Short answer: constantly!
We want Home to feel like... home! That means it's got to be super clean and super safe, so you can focus on your yoga practice and connecting with your community. We've always cleaned a LOT, and you can expect us to keep doing that.
Our Home team does routine cleaning at the start, middle and end of every shift-- plus, we're now bringing in the pros for regular deep-cleans. Following weeks of tireless research into the best practices supported by science, we've up-leveled how we clean and the products we use! Our standards for choosing products or processes are:
Below are a few of the main tools we're using to keep our safety levels top-notch.
Force of Nature
Force of Nature is the multi-purpose cleaning product on EPA’s List of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. It's totally natural and super cool if you're into science!
This product uses electricity to change the chemical composition of salt, water and vinegar into a powerful cleaner & disinfectant. There are no harmful ingredients, residues or fumes. We love that.
At Home, we spray Force of Nature multiple times a day on all high-touch surfaces (including hard floors) until wet, let sit for 10 minutes, then let it air dry or wipe it with a clean cloth.
Flotex flooring is an antimicrobial, non-porous waterproof specialized flooring. Unlike carpet, the fibers are plastic fibers which stick straight up rather than loop. This means there is nowhere for germs or viruses to hide, and nothing soaks in! Everything sits on the fibers where it either evaporates, dies in the heat, gets sucked up by our vacuum, washed out by our water extraction cleaner-- or destroyed by our new hydroxyl generator.
Newaire Hydroxyl Generator
Hydroxyls (HO•) are molecules created naturally outdoors when the UV rays of the sun react with oxygen and water vapor. It's a natural process that constantly occurs in our atmosphere, cleansing the air.
Hydroxyls don't appear naturally indoors, so the Newaire machine mimics nature by safely generating hydroxyls, which find and kill a wide range of bacteria, mold and viruses both on surfaces and in the air. Hydroxyl generators are safe to use in occupied areas, while still being effective against a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
Today is International Yoga Day! (Of course, every day is “yoga day” around here.)
Too many people see yoga as a luxury item -- something to be disposed of when finances or schedules are tight. If there’s one thing I want you to know today, it’s this:
Practicing some form of yoga is not only essential to having a meaningful life, it’s absolutely necessary for a large number of us to practice if we’re going to create and maintain a peaceful, just society.
Practicing yoga is not like other forms of “self care” it tends to get lumped in with. Yoga is not like getting your nails done, taking a bubble bath or even having a massage (though I’m not knocking those things!)
Yoga is not about yoga postures.
When you practice yoga (raja yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, mantra yoga and hatha yoga-- which Bikram Yoga is one style of-- are the 6 main types of yoga) you cultivate Faith, Self-disicipline, Determination, Concentration and Patience within yourself.
If you’re doing hatha yoga, you’ll get pain relief, increased flexibility and strength and a litany of other physical health benefits too. You’ll improve the quality of your life. Which is amazing! But that’s not all you do.
The ultimate goal of any yoga practice is Self-Realization.
That’s Self with a capital “S.” Your highest Self, the greatest version of who you are. The word realize (v.) means "bring into existence," from French réaliser "make real" (16c.), from Middle French real "actual.")
Self-Realization means then, bringing your highest Self into existence.
When you practice yoga, you become able to pull the BEST version of yourself out of your pocket when you need it most:
If you keep practicing yoga, that Best Version of You appears more and more frequently. Eventually, the way you live begins to align itself with your full potential. You behave like your Self more often than not. Your Self is the part of you most in tune with nature. It’s the part of you which is connected to all other parts of you, which feels connected to all of humanity and even all of the cosmos.
Yoga comes from the word “yuj” meaning “to yoke together.”
When you access a place inside yourself where everything is united: mind, body and the rest of the world, that is Self. Because you become aware of the connection between you and all of humanity, Self is where your compassion for others lives.
If you still think that yoga is something to do:
How would this Father’s Day have been different for George Floyd’s family, if Derek Chauvin had been able to access the Best Version of himself for 8 minutes?
Yoga is not about yoga postures.
When you step on your mat today-- remember that the important work you are doing inside yourself has the power to change the world.
I've been writing this for 2 weeks, trying to get it just right. But (like yoga) done is better than perfect when it comes to speaking up. So here we are.
Racism and injustice are NOT new.
But it's true that (while these issues have always been important to us) we’ve never used the studio's platforms to speak out in a significant way about them before.
(That's about to change.)
Before I go on, I want to (1) acknowledge that we know we are late to the party, and (2) to ask that you please do not congratulate us for saying something now. We don't deserve any kudos (though we would love to listen to any feedback you have about how we can do better!)
At Home Hot Yoga, we support the Black Lives Matter movement.
If you've been to the studio, you know: we welcome and respect all people of all colors and backgrounds. We are firmly anti-hate, anti-racism, anti-injustice and anti-harm.
Which is why I'm writing, to add Home's voice to the sea of voices who've just starting chiming in, because it's better late than never:
Black lives matter. They have always mattered. For too long, they have been treated as if they don't.
And that's why it needs saying now. Over and over until someday it hopefully won't need saying anymore because it will just be something everybody understands.
We know that no email, no post on social media, no sign we put in our window can "fix" the atrocities inflicted on human beings because of racism.
Demonstrating our support is important, but on its own cannot stop the terrible injustices which are still going on today.
We understand that action is needed. One of the first actions we need to take is to begin intentionally engaging in respectful, open-minded conversations about the issues of social justice and race.
Talking to each other is the place to start. We're committed to having those important talks.
IN FACT... keep your eyes peeled for a super special event coming SOON that is all about just that...!
Some resources for now:
If you don't know a lot about race issues yet, it's time to start learning. We're so lucky to live in a time when resources are EVERYwhere. Here are just a few:
What does this have to do with yoga?
Stay in your lane, right? We are.
We started a business because we know that business leadership is the most important leadership of our time, and we wanted to make a difference.
We chose to build our business on Bikram Yoga because we know that not only can ALL people practice and benefit from Bikram Yoga, but this yoga has the power to bring people together like nothing else around.
Yoga means "union," and we are all about super-sizing the amount of unity in the world.
Our work in the hot room (and in our online classes) gets us closer to this end.
You can now expect to see us putting our yoga into action "off the mat" even more from here on out. We're so excited for you to join us on this journey.
If you have any ideas about ways that Home can be of service in the cause of racial equity, please reply to this email or reach out to us by phone at (503)505-9805.
When you practice at a studio, you benefit from the watchful eye of a trained instructor. But when you start doing yoga at home, it’s up to you to make your own corrections and look out for any less-than-helpful habits.
Here are several common mistakes to avoid when practicing on your own:
Mistake: Tweaking your neck to see the screen
Why you do it: If you take an online class with video, especially if you are a visual learner, you’ll be tempted to look up at your screen. That might be to check your alignment, check out that cute puppy crawling on your yoga buddy’s savasana, or see if your technology is working correctly.
Mistake: Pushing too hard
Why you do it: Overexerting yourself during a home Bikram Yoga routine is something to watch out for, especially if you’re an experienced student. If you’re used to being strong and flexible in the hot room, you may tend to push yourself at home. Remember that your intensity needs to account for the fact that you’re not as warm. Take it easy.
Mistake: Getting kinda lazy
Why it happens: It can be challenging to stay motivated when you practice on your own. There are so many more distractions at your house than at the studio! And you don’t have the heat to demand that you focus on the present moment. You may find yourself “going through the motions” or even skipping the poses you don’t really enjoy. The problem with that is, the poses you dread the most are likely the ones you need the most! Bikram Yoga is a balanced full-body physical practice, and skipping the same poses repeatedly may aggravate asymmetries, tightness or injury.
Mistake: Allowing Interruptions
Why you do it: If you don’t architect an environment that supports your yoga practice, distractions will abound: kids, phone calls, Facebook notifications, pets, the list is endless! Without a reserved time and space for yoga, there is always something vying for your attention.
Why you do it: When you’re not joining others in-person, it can be challenging to hold yourself accountable.
Excellent news for Bikram Yogis regarding COVID-19 has emerged:
It turns out humid air may be a useful tool in slowing coronavirus spread!
Scientists are finding that dry air makes it harder for your lungs to clear out respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Not only that, but dry air may also make it harder for your immune system to fight it off if you do get infected.
According to Yale immunobiologist Akiko Iwasaki, the virus seems to survive and transmit best in dry indoor environments.
On the flip side, the research reviewed by Iwasaki and her team suggests that a relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent may make it harder for the coronavirus to take hold. (Guess what range we keep the humidity at in our hot room? ;)
Iwasaki collaborated with Swiss physician Walter Hugentobler. They had noticed that pilots and flight attendants seemed to catch the flu a lot, even if they were generally healthy. Their study linked this to the constant exposure to extra-dry cabin air. Following up that research was this review of other studies, to see if this finding applied to COVID-19 as well.
In another study, MIT engineer Hazhir Rahmandad looked at why COVID-19 was spreading more rapidly in some regions than others. He noticed that the warmer, more humid parts of Iran, India and South Asia saw lower rates of the virus, even though the population density and traffic with China should have made those areas hot spots of infection.
Rahmandad and his team found that infection rates start to drop big-time as temperature rises above 77 degrees and humidity goes up.
It’s important to remember that just because the humid air of the hot room (or summer in Portland!) may help slow down this virus, it’s not an excuse to start French-kissing the handle to the yoga room, coughing all over your neighbor’s mat or not wearing your mask to the store.
Social distancing and the other precautions we’re taking around the studio (and around town) are still important and will help us lessen spikes in infection or outbreaks as we move back into drier weather this winter.
Find out more about the research here.
Studio leader, yoga-doer and life-lover, Kay D.