If you're like me, the first thing you think when you hurt yourself is "I'd better get to yoga!" Because Bikram Yoga is a therapeutic practice, it's designed to be safe and beneficial no matter what condition your bod is in! When injured all you need to do is gentle stretching without causing any strain or pain.
When you break a leg (like my mother-in-law, pictured below) or have another injury where you can't bear weight on a leg or foot, the standing part of class can be performed in a chair with tons of benefit to the whole body.
Here's how to do it:
When the temp starts rising in the Pacific Northwest, Judy and Alex hit the deck for hot yoga at (their) home.
Check out their story to find out how yoga helps this power couple feel young, sit up straight and "have zen... sometimes!"
Want to feel as good as Judy and Alex? Join our Yoga On Demand Plan today and practice from anywhere your heart desires.
With many hot yoga studios still closed, and the rest of them operating at limited capacity, far too many homebound yogis are missing out on the healing benefits of heat!
We get it.
In fact, once we gave back our keys to the studio Orlo and I became 2 of those people! "Trapped" in our 600 SF home with two young kids, a daily yoga practice became a LOT more challenging to squeeze in, and it was basically impossible to heat up a room without roasting the entire house and making said kids quite cranky.
I knew there had to be a way.
As yoga studio owners turned online studio owners, we are huge believers in the power of Bikram Yoga, with or without heat.
But we also know that when you can close off your space to outside distractions and break a real darn sweat: it's even BETTER!
So when I got an email from Mick at Home Hot Yoga Studio (serendipitous name, right??) I jumped at the chance to try this portable and simple solution to creating a HOT yoga practice, at home.
I'm happy to report I tried mine in our living room, and I have not sweat so hard in months!!
Read on below for my experience and tips -- PLUS how to get your very own Home Hot Yoga Studio!
Scroll for how to save $25!
Since back when the first stay-at-home orders began, yoga students everywhere have been rolling out their mats at home.
Doing yoga is a lifestyle choice that’s more important than ever to make! A regular yoga practice has been found to help strengthen your immune response, manage chronic pain, and both prevent and heal physical injuries by keeping your joints healthy and muscles strong. Yoga also helps improve many mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
Here are several common mistakes to avoid when practicing on your own:
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.
- Practice yoga at home with live teachers using online apps like Zoom-- they’ll tell you if you’re way off, so you don’t have to strain to see yourself in your device.
- Listen to instructions and follow along carefully.
- If you need to check your tech, completely exit the pose first.
- Position your device where it’s easy to see while you practice.
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.
- Keep your breathing normal. Your breath is the best tool to measure if you’re overdoing it. You should be able to breathe calmly in and out by your nose throughout your practice. If you can’t breath normally, come out of the pose and find your normal breathing before you start again.
- If you are experiencing physical pain, move especially slowly and practice “gentle stretching without causing pain.” In fact, that is a really good mantra for an unheated practice in general!
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.
- Try to practice with a live instructor as much as possible. You’re more likely to attempt all the postures with that supportive voice nudging you along.
- During a Zoom class, keep your camera on and positioned so your teacher can see you at a good angle in order to give you individual tips.
- If you have to practice without a live teacher, and you notice yourself slacking, consider finding an accountability partner. Check in weekly with “wins” from the week and goals for the week ahead. They don’t even have to be a yogi, but can be anyone working on being more consistent at a practice or routine. Tell them which poses you are dreading and commit to trying them when you practice that week.
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.
- Create an uninterrupted yoga sesh by planning ahead: set your phone to “do not disturb” and have a room where you can shut the door to interruptions.
- Practicing in the morning may help you minimize the chance that something will come up during the day that needs dealing with.
- Set out your yoga clothes and mat the night before you plan to practice, so it’s all ready to go.
- Decide on a separate space for yoga (if you can) or at least “rent” a space from your bedroom or bathroom which is only for yoga during your designated yoga-time. The area should be free of tech (beyond your device that you need for an online class) Keep all of your other devices in a different room and turned off while you practice.
- Even if you only have time for 2 sets of Pranayama, commit to doing it without stepping off your mat for the whole time.
Why you do it: When you’re not joining others in-person, it can be challenging to hold yourself accountable.
- Make a date with a friend to join a Zoom class together.
- Write your yoga practice into your weekly plan, whether in a paper planner or online calendar. Schedule it like you schedule an important work meeting-- because you are the most important person you can meet with!
- Accountability buddies (mentioned above) are great for keeping up your practice, too. They don’t even have to do yoga themselves, but can be anyone working on being more consistent at a practice or routine. Tell them how many times you plan to practice, and when.
- Be realistic about your goals. Finding the time to practice at home can be harder than when you get to leave your home! Remember that some yoga is better than no yoga, and every little bit of yoga counts. Commit to a regular schedule, valuing consistency over quantity. For example, if what you can do is 1 full class a week plus 1 session of Pranayama on another day, it’s better than practicing 5 days in a row then not doing anything for the next 3 months.
HHY Founder, Yoga Business Coach, yoga-doer and life-lover, Kay Afif!
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