new to yoga, let me tell you about each of these styles of yoga.
Yin yoga is a slow, contemplative yoga style that involves holding stretches for extended periods of time. The goal is to increase flexibility in the body by stretching the “fascia”, which is essentially a second skin which is like a sheath that envelopes muscles.
Hot yoga is basically normal yoga except it takes place in a hot or warm room, which is generally heated by a dry heater rather than steam. This can make for a very hot yoga class if the class involves plenty of movement, or it can make for a warmer but OK class if the class involves less movement. I have had classes of both varieties. Sometimes hot yoga classes can be overwhelming if there are plenty of movements – doing yoga poses is hard enough in a room with normal temperature!
In this case, it was a yin class so it involved whole lot less movement than a normal class. That made the heat quite welcome, not like a nemesis in a more strenuous class! The heat is also perfect for yin classes, since the heat warms up the fascia and helps the body stretch more than it could have.
Because there is much less movement than normal, the warmth isn’t overwhelming, although it does get pretty hot and sweaty in the room! It’s super important to stay hydrated during any sort of hot yoga class, and that involves drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after class. My mom bought me a beautiful copper water bottle from Copper H2O for my birthday which I have been taking to class for a few months. I take a few sips from my bottle every few minutes to make sure I stayed well hydrated. Any water bottle will do, and make sure it’s filled to the brim! 🙂
Finally, assisted yoga is a class where the instructor actually helps push you into certain poses to enhance the stretch. This isn’t just a little adjustment here or there – it is full on in most cases! For example, the instructor pressed down on my lower back with most of her weight while I was in child pose, which helped open up my lower back (tight from all that studying) and actually felt great!
I think this style of yoga is my new favourite. It’s relatively low key, feels great, and the heat is great for purging the body of toxins via sweat. Just remember to stay really well hydrated or you might find yourself with a headache and dry mouth after class! J
What’s your favourite kind of yoga? I would love to hear from you!
Until next time, wishing you health and happiness!
– Estelle 🙂