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It’s no surprise we miss our beloved hot yoga studios. I miss joining my yoga community and sharing in movement during our joint yoga practice. I miss teaching in-person classes and connecting face-to-face. I so badly want to experience my body heating up, feeling the change in temperature as I walk into a heated yoga room. And of course, I miss all the benefits of hot yoga (flexibility, stress relief, calorie burn, and so many more.)
Yeah, this is hard.
To make these times a little bit easier for us hot yoga folks, I’ve created this list for you to experience hot yoga in your room at home. Think of it as a ritual you partake in, just for you. Think of it as something you deserve to create for yourself, even during this time of chaos. While it will never take our favorite yoga studio’s place, it will quell our thirst (or will it?) until we meet again.
This is rule number one. In order to have the full hot yoga experience, your room has to be hot. Position your infrared heater a few feet away from your mat, with the heated side facing you. I achieve my best at-home hot yoga sessions when I allow the room to heat up for 20 minutes prior to my flow. This is a great time to adjust to the temperature, drink water, meditate, or journal.
Please note: an infrared space heater should never be left unattended. When not in use, unplug that bad boy.
Now, we’re talking. All the best hot yoga studios know a combination of humidity and heat is what makes the room feel so dreamy and sauna-like. Adding this element of moisture to the hot air is a gamechanger (and helps us move through those poses with ease). You can place your humidifier in the corner of the room and turn it on at the same time as the heater. Build your personal yoga studio oasis, baby.
I know, don’t yoga teachers always say that? Well, we do, because it’s true. The key to building internal heat is by utilizing ujjayi breath. Keep a steady, consistent, strong breath; inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose—for the entire yoga practice. It’ll take some getting used to, but it makes all the difference.
When we target large muscle groups and incorporate dynamic movement in a yoga sequence, we can build heat more easily. Think oscillating between Warrior 2 (quadriceps, glutes) and Star Pose—or Crescent A (quadriceps, hamstrings) and Low Lunge Pose. However many times on each side until your heartbeat starts pumpin’ (and you start to sweat)!
The stomach area is where the Manipura chakra is located. The element of this chakra is fire, and it’s no wonder—when we engage our belly muscles, we build tons of warmth. A plank is a simple and effective static pose that will quickly create heat and sweat. Continue building your sweat by adding Side Plank Pose, Dolphin Pose, Boat Pose, or crunches. Must I go on?
Who wouldn’t want a softly-lit yoga space? Sprinkling candles around the room adds not only warmth, but an ethereal vibe to your practice. You can even use the fire from a candle as your Drishti (point of focus) when moving through your standing postures.
Please note: make sure the candles steer clear of flammable objects and are placed on stable surfaces.
Imagine yourself walking into your favorite hot yoga studio. What do you smell? I’m sure it’s a combination of moving bodies and essential oils (tell me I’m wrong). Add them to your at-home hot yoga ritual! Consider placing your favorite essential oil on your wrists and your temples prior to beginning your practice. If you have a diffuser, that works, too.
While we aren’t exactly stoked to be inside, we owe it to ourselves to keep our passions alive. By creating a home practice that mimics the studio experience (and going virtual when you can), we can continue to thrive as we shelter in place.
What would you add to this list? Let us know by posting on your Instagram story and tagging @mindbody.
It’s safe to say, the way we conquer our daily routines has changed drastically over the last few months. The way we perform our jobs, how we socialize—even the way we workout—have flipped from in-person, group settings to virtual platforms to keep us safe and healthy. There's no denying that navigating this new normal has certainly come with its ups and downs, to say the least. In fact, a recent survey revealed one-third of Americans said this pandemic has caused more stress and anxiety in their lives, which isn’t surprising given the circumstances.
With anxiety levels at a high, people need relaxation, self-care, and movement more than ever. Enter yoga.
Yoga has long been touted for its amazing ability to calm the mind and help folks stay in-tune with their body—which is probably why more and more people are embracing an at-home practice.
Whether you’re looking for a powerful Vinyasa class to help kickstart your morning or yearning for a gentle, evening flow to wind down after a busy workday, taking a yoga class is now more accessible than ever. With 91% of group fitness studios offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, those who are ready to get their asana on have plenty of yoga classes to try all over the country.
While there’s no place like om, most of us could go for a little virtual vacation right now. I know I could! Ready to get a taste of what yoga classes are like all over the country? Here are the U.S. cities with the most virtual yoga classes available.
It seems poetic that Chicago hits our number one spot on this list because it was the first city in America that was introduced to yoga back in 1893. Swami Vivekananda presented yoga at the World Parliament of Religions and made a speech on the concept of body, spirit, and mind. It seems the presentation made a lasting impression on the city.
Try getting your Zen on with one of these studios:
• The Lab Yoga
• Bottom Line Yoga
• Bare Feet Power Yoga
Everyone knows that Washington DC is where you can visit some of the world’s most famous monuments, memorials, and museums. But you may be surprised to learn that it also offers one of the most robust libraries of virtual classes to help yogis sample some classes at the nation’s capital.
Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities in America—in fact, you can folks speaking 145 different languages and thousands of restaurants serving up food from more than 70 countries. If those facts have you working up quite an appetite, feel free to indulge. They also have plenty of virtual yoga classes available to help you torch some calories.
Did you know one of the first businesses to open in the City of Brotherly Love was a brewery in 1683? If you’re familiar with the ever-evolving trends of yoga, then you have most likely heard of or participated in beer yoga sesh. Get ready to try yoga the Philly way by cracking a cold one and doing some downward dogs in the comfort of your own home at the end of the day.
New York City is home to 8.4 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the entire nation. With that many people, you know there must be a ton of yogis looking to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start spreading the news and flowing with some of the most dedicated yogis in the U.S.—there are a ton of virtual yoga classes to choose from in the Big Apple.
Get ready to make some virtual yoga neighbors. Did you know that Columbus, Ohio is considered the heart of the country? The reason for that is because nearly half of the America’s residents live within a 600-mile radius of the city. Ready to put your heart and soul into your at-home yoga practice? Then check out what this city has to offer virtually.
San Diego is known as one of the happiest cities in America—mainly because of the beautiful weather, picturesque beaches, and the abundance of yoga classes available. While a vacation to this area may not be in the books for this year, you can certainly flow with the best of them by booking a virtual class at a San Diego studio.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the yoga studios offering virtual classes to help you stay fit, healthy, and calm during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these offerings inspire you to either start a new at-home practice or are helping you seasoned yogis continue your path to wellness. Interested in seeing what other cities are hosting a bevy of online yoga classes? The options on Mindbody are endless—literally!