I’ve done both Hot Yoga and Vinyasa for over ten years. I cannot imagine one without the other. I was fortunate to acquire a taste for both – and they are acquired tastes. I enjoy warm rooms and hot rooms, never cold rooms – that’s where I draw the line. Fortunately, Sunstone offers hot, warm and ambient classes! Here’s some of my take-aways:
Hot Yoga: At Sunstone, it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s QUIET. In a Hot Yoga class you spend the entire 60 or 90 minutes trying to silence the voices in your head/stilling your mind – some days are better than others. Work to your edge and be in the moment, that is the point, otherwise go home (not really, but you know what I mean). Realize giving 100% is different relative to the day, not what you think you can do or compared to yesterday – you’ll be better off.
Sunstone’s sequence of postures is brilliant, restorative, and healing for the bodies (emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual). Unlike Vinyasa or Flow yoga, the Hot Yoga class provides a reset before each posture, which allows for a deliberate and strong set up for each posture, your body appreciates this. Hot Yoga at Sunstone is the same sequence every time, so you can allow the class to unfold in your muscle memory and then maybe a bit deeper (internal or external). *remember yoga is not nearly about what’s on the outside but what’s occurring on the inside (organs, joints, emotions, muscles, locks, nadis, compressions/expansions, positivity, bandhas – quite a bit to work with there. If you don’t recognize some of these words, don’t worry, they will be in a future blog).
By doing the same set of postures you may also gauge where you are in your practice, how far you’ve come from the very first day or since the last class you took. Keep a journal, give yourself credit for your journey, it’s often easy to forget how hard certain postures were in the beginning. Trust me, they were harder than you remember, because you’ve gotten better. Hot Yoga is tremendously grounded and reliable. If this is your class of choice, this may say something about your character.
Nervous about the “hot” factor? 1. know that our class is not as hot as the Bikram classes you may have heard about. Ours are set to body temperature (98.6 degrees) and have added humidity, which makes them a bit more comfortable. 2. We’d encourage you to try our Hot Yoga Lite class which has all the same postures as a slightly more gentle pace in a warm, not hot, room.
Vinyasa Flow: Postures move from one to the next throughout the class.The constant movement is aligned with breath – a symphony of breath and action. At Sunstone, some Vinyasa classes are sequenced – Flow Yoga, Calm Flow and Hot Flow- but Power Flow postures are teacher-lead and thus fluctuate from class to class.
In these classes, you must maintain an open mind and a willingness to the abandon the knowledge of what posture may come next. Vinyasa is fleeting, as soon as you think you’ve got the hang of one posture, you are on to the next. This style is prominent in the fields of letting go, allowing, and accepting. The movement often sabotages your balance, while the sweat rolling down your arms onto your hands causes your downward facing dogs to slide and slip. The external body attempts to rule the internal body. All of your insides feel like they want to change places with your outsides.
You will be encouraged to breathe through all of these happenings. Often there is music to distract your mind, your thoughts simply can’t compete with the groove. (Your body inherently loves to dance and hardly ever gets the opportunity, so it is content to keep the movement going.)
When both Hot Yoga and Vinyasa Flow are incorporated throughout your weekly practice, you will experience a balance. You will be able to keep your feet firmly on the ground but with a lightness of spirit that will not weigh you down!