Monday, June 30, 2014

Hot Yoga

After developing "runner's knee" from two decades of running way too many miles, I decided to try "Hot Yoga" with a friend. Having grown up in the South, I didn't mind sweating for an hour and a half. And despite some knee pain in certain poses, I really loved the stretching and peace found in learning the yoga positions.
Also I learned the meaning of "namaste" which is thrown around a lot these days. Done at the beginning and the end of class, it means "the divine in me honors the divine in you". To perform it, you say "namaste" as you place your hands together at the heart, close your eyes and bow your head.

So for a few weeks, it was all happy namaste, until I received the email about "the contest." A sweat flinging contest! The winner flings his or her sweat the farthest to the mirror. Gag. I couldn't stomach going back with the vision of beads of sweat flying all over the room. (Someone hand me the Lysol.)

So, I began doing yoga routines early in the morning.  For a beginner, like me, there are several good sites and uTube videos available. The best one I've found so far is at

Among their tips for beginners:
1. Don't worry about being perfect.
2. Don't force it. Feel comfortable in every pose.
3. Connect to the pose. Don't think too much about it. Just feel it and breathe it.
4. Be open. Keep an open mind and tune into the possibilities within you.
5. Drink lots of water.

For me, with a lot of self-induced stress and anxiety, I've enjoyed a morning of "Six Mood-Boosting Yoga Poses". Created by consultant Kelly Larson, this 20-30 minute routine is based on postures shown to help stabilize mood. Larson points to a UCLA study that shows three types of yoga poses - standing, forward bends and back bends - positively affect moods.

So rather than be a "hot mess" every day, try this routine to make yourself fitter as well as more relaxed. Namaste!

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