The most common questions we get from prospective new students are about the heat in our classes: How hot is it? Will I be miserable? What's the point of making it hot in the room?
First, a little history: "hot yoga" first showed up in the U.S. as Bikram Yoga. This is a particular style of yoga with a set sequence of postures that is the same every time. The heat is rigidly regulated (traditionally at 105 degrees with 40% humidity), and this style is what people most associate with hot yoga. It is often taught in a more aggressive way, with an emphasis on people pushing their bodies beyond their capacity, which can lead to injury. As time has gone on and modern yoga has developed, many studios have moved away from calling classes "Bikram Yoga" -- but they still run the same sequence with the same heat. Studios that advertise "26 postures" or "traditional hot yoga" are probably doing Bikram classes.
MYSTIC MONKEY YOGA IS NOT A BIKRAM YOGA STUDIO and we do not have a set sequence of postures. We also don't heat the room quite as much -- our hottest classes run about 100-102 degrees, and we use radiant heat panels, which allow us to heat the room without added humidity. This means that, while still hot, the temperature in the room is not overwhelming to most people. We also offer classes at lower temperatures -- our "Hot Vinyasa" classes are at 95 degrees, and our "Warm Yoga Flow" classes are at 85. This means that even people who are more sensitive to the heat should be able to find classes in their comfort zone. Quite often, we get new students in who are nervous about the heat of the room, and by the end of their first class, they find they actually enjoy the added warmth. And, unlike Bikram style studios, we emphasize doing the yoga practice in way that is appropriate for your body, which may mean modifying poses or not pushing yourself so hard at times. There's no sense in giving 110% effort all the time in a practice that is meant to be sustainable over a lifetime.
So now the other question: why heat the room in the first place? The simple answer is that it's there to support our practice and make it safer. It becomes easier to warm up our muscles so they can stretch with less risk of injury. Our blood vessels open with the heat, increasing blood flow and improving our cardiovascular health. Many of us discover that this practice supports weight loss and healthier lifestyle decisions. And we do sweat more in the hot room -- which gives us a cleansing feeling so we feel detoxified and de-stressed by the end of class. These benefits are in addition to all the other benefits of yoga, such as improved balance, better lung health, reduced tension, improved strength and flexibility, and much more.
If you've been leery about our classes because of the heat, why not come give them a try? You might be surprised! We still have our $30 for 30 days New Student Special so you can see how you like it.
You can see all our classes here: