What’s Trending Now: The 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge
What makes hot yoga so cool?
Hot 26 Yoga, also called Bikram Yoga, is based on a series of yoga poses popularized by Bikram Choudhury of India and brought to the US in the early 1970s. In this invigorating yoga class, the room is heated to over 100 degrees to allow the body to move deeper into poses, with less chance of injury. The yoga sequence is carefully selected from among the many poses and their variations that belong to the 5,000-year-old yoga lineage of India.
These yoga poses are derived from the traditional hatha yoga poses known as ‘asanas’. What makes Hot 26 Yoga different is the sweat and even tears it’s been known to induce in practitioners…and the vast files of anecdotal evidence of healing in every direction.
The legend of hot yoga
Hot yoga is both aerobic and relaxing. It works on creating both body strength and relaxed, flexible muscles. It is both a challenge and a relief.
The legendary figure of hot yoga is Bikram Choudhury, a yoga champion and award-winning bodybuilder who accidentally dropped a barbell on his feet during a competition and was told by doctors that he would never walk again.
This yoga was actually developed for Bikram by his Guru, Bishnu Ghosh, who created the sequence and adjusted the heat and humidity specifically to heal Bikram. Needless to say, today Bikram doesn’t just walk – he struts, the picture of youth well over 60 years old. Bikram is the flamboyant yoga guru who is anything but shy about the wonders of this yoga.
Yoga poses use proper alignment and holding poses for specific periods of time to create a “tourniquet” effect, stopping blood and body fluids, followed by the release and rush of those fluids through certain parts of the body. The series works against gravity to strengthen bones and is actually said to work every muscle, bone, system and cell of the body from bones to skin, in just 90 minutes.
A faster path to healing benefits
If you want to be on the fast track, consider the 30-Day Hot Yoga Challenge, which involves 30 consecutive days of consistent practice.
Thousands around the world have joined the 30-day Hot Yoga Challenge. Many speak and blog openly about the healing they have personally experienced. Migraine is treatable. Lupus is under control. The sciatica magically disappeared. Back pain is relieved. The back knees are healed. Vision is reported to be improved. Sex drive has increased (this may have something to do with the skimpy outfits, sweaty bodies, and bending over in a hot yoga class).
No western doctor will confirm that hot yoga 26 is a cure, and the advice often offered before any hot yoga class is to leave your complaints, excuses and malaise at the front door and enter the yoga room with an open mind .
30 Day Challenge: A Personal Story
Having practiced hot yoga myself for over 15 years, I embarked on my first 30-day challenge in April.
This is a daily commitment that you need to rework every day, as the first thing that happens for most is that all the excuses for not continuing start to come to mind. I’m always too busy. I can always be doing something more productive. I have too much work and too little time. I am tired. I’m not sick either; I don’t have any ailments to cure or broken body parts to mend. I’m not going to get any of these miraculous healings – so what’s the point, really?
Thousands of others have done this 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge and reported the following:
Deeper, more regular sleep
Clear complexion, softer hair and skin
Much more flexibility and joint mobility
Changes in weight distribution – tighter stomach and thighs, shapelier arms, smaller waist
A healthier diet – cravings for sugar disappear and healthy foods are preferred – fruits, vegetables and cereals,
What I learned from my 30-day Hot Yoga Challenge
Despite the fact that I had “nothing to cure”, my 30 day challenge made an impact on my life. I discovered many things about myself, including:
I can tolerate discomfort: external circumstances may change; the heat and humidity may rise, but I can still stay calm and even find inspiration to push beyond all known limitations. It’s always my choice.
Breathing is key: breathing evenly through the nose and breathing through the throat nourishes a stable mind and a well-functioning nervous system as well as an optimal physical body
Laser beam focus is available to me – Learning to focus intensely on listening and doing the yoga poses without letting my mind wander into hot yoga is excellent mental focus training outside the yoga room and into the world of work and play
Multitasking is counterproductive: Focusing on one thing at a time gets the job done faster and better
The more I focus, the more time expands: You don’t need to find extra time to practice 90 minutes every day; time seems to increase the more you practice, as you are more efficient with the time you have – and get more done
Challenges are lifelong learning: You can find a way beyond perceived limitations by challenging yourself physically or sitting in meditation; both take you to the same place. Commitment is mandatory.
Physical and mental strength are one – Yoga Hot 26 combines mind and body by fully engaging both at the same time; you can’t close your eyes and practice hot yoga, you have to stay in the room and keep your mind present and focused or the poses won’t work
Physical balance equals emotional balance: Inner balance and tranquility can be achieved by balancing the outer body.
Distraction can be turned off – The world is full of distractions. Even in the yoga room there are noises, movements and distractions; Focusing on your goal is the way to tune out the weird.
Warm-ups are great for athletes
“Heat training” has long been considered a great way to increase aerobic capacity. For runners, as time spent in temperatures hotter than race day will benefit any athlete. Many athletes consider Hot 26 Yoga another cross-training option for getting the heart rate up and conditioning the neuromuscular system and conditioning the mind for a focused goal.
90 minutes of exercise or 90 minutes of meditation?
I ended up doing it because I said I would. Keeping my word is a miracle in itself.
Hot 26 Yoga is suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners; you don’t have to be physically fit to participate and there are studios around the world that offer this practice.
After doing the 30-day Hot Yoga Challenge, it’s easy to see why Hot Yoga is said to be a 90-minute meditation as you perform 26 poses in a heated room. There’s often no ambivalence about the experience—you either love hot yoga or you hate it. But even those who say they “hate it” continue to practice hot yoga, as it often makes them better athletes, more comfortable in their own bodies, and better able to become the people everyone wants to be.
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