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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.
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.