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Entries in yoga (2)

Sunday
Mar132011

The questions I have are what is the difficulty level of Hot Yoga, and what are the health benefits of Hot Yoga vs. other types such as Vinyasa?

Hot Yoga is a generic term that refers to temperature of the room. Any yoga style that is taught in a room where the temperature is 85° or higher with humidity ranges from 40-60% is typically referred to as Hot Yoga. The first style of hot yoga was called Bikram. The theory behind hot yoga is the warm temperature enhances our ability to stretch further into the poses as opposed to yoga taught in a room at a normal temperature. Hot yoga draws from different styles of yoga such as Vinyasa, Hatha and others so really the only difference between Hot Yoga and another form is the room environment or temperature. The difficulty of the class depends on the instructor and the actual level of yoga being instructed for example Vinyasa 1 or Vinyasa 3.

I personally take a Vinyasa level 2 yoga class where the instructor turns up the temperature to around 85 degrees. While the warmth promotes stretching, it can cause sweating of the palms and the soles of the feet. This creates the possibility of slipping on the floor or the mats while in the poses, so I use a towel on my mat. After a hot yoga class be sure and hydrate so you replace the water lost through sweating. Don’t hesitate to call the club you use and ask which yoga classes offer Hot Yoga and what level they are teaching.

Saturday
Oct092010

I have laid off any training program for quite some time now. Previously I belonged to Bally's and Jazzercise. I am now been walking to Leslie Sansone walking tapes. I am 60 & very slim. After years of aerobics, machines and walking I am in good shape and full of energy. But I am bored.....I do not know what to do to achieve muscle definition, strength and balance. What should I do next?

It's pretty evident that you're ready to launch into some kind of a training program and that you're interested in more muscle definition. It does not sound like you need to worry about weight loss or a lack of energy!

I believe you're going to find your best results by doing a consistent program of weight training and yoga. It sounds like you have mostly done cardio types of exercise such as walking, machines (ellipticals perhaps), and aerobics. This is good for weight loss but not as good for muscle definition and balance. For that you want to weight train using fairly heavy weight that causes fatigue in 8-12 reps. Remember you want to run out of strength (fatigue) by the time you reach 12 reps - no more. Make sure and do a program that involves upper body and lower body. Follow sequences that go from large muscles to small muscles. You'll want to recover for a day or so afterward. During that recovery I would advocate that you take up a yoga class to provide balance and core work. You may want to consider joining some kind of club that offers a variety of fitness and yoga classes and a variety of equipment. Make sure you don't underestimate the services of a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help prevent boredom and customize or tailor a program that is an exact fit for your fitness goals. You are worth it!!