Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hot Yoga for Runners

More than anything else, I've noticed my flexibility has been decreased since I started running. I didn't even think I was that flexible to begin with! So, what his "hot yoga"? Its also referred to as "Bikram Yoga" as it was developed by Bikram Choudhury. His site is here. Basically, its a series of 26 poses in a heated room of 104 degrees over a 90-minute session.

The poses
The 26 exercises are sequential and chose to ensure movement of oxygenated blood to 100% of your body, and to each organ, essentially restoring all systems to healthy working order.

The heat
Since the room is so heated, your muscles are warmed up instantaneously. You will find your muscles are capable of much more stretching and lengthening than you ever thought possible! Hence the reason this is so good for runners. But, because of heat and the risk of it becoming overwhelming, be sure to take it easy...if you feel lightheaded during the class, drink some water and lie down for a moment. Many people feel as if they are going to pass out the first time they attend. So, to minimize the impact, make sure you drink a ton of water during the entire 24 hours prior to your class.

Now, the heat means that you will sweat....seriously sweat. More than even running will do! So, wear workout clothes (you know, those little shorts that you dare not yet run in public in) and a cropped little top....again, you will sweat! Drink a ton of water prior to the class...because you will sweat. Drink a ton of water during class...because you will sweat. And, above all else, bring a towel to wipe the sweat off of your face. There is a reason why Bikram referred to the heated room as the "torture chamber" but its also invigorating because its sauna-like enviroment ensures toxins are quickly removed from your system.

So, if you are interested, check out the link provided or google "hot yoga" in your city. Be prepared to bring:

  • Mat

  • Towel

  • Water (preferably with electrolytes...remember sweating during/after running can cause the same issues as sweating during/after hot yoga)

  • Skimpy clothes

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