Have you tried hot yoga?

Have you tried hot yoga?

Hot yoga has been making waves in the fitness world for quite some time, not only is it fun but it's a great workout too. 

Michele Pernetta - one of the UK’s foremost yoga teachers - unveils a revolutionary new system of 5 interconnected hot power yoga classes, named Fierce Grace Yoga. We caught up with her to find out all the facts about it and hot yoga in general. 

To anyone who doesn’t know, can you explain a little about what hot yoga is?

Hot yoga is a term that really has little meaning other than you are doing some kind of yoga in a hot room. It originally was Bikram Yoga. Then other people started teaching different styles in a hot room, everything from Bikram Yoga, Power Yoga, to Ashtanga or a personal mix from a teacher who may or may not be qualified to teach in hot conditions. So the term really just means you are getting a yoga style in a heated room and you should find out the qualifications of the school or teacher.

What’s different about Fierce Grace Yoga?

Fierce Grace is Michele Pernetta’s new yoga system of 5 interconnecting classes, designed to address the needs of everyone, from beginner to advanced.

The 5 classes offer variety and choice but within a framework that allows safe and steady progression because the classes revolve around the same core poses and principles. There are currently 2 yoga studio models: the one same class 30 times a week (Bikram etc) or 30+ different yoga classes a week.

The former presumes you want to do that one same class over and over, which many find reassuring and others find boring, and the latter gives a lot of variety, but is limited because the class you like might only come only once a week, and doing different unrelated classes doesn’t work the body in the same way each time, so progress can be slow as one doesn’t have a chance to get used to the poses and get worked the same way each time.

Fierce Grace offers a new option, different classes, but one system, to address your every need.

We have blended Bikram, Ashtanga, power yoga and hatha yoga, with sequencing that utilizes the latest fitness wisdom such as “super-slow” and interval training, as well as powerful core, ab, and upper body strengtheners to give the optimum fitness results people are looking for. Blended with the meditational and stress releasing breathing and meditation exercises, and relaxing, motivating music in some of the classes, Fierce Grace is a wide-reaching health and fitness system.

Just like music, where the exciting new wave involves mixing the previous styles and traditions, unexpected blends of poetry, rap and classical, yoga is moving more into this model, mixing the best from each traditional system. It doesn’t mean the old models are wrong, they are what birthed the new models and should be honoured. Yoga is evolving and talented teachers are creating new systems to address the needs of the Western body and mind.

What are the benefits of hot yoga over normal?

The heat allows you to press further into the poses as your muscles and joints are at their optimum temperature so there is less chance of injury. This is beneficial as deeper stretching brings more blood and oxygen to your body. You detoxify through sweating, the skin is the largest organ of the body and research has shown that toxins such as unwanted metals and salts are eliminated through sweating. It also makes it much easier to perform the poses as you feel loose and comfortable.  People also find the heat cathartic, it has the effect of relaxing you on a deep level, allowing you to go into places you couldn’t normally reach, releasing mental and emotional stresses you don’t normally get the opportunity to look at in normal daily life.

What are your tips for those looking to get into hot yoga?

Fierce Grace hot yoga is one of the most user friendly systems out there. You can start with an easier class, or a short 50 minute class. You will get used to the heat and you will love it. A healthy body doesn't mind heat. Our heat is comfortable not boiling.

So, don’t be scared, you wont feel out of place, the classes have every type, size, age and fitness level. Come hydrated, on an empty stomach. Do what you can, sit down when you need to. Yoga is not just for the 20 year old skinny bendy girl. It’s for the 60-year-old ex footballer with bad knees, the stressed out mum wanting to get in shape, the Alpha-male. Drink lots of water, before and after the class, and remember to breathe.

What sort of kit will they need to attend a class?

Most of the women wear leggings or shorts, with a sports vest. Men wear shorts and a vest, but the vest usually ends up on the floor. Bare feet. We supply mats, towels and water. We have showers and drinks.

For those who also want to mix it up, what other exercises would you suggest they do alongside their hot yoga sessions? 

You really don’t need any other form of exercise. Yoga, especially Fierce Grace hot yoga, which is a more cardio vascular and stamina building form, takes care of strength, flexibility, core power and cardio. However the sports which do the least damage to the body in my opinion are gymnastics (for the young!), martial arts including Tai Chi and Chi Gung, and many students like to go to the gym alongside yoga, which is good, but once they do the core and arm strengthening sequences in Fierce Grace, many students say they do not feel they need to go to the gym any more.

Of course nutrition is big part of keeping fit and healthy, what are your top diet tips?

I believe the Ayurvedic diet system is the best, as there are three main body types and diets, and what is good for one person, is not good for another. People are very often eating totally wrong for their type. Do the Dosha testing quiz online and see what type you are.

Specifically, after a class stay away from sugary drinks, fructose and fruit juice. You've got a window after class where your human growth hormone is being released and can be utilised by the body, so have a proper meal with protein. Eating less sugar and carbohydrate and more vegetables and good fats such as coconut oil, ghee, cold pressed olive oil and organic food and protein is a good general rule.

People trying to lose weight are often eating too much sugar, its hidden everywhere, and even too much fruit can be giving you way too much sugar. Good fats help you lose weight so I believe the low fat diet to be very unhealthy and does not result in weight loss.

Oh and chew your food until its liquid.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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