Hot Yoga on the Road, Hot Yoga at Home

October 13th, 2009 by Tonya Zavasta

Hot yoga is as crucial to my health routine as raw foods and juices, sunlight and air. If you are not familiar with the array of benefits hot yoga can provide, I suggest you take a look at my most recent Raw Food and Hot Yoga. In all my travels I’ve always been able to find a studio somewhere nearby. But occasionally I do hear from people who, for various reasons, don’t have access to a hot yoga studio.

How about you? Do you know how to find Bikram yoga classes in your area? Try this webpage, which you may find very helpful for all things Bikram: www.bikramyoga.com  and click on “class finder”.

Perhaps, though, you live in a more rural area, or you have transportation issues, and you just haven’t been able to locate a good hot yoga class in your area. Fret not! There are still options for you! (Surely you didn’t think Mr. Choudhury would let you off that easy, did you?)

You can do hot yoga at home. With a little determination, you can turn almost any room into your own private hot yoga studio. I know many people who simply provide themselves with a heater, a humidifier, a mirror, and Bikram Choudhury’s own book, CDs or cassettes and…voila! There they are, stretching and sweating with the best of us.

Have a bathroom big enough to be comfortable moving around in? This would probably be your best bet, as a bathtub full of hot water easily delivers a nice bit of humidity easily, and you likely have a large mirror in the room already, or could affix one to the back of the door. So all you need to do is add a space heater.

If your bathroom’s not right, choose any room in the house that you are comfortable in. Your aim is a temperature of about 102 to 105 degrees F (39 to 41 degrees C) and about 40% humidity. If you have a thermometer that can measure these things, a little experimenting will lead you to a combination giving you roughly the conditions you need.

Space heaters and humidifiers are perfect for this job. But you’ll want to exercise caution if using either of them in the bathroom. Do yourself a favour: Read the instructions that come with these pieces of equipment. Be sure you follow standard safety procedures, such as maintaining the prescribed distance between the heater or humidifier and any wall, curtains, plastic, or other fabric. Be sure the floor is dry. Don’t let cords get wet. Bikram yoga should be a stimulating experience—but not an electrifying one!

You’ll want to dress in cool, comfortable yoga gear and see how you are performing the poses in a mirror. A yoga mat with a towel set on top is what you’ll be performing your poses on. I would suggest purchasing, from Bikram’s array of books and CDs, those that are specifically designed for use at home. You can find them for sale on Bikram’s website.

What about those of you travelling for business or pleasure? While you’re online digging out the right GoogleMap, be sure you also visit Bikram’s site and get a map to a studio in the city you’ll be visiting. But what if you’re not visiting New York or Atlanta or San Francisco or Toronto? What if you’re stuck in a motel in Broken Elbow, Nebraska? Well, then, just convert your hotel room bath into your studio. Hot water, mirror, and go ahead—use all those towels!

That’s really all there is to it, whether you’re at home or on the road. Your only challenge will be getting used to what you are doing, so you know how to create the perfect Bikram yoga experience for yourself. This will only come by getting in there and practicing. Do expect some trial and error, as with anything new. You are going to sweat and you are going to work out in a way you never have before. What’s more, you’re going to love it!

If you can’t locate a studio, why not make your own? It’s quite simple, and you now have the 411! Good Luck!

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