Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To the Gym Tuesdays

Unfortunately it's only my second week doing To the Gym Tuesdays and I didn't actually make it to the gym. I was really looking forward to an elliptical workout, put my workout clothes on before class so I was all ready to go, but when I did a little jog in the parking lot I realized my head cold had gotten worse and the congestion was really hurting whenever I stepped. 

Instead I decided to go to hot yoga. If you don't know what I'm talking about read on! Hot yoga, or Bikram yoga, is usually a set of 26 moves done in a room heated to around 100 degrees F. It's generally very humid also. 

I'm no yogi, but I've gone to several classes and I absolutely love it. I'm a huge advocate for it's healing benefits. Two months ago I began having lower back pain, I couldn't bend over to change Mr. C's diaper without sharp pains causing me to quickly straighten up again. I wasn't going to be able to get a doctor's appointment for a couple weeks so I decided that in the mean time I would try hot yoga. I had gone only a couple times before that and I knew it helped with flexibility and back strength, there's a whole set of moves dedicated to spinal strength.

I went to three classes in four days and at the end of the third class I felt fabulous. I was standing straighter, my back no longer hurt and overall I just felt healthier and more fit. Now, I try to go as often as I can, and especially if I start to feel stiff. My shoulders have been bothering me this week so I was happy I got a chance to go today. I feel great!! 

Hot yoga has some other benefits, a lot of the moves promote health by way of massaging your organs, encouraging blood circulation and your endocrine (hormone) system, as well as helping you eliminate toxins in the body by way of sweat! And boy do you sweat! It is also relaxing and a great stress reliever! 

Make sure if you go that you are well hydrated. It is possible to practice hot yoga while breastfeeding but you may need to drink even more water to ensure your supply is safe. Also, because of the heat and humidity you are certain to sweat like a pig, so wear nylon and as little cotton as possible. I usually go in a pair of spandex shorts and a loose tank top. Don't be embarrassed about wearing a little spandex! I see people of all ages and sizes there and most of them wear very little, no one pays much mind. 

Disclaimer: Obviously I am not a doctor and going to yoga class with an injured back was my own personal decision. If you are planning on going you might want to talk to your doctor about it first. Be safe, make informed decisions and have fun!

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