Yoga Techniques at Home

Yoga Techniques at Home

Hot yoga is usually practiced in a steamy studio, not a comfortable living room. But that doesn't mean you can't reap some of the benefits of hot yoga from the comfort of your own home. If you don't have a hot yoga studio nearby or can't afford the steep membership fees, try setting up a space in or around your home. While it might not be the exact same experience, you can still practice your technique and improve your flexibility without the studio.

The most important component of hot yoga is, of course, your environment. It's called "hot" because the studio is typically heated to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of around 40 percent. Depending on your current climate, you can mimic a similar environment by turning up your thermostat or bringing a space heater into a room to increase the temperature. Remember to check the temperature on a thermometer to ensure it's not too hot. If you live in a warm climate, you can practice hot yoga outdoors -- just find a shady spot so you're not practicing in the hot, direct sunlight.

If you follow Bikram yoga -- the original form of hot yoga as developed by yogi Bikram Choudhury -- the sequencing of yoga poses is always the same. You'll perform the same 26 postures in the same order, twice through. Being familiar with general Hatha yoga can help you in your hot yoga practice, since many of the postures are familiar to those who have practiced other types of yoga and fairly simple to replicate at home.

DVDs, CDs and Other Helps
If you're worried about your at-home hot yoga technique, borrowing hot yoga DVDs or CDs from the library or even investing in your own copies can help you stay on track. They'll walk you through the various poses and the right sequencing so you can focus on your posture and technique rather than trying to remember what comes next or checking a reference guide after each pose. You can find such CDs and DVDs online, at the library and even through some yoga studios.

When you practice hot yoga at home, you lose out on the benefit of having a trained professional watch your form and offer up safety suggestions to ensure a healthy session. Practicing in the extreme heat can lead to nausea, dizziness and other symptoms of heat exhaustion. Check your thermometer before you start and avoid practicing in conditions above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Drink at least 16 ounces of water before you begin and keep a water bottle nearby during practice, suggests Yoga Journal. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or confused, stop and find somewhere cool until the symptoms cease.