How Does Your “Yoga Garden” Grow?
Your body is your yoga garden. Trillions of cells in your body flourish or dry out and die according to how you nourish them. You have the choice to keep the energy, prana, optimally flowing or to stagnate. Our Yoga Loka hot yoga studio acts as a greenhouse where many kinds of growth are stimulated. Here you can safely practice, learn and grow.
Hot Bikram-style yoga is an intense practice. Our recently remodeled bamboo-floored studio is heated to approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit to stimulate your metabolism to a higher degree of functionality. Though you may during some classes find it hard “to stay in the room,” this is exercise with a difference: you will find that, due to your optimized metabolism, you recover quickly and feel energized after each practice session.
As you move forward in your practice (and your yoga garden grows), you may have questions. If you don’t find answers in this blog, stop by our reception area, enjoy a cool after-class breeze through the open door and ask a teacher.
Perhaps that teacher may not have an answer at their fingertips about a specific injury or health concern you’re working through. No worries: s/he can refer you to Bill or Sandy McCauley, owners of Yoga Loka–they’ve been studying yoga, physiology and nutrition for more than thirty years.
Pranayama, or Deep Breathing
Ever notice how a tree directs energy to heal the wound where a branch was severed? Sometimes where one branch had grown before, two or even three budding twigs can emerge in days or weeks (depending on species and climate).
A tree draws down the energy it needs to grow and heal from the sky as sunlight and carbon dioxide through its leaves. A tree also draws energy in the form of water and nutrients upward through its roots. A tree knits together light and water.
With every breath, you knit together trillions of cells and energy in your body. Pranayama, or Deep Breathing, the first Bikram-style pose in the series of 26, helps you become aware of the power of your breath. You have the ability to direct the energy of your breath to places in your body needing healing or rejuvenation. These places are physical—scars, atrophy—or resistance that is partially mental and takes the form of habitual but not beneficial patterns of doing things.
We clench our bodies in certain mainly unconscious ways as we follow daily patterns and routines. As you brace yourself to face routine unpleasantness, this can cause tension in your body, or resistance.
It can be hard to change old habits. This is why pushing yourself further and further into each Bikram pose can be hard. The heat helps you break down resistance, however.
Then, too, though, energy travels as quickly as thoughts when you are ready to make a change. This is especially true when your Yoga Loka teacher gives the signal you can end a pose by saying, “Change.” What a relief!
To experience hot yoga is to experiment.Don’t confine yourself to just reading about what happens during the Yoga Loka Bikram-style practice. Come to a class in our clean, well-lit bamboo-floored Yoga Loka studio and find out what you can do. You’ll experience the best overall fitness program on the planet. Experiment and experience how your yoga garden will grow, unfold, extend and branch out in trillions of directions with each breath you take. And change your life.
More about the benefits of hot yoga
To look at Yoga Loka students after class you might think such hot, sweaty, sagging, gasping sufferers are ready to go lie down and hibernate. But look again. In about five minutes, they’re full of energy, talking, laughing, amazed and asking questions about the practice.
The Yoga Loka practice is different than lifting weights at the gym or running in circles around a track. We’ve heard many Yoga Loka Bikram-style students say it took much longer for them to recover after conventional exercise programs than to re-energize after a 90-minute Yoga Loka Bikram-style class.
Actually, your Yoga Loka practice is not exercise in the routine sense of the word. Your practice integrates prana, the life force, with your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being. Rather than breaking down muscle tissue, for example, with infusions of lactic acid, your Yoga Loka practice actually accelerates your metabolism as you eliminate such bodily wastes and synthesize new energy.
You know the old expression, “Gosh, I feel like I used muscles I never knew I had” usually stated after unaccustomed exertion? In our newly remodeled bamboo-floored Yoga Loka studio, you will become aware of and accustomed to using and optimizing many muscles, tendons, nerves, organs and senses.
These new experiences generate, along with new, refreshing energy, many questions asked by both our new and experienced students.
How come it’s so hard?
It can be hard to break old patterns. We get “set in our ways” of thinking and doing. Even though these ways may be painful and destructive, they are our painful and destructive ways, dammit!
Plus, of course, plunging into our 26 Yoga Loka Bikram-style poses takes you into the unknown. Each time you practice at Yoga Loka is going to be a different from that of the day before or the day to come. Why? Because you are a different person every day of your life. This is true even though you may routinely drive the same car, wear the same style of clothing, do the same job and watch the same television shows. Every day you practice Bikram-style hot yoga at Yoga Loka, you’re becoming more flexible and stronger than these external patterns and confinements.
Why does it have to be so hot?
Heat stimulates your metabolism!! The breaking down and synthesis of cells in your body—your metabolism–multiplied trillions of times with each breath and beat of your heart accelerates during the 26 poses you push through during each 90-minute Yoga Loka Bikram-style practice. The increase in metabolism may feel as though you are stuck in hot mud as you sweat and stretch during class. But the release of energy continues after the 90-minutes, generating a quick and amazing recovery. Come on in and prove it to yourself.
How much water should I drink during the day before coming to practice?
Yoga teaches us to pay attention to our bodies. The sense of thirst is a pretty basic and simple prompt from the body to go drink some water, right? Actually, thirst is the body’s warning of last resort. Being thirsty is your body’s way of telling you it is drying out like a pancake on a hot griddle.
Drink eight ounces of water every couple of hours to keep hydrated during the day before you come to your Yoga Loka practice. Ideally, drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 100 pounds, that would mean drinking one of the 50 oz. bottles of Mountain Spring Water available at Yoga Loka—in eight ounce increments.
Water works its alchemical magic in your body in many ways. Every type of cell in the body transforms water to its unique use—blood cells, muscle cells, the cells growing at the end of your fingertips…all need water to function optimally and grow. Water is transformed by all these types of cells into energy.
Every single metabolic process synthesizing energy in your body relies on water. Major diseases from cancer to diabetes are in part expressions of a lack of regular infusions of water. Drink your water, lively up yourself and regularly practice Bikram-Style Yoga at Yoga Loka.