Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yoga Pose Wednesday


I always get excited about which pose I'm going to do. Today, I'm going to dedicate Yoga Pose Wednesday to the Miami Heat. They lead the series 3-1 and with one more win, they make it to the NBA finals... Woot Woot!!!

So... first, let's talk about heat. I want to explain the difference between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga. I see those words used interchangeably and they are not interchangeable.

Hot Yoga can come in many forms. The key factor is that the room is typically heated to at least 90 degrees (or maybe more depending on your studio). 90 Degrees Yoga heats it to 90 where Southern Om usually gets it to around 97/98.

There are many different styles that can be used within the heated setting. 90 Degrees uses something called Hot Yatra Yoga. What is that?

I took this description from a link on their website:

"A pilgrimage one takes to find their one essence of life. The journey is more important than the destination.

Hot Yatra - The unification of physical, mental and spiritual components into one complete and powerful form. Within the core framework of a Hot Yatra class, the student will find not only those aspects that make Hot Yatra unique from any other style, but also a powerful incorporation of a traditional yoga practice.  In this way, Hot Yatra is ancient and simultaneously new in its approach. A single Hot Yatra class will contain aspects of Kundalini, as chakras and energy systems within the body are awakened and utilized within poses.  There is a hint of Ashtanga Yoga with Hot Yatra’s heavy concentration upon breath work and its transformative power to cultivate peace of mind.  Raja Yoga techniques housed with Hot Yatra classes guide students towards spiritual self-realization and control of the mind.  Focus on correct alignment and execution of Asanas subtly reflects aspects of Iyengar Yoga principles.  The heat of the classroom links us to Bikram, Father of Hot Yoga.  Hot Yatra balances these diverse elements with a unique infusion of spirituality based philosophy and a teaching format that makes Hot Yatra, purely Hot Yatra.  At the very core of the style, is a natural, proactive and approachable spirituality that taps into the tenants of the Eight Limbs of Yoga.  The power of this holistic approach to yoga as it was intended to be practiced, transforms the practitioner as a whole person beyond the mat and into their life.  At the heart of this practice, the student will not just survive a yoga class- they learn to rise to their life and shine."

I've taken an Ashtanga Vinyasa style class in a heated room. This is a flowing but rigorous practice. This is my favorite simply because I enjoy moving through poses quickly. That's simply because I am inpatient. LOL.

Lastly, there is Bikram Yoga. This is in a heated room, usually 105 degrees, and there are 26 poses used. They are the same 26 poses every time. There is no flow or sun salutation, you simply perform the postures. The heat forces you to breathe and stay focused on breathe, otherwise, you will lose your mind. I find it cleansing and a good way to really spend time in each posture.

The purpose of hot yoga is to detox the body, skin, pores, and even from the kidney and liver as well as cleanse the mind. When it's so hot, you MUST focus on your breath to help cool you down. There is a lot in the power of breath. You have no choice but to stay present and once you get into that zone, you will feel so much lighter. 

So, try out a local hot yoga class. It's a great benefit both mentally and physically!!

Now, on to the pose. To stay with our theme of the Miami Heat... We talked about heat, now we can talk about Miami... The pose for today is the:

Bird of Paradise

According to iYoga Life, there are many benefits to doing this pose: 

Physical: Strengthens the standing leg, ankle, knee and thigh; opens inner thigh, hip, groins, shoulders and chest; lengthens spine
Emotional: Balancing, centering
Rx for: Scattered mind

What I will say is that this is an advanced pose so PLEASE do not try this unless you have lots of experience with poses. Try a class, and ask the teacher about it... he/she can help you build to this. Here is the progression: 


Have you ever tried this pose? 
Do you enjoy hot yoga? 


  1. Yikes, that pose looks scary... I have never been to a hot yoga class...I've seen Southern Om a million times as I've visited Whole Foods. Do you go there often? I'd love to try out a class but have been kind of intimidated because I'm not much of a yogi.

  2. The best place to go first, in my opinion, is North Main Yoga. They have two locations - one on Stone ave near the Bohemian and one on Augusta rd near the fire dept. The teachers there can really help you learn the basic forms of each pose and then once you get comfortable with that, moving to a hot yoga class is nice. If you really want to try hot yoga first, go to Pace's class at 6 am on tuesday/thursday at Southern Om. He has a gentle class and takes time to explain each pose. Another thing you can do is take their Southern 26 class. It's Bikram, so it's 26 poses, you don't have to flow through them and they will help you. Make sure you bring a beach towel and some water!! If you ever want to go, I'll go with you!