Do you have knowledge, good or bad, regarding the trend of hot yoga?

from A.Dunaway


Yoga was originally the ancient art of poses which brought chi into an area which either needed more energy or had a blockage of energy. Now we have modern inventions like Power Yoga and all the similar variations which stimulate the chakras without any regard as to why. This can create problems as it leads to a state of chakra imbalance.

As for hot yoga or Bikram specifically, I have rehabbed 3 different women with the same dysfunction (S.I. joint related manifesting as back/hip pain). The only commonality they shared was hot yoga.

Women especially need to be wary of increasing flexibility with general stretching as they tend to lean toward excess flexibility anyway. As flexibility goes up, stability often comes down. And instability is one of the most common causes of orthopedic pain and dysfunction.

Additionally, the class room setting typically lacks personal attention from the instructor and can trigger the competitive instinct as people try to "outstretch" one another. Add in the heat allowing people to move tendons/ligaments beyond their ideal R.O.M., and you can see why injury is likely.

My recommendation: if you enjoy Bikram, continue to do it but on a less frequent basis. Identify your length/tension imbalances (we all have them) and focus on the movements which stretch these areas. The other poses you could hold back on or eliminate altogether if you have an understanding instructor. And then I'd incorporate strength training as specific to your needs (paying special attention to your Inner Unit--if these muscles are inhibited, it can cause "tightness" as the body down regulates the neural drive to a specific muscle(s) and splint the area in an effort to keep the unstable area from moving and causing further damage). As a general rule, people who enjoy yoga need more strength training; people who enjoy strength training need more flexibility work.

Hope that all helps.
Much chi

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