Bob and I practiced hot yoga for a time in AL and in GA.  We loved it and probably would still be going if the drive to Decatur was not so long and traffic laden. 

This hot yoga is a series of 26 postures each done twice during a 90 minute session in a room heated to 105 Farenheit and 90% humidity. Everyone brings a yoga mat, a small towel, and some water for the end of the session. You don’t  leave the room during the session and having anything at all in your bladder makes the poses very uncomfortable as you go through the stretches and positions that help you cleanse your cells from the inside out. Sweating is cleansing. 

The postures and poses are done in silence with only the voice of the instructor so that everyone can focus on the meditation of the practice and fine tuning their poses. The repeated practce can improve lower body strength, range of joint motion in both upper and lower body, and balance. Mindfulness and breathing regularly improve with practice as well. 

The most important take away for me was the breath work and the constant struggle to keep my eyes open. The heat and the concentration and the exertion were exhausting. Closing my eyes was an escape. 

But we were instructed to stay present in the moment, stay focused on the breathing, and use the repetitive movements and instructions to perfect our practice. I have found, that even now, when life throws me another curve ball (as it often does) I find myself going back to my breathing and keeping my eyes open to the moment so I can stay focused and centered on the work that needs to be done. Namaste. 

~Lydia Patrick

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