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  1. #61
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    Wow, zoebird, that summary was awesome! I am interested in the science, if you have the time to dig.

    What I've noticed about my studio is that the classes with few students (say 15-20 in the room) are significantly drier (meaning that my sweat is evaporating so by the end of the class, I'm pretty dry), but on occasions when the room is packed, (about 50 students, mat to mat), I'm sweating like crazy...so clearly there is no control for humidity, right?

    I really like doing yoga in a heated environment, but we'll see if I still think so come summer

    I think that what I really disliked about the Bikram class I took was the style of the teacher...I don't know if all Bikram classes are like this, but the instructor I had was talking nonstop the whole class (all of the talk was about how we should be breathing and moving)...so much and so fast that I couldn't process most of what she was saying. I don't have anything against the sequences of poses, but somehow afterward, I didn't really feel that I had done anything very strenuous, whereas every single time I leave my power yoga class, I feel that my entire body was just pushed to the extreme of what it was capable of.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFNut View Post
    Unfortunately I do not think this is the case for lower body strength. You are already putting body weight or higher stress on your legs in all the general activity you perform.
    This does makes sense, but in certain poses, like side angle (with a bind), my thighs are burning and screaming like a mofo. I have a hard time believing that I'm not making my leg muscles work to their limits in that pose, but maybe zoebird can jump in and correct me on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by UFNut View Post
    (FYI you do not have to put the weights on your back to do a squat, that is called back squats, there are also front squats and goblet squats.
    Hey, thanks for this suggestion. I'm going to look into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by UFNut View Post
    On the other hand if you are doing 12 isolation exercises with 15lb dumbbells and leg presses at half your body weight, you certainly aren't going to see better gains than Yoga alone, and if this is how you exercise at the gym, then you are better off with Yoga.
    I'm not sure if you're talking about anyone here, or me specifically. Right now I'm using 190lb weights on the leg press. My highest was 210lbs.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    Wow, zoebird, that summary was awesome! I am interested in the science, if you have the time to dig.
    I may not have time for a bit, but if you go to elephantjournal.com and search for "hot yoga science" or similar, you'll find some articles that can get you started. From there, I have others which are really interesting.

    There are things to back up using heat, but as I mentioned, there's a point of diminishing returns. What happens to a lot of students is that they start at 85 degrees, then they acclimate. They like the heat, so they tell the studio "it's not hot enough!" and the studio runs more heat. Then they acclimate, and it's no longer hot enough. Then the studio increases the heat, then they acclimate, and up it goes.

    According to scientists who research heat, heat stroke, benefits/drawbacks of training in the heat, there are benefits that you can see when you get up to say, 85-90 degrees. But hotter than that increases risk of heat stroke without adding any more benefits per se. I'll try to find this article, because it is interesting. It focuses on the trend in NYC for all kinds of exercise -- not just yoga -- being done in heat. Truly interesting stuff.


    What I've noticed about my studio is that the classes with few students (say 15-20 in the room) are significantly drier (meaning that my sweat is evaporating so by the end of the class, I'm pretty dry), but on occasions when the room is packed, (about 50 students, mat to mat), I'm sweating like crazy...so clearly there is no control for humidity, right?
    The heat and the humidity off of people's bodies increases the humidity in the room, as human beings are basiclaly water, right? So, it's like putting a humidifier in the room. Dropping the temperature "dries out" the room a bit -- and I believe bikram talks about this in his book (can't remember the source on that one) -- because bodies will sweat less, this decreasing the output of water/humidity.

    In my own classroom, when we have 14-17 students in the room, it's easiest to hit the best possible ambient temperature and humidity for that group. It sits at about 70 degrees F and it doesn't "feel humid" (again, I don't measure humidity). But on a humid day (it naturally being humid here), it certainly does, and so I turn on the AC to drop the temp down to about 68, and then the humidity was cut.

    My classroom fits 26, and today was a full class. When we have 20-26 (and as many as 28 on a rare occasion), I tend to start with ambient temperature, but once about 17 people are just in the room chatting, the bodies raise the temperature and the humidity. So, i'll tend to start with the AC on low to keep it dry while they warm up naturally, and as they start to sweat, I'll turn the AC up to keep the temperature consistent around 70 degrees. As it was particularly humid, I dropped it to 68.

    Even so, everyone sweats in class. It's the sequencing plus the breathing that creates the heat. In the winter, I use the heater to warm the room before class to start at 70 degrees. If the class is larger (15+), I might turn off the heat right before class starts (moving just to the fan for air circulation), and if it's particularly cold outside, I'll wait until once people are warmed up through the sequencing to turn the heat off. I'll also turn it on once we hit the floor-work, to keep them warm through savasana, which causes a natural drop in body temperature.

    Honestly, it's something I work with relatively well, because there are students for whom heat is a *real* benefit, so I will often heat a smaller room for their private lessons, having them practice at home with additional heat, but usally no more than 85 degrees. And for many people, more than 70 degrees is too much anyway (particularly my clients with arthritis, lupus, MS, hypertension, epilepsy (medication issue, usually)).

    I think that what I really disliked about the Bikram class I took was the style of the teacher...I don't know if all Bikram classes are like this, but the instructor I had was talking nonstop the whole class (all of the talk was about how we should be breathing and moving)...so much and so fast that I couldn't process most of what she was saying. I don't have anything against the sequences of poses, but somehow afterward, I didn't really feel that I had done anything very strenuous, whereas every single time I leave my power yoga class, I feel that my entire body was just pushed to the extreme of what it was capable of.
    Bikram teachers do vary dramatically -- as all yoga teachers do, even yoga teachers teaching in the exact same style/sequence.

    Now, traditionally speaking, Bikram trains on a script -- not just a sequence. to teach "bikram" you have to have the sequence, the script, the heat/humidity, the room a certain way (carpet floors, mirrors), and the *script*. It's a pigeon english, funny script, and because there's so many words to get through, anyone teaching from the script DOES talk non-stop and fast!

    Now, Bikram teaching from the script actually works. It makes sense coming from a little dude in a speedo barking at in you in indian accent. It doesn't make sense from your average white chick from Minnesota. I think using regular english would be fine. I also think finding your own words and descriptions is better, too, not to say that bikram doesn't have some good stuff in there.

    In terms of the sequencing, I think the bikram sequence is easier. You do 26 postures, twice, in 1.5 hrs. In baptiste, it's over 90 in 1.5 hrs. It is a tougher sequence. I prefer vinyasa forms to more traditional "static" methods like Bikram and Iyengar. It's mostly what lights your heart-fire.

    I really like doing yoga in a heated environment, but we'll see if I still think so come summer
    I found that summer/winter it's not that different from a practice component. You acclimate to the temperature eventually, and that probably happens faster for people in summer rather than winter because the outside temp is similar to the class temp. Most people really love it in the winter because -- like a sauna -- it gives you a deeply warmed feeling that can last a fairly long time!

    The benefits of hot yoga are good to know as well. For people who have extreme stiffness in their body due to medical conditions, chronic pain/tension, or similar, the heat can allow for gentle release while moving through the right modifications of postures can begin to relieve tension and develop range of motion. I have used it with many of my clients over the years, and it's great for that.

    For the general population, the main benefit is that it makes the practice tougher, which gives that 'great workout' feeling -- but the heat isn't necessary for that, and has the draw back of making the tendons and ligaments vulnerable, particularly when people are going deeper than their muscles are ready for (your ligaments and tendons take up the slack). So if you have basically normal functioning muscle (not medically over-tense), then there is this issue of going into the joint rather than staying in the muscle.

    And if you look at bikram practitioners and compare them to non-heated astangis or similar, you can actually tell by how they hold hteir knees, their elbows as well (also shoulders, aspects of the spine. . . anyway, you need to know what you're looking for so the knees are most obvious), how they have gotten into tendons/ligaments, and it's not just all the muscle. It's a risk.

    If you're aware of that risk, then it can be easy enough to avoid. Trouble is, most hot yoga places (and teachers) don't know about this risk (or how the tendons and muscles work in terms of being warmed up, working in a cold room, working in a normal room, working in a hot room, how the muscles/tendons work and also how the ligaments work from bone to bone across joints). As such, they can't always keep a student safe. And some teachers "push" their students into the "more, deeper!" practice which doesn't necessarily take into consideration these issues or the individual vulnerabilities of students. I've seen it 100s of times (if not 1000s) -- and not just from hot yoga teachers, and mostly from vinyasa ones whether hot or not. It's an interesting aspect of the culture (i think, more focus on the practice being 'inspiring' and focusing on fancy choreography and 'more postures!' as opposed to what the postures are doing, why we do them, what we are trying to gain from them, and how to do that systematically so the students develop the capacity for certain postures before we introduce them into all-levels settings).

    Thing is, where ever you go, there are good and bad teachers. There are benefits and draw backs to all kinds of practices. Keep yourself safe, right?

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    I may not have time for a bit, but if you go to elephantjournal.com and search for "hot yoga science" or similar, you'll find some articles that can get you started. From there, I have others which are really interesting.

    There are things to back up using heat, but as I mentioned, there's a point of diminishing returns. What happens to a lot of students is that they start at 85 degrees, then they acclimate. They like the heat, so they tell the studio "it's not hot enough!" and the studio runs more heat. Then they acclimate, and it's no longer hot enough. Then the studio increases the heat, then they acclimate, and up it goes.

    According to scientists who research heat, heat stroke, benefits/drawbacks of training in the heat, there are benefits that you can see when you get up to say, 85-90 degrees. But hotter than that increases risk of heat stroke without adding any more benefits per se. I'll try to find this article, because it is interesting. It focuses on the trend in NYC for all kinds of exercise -- not just yoga -- being done in heat. Truly interesting stuff.




    The heat and the humidity off of people's bodies increases the humidity in the room, as human beings are basiclaly water, right? So, it's like putting a humidifier in the room. Dropping the temperature "dries out" the room a bit -- and I believe bikram talks about this in his book (can't remember the source on that one) -- because bodies will sweat less, this decreasing the output of water/humidity.

    In my own classroom, when we have 14-17 students in the room, it's easiest to hit the best possible ambient temperature and humidity for that group. It sits at about 70 degrees F and it doesn't "feel humid" (again, I don't measure humidity). But on a humid day (it naturally being humid here), it certainly does, and so I turn on the AC to drop the temp down to about 68, and then the humidity was cut.

    My classroom fits 26, and today was a full class. When we have 20-26 (and as many as 28 on a rare occasion), I tend to start with ambient temperature, but once about 17 people are just in the room chatting, the bodies raise the temperature and the humidity. So, i'll tend to start with the AC on low to keep it dry while they warm up naturally, and as they start to sweat, I'll turn the AC up to keep the temperature consistent around 70 degrees. As it was particularly humid, I dropped it to 68.

    Even so, everyone sweats in class. It's the sequencing plus the breathing that creates the heat. In the winter, I use the heater to warm the room before class to start at 70 degrees. If the class is larger (15+), I might turn off the heat right before class starts (moving just to the fan for air circulation), and if it's particularly cold outside, I'll wait until once people are warmed up through the sequencing to turn the heat off. I'll also turn it on once we hit the floor-work, to keep them warm through savasana, which causes a natural drop in body temperature.

    Honestly, it's something I work with relatively well, because there are students for whom heat is a *real* benefit, so I will often heat a smaller room for their private lessons, having them practice at home with additional heat, but usally no more than 85 degrees. And for many people, more than 70 degrees is too much anyway (particularly my clients with arthritis, lupus, MS, hypertension, epilepsy (medication issue, usually)).



    Bikram teachers do vary dramatically -- as all yoga teachers do, even yoga teachers teaching in the exact same style/sequence.

    Now, traditionally speaking, Bikram trains on a script -- not just a sequence. to teach "bikram" you have to have the sequence, the script, the heat/humidity, the room a certain way (carpet floors, mirrors), and the *script*. It's a pigeon english, funny script, and because there's so many words to get through, anyone teaching from the script DOES talk non-stop and fast!

    Now, Bikram teaching from the script actually works. It makes sense coming from a little dude in a speedo barking at in you in indian accent. It doesn't make sense from your average white chick from Minnesota. I think using regular english would be fine. I also think finding your own words and descriptions is better, too, not to say that bikram doesn't have some good stuff in there.

    In terms of the sequencing, I think the bikram sequence is easier. You do 26 postures, twice, in 1.5 hrs. In baptiste, it's over 90 in 1.5 hrs. It is a tougher sequence. I prefer vinyasa forms to more traditional "static" methods like Bikram and Iyengar. It's mostly what lights your heart-fire.



    I found that summer/winter it's not that different from a practice component. You acclimate to the temperature eventually, and that probably happens faster for people in summer rather than winter because the outside temp is similar to the class temp. Most people really love it in the winter because -- like a sauna -- it gives you a deeply warmed feeling that can last a fairly long time!

    The benefits of hot yoga are good to know as well. For people who have extreme stiffness in their body due to medical conditions, chronic pain/tension, or similar, the heat can allow for gentle release while moving through the right modifications of postures can begin to relieve tension and develop range of motion. I have used it with many of my clients over the years, and it's great for that.

    For the general population, the main benefit is that it makes the practice tougher, which gives that 'great workout' feeling -- but the heat isn't necessary for that, and has the draw back of making the tendons and ligaments vulnerable, particularly when people are going deeper than their muscles are ready for (your ligaments and tendons take up the slack). So if you have basically normal functioning muscle (not medically over-tense), then there is this issue of going into the joint rather than staying in the muscle.

    And if you look at bikram practitioners and compare them to non-heated astangis or similar, you can actually tell by how they hold hteir knees, their elbows as well (also shoulders, aspects of the spine. . . anyway, you need to know what you're looking for so the knees are most obvious), how they have gotten into tendons/ligaments, and it's not just all the muscle. It's a risk.

    If you're aware of that risk, then it can be easy enough to avoid. Trouble is, most hot yoga places (and teachers) don't know about this risk (or how the tendons and muscles work in terms of being warmed up, working in a cold room, working in a normal room, working in a hot room, how the muscles/tendons work and also how the ligaments work from bone to bone across joints). As such, they can't always keep a student safe. And some teachers "push" their students into the "more, deeper!" practice which doesn't necessarily take into consideration these issues or the individual vulnerabilities of students. I've seen it 100s of times (if not 1000s) -- and not just from hot yoga teachers, and mostly from vinyasa ones whether hot or not. It's an interesting aspect of the culture (i think, more focus on the practice being 'inspiring' and focusing on fancy choreography and 'more postures!' as opposed to what the postures are doing, why we do them, what we are trying to gain from them, and how to do that systematically so the students develop the capacity for certain postures before we introduce them into all-levels settings).

    Thing is, where ever you go, there are good and bad teachers. There are benefits and draw backs to all kinds of practices. Keep yourself safe, right?

    Holy snikeys! Just how fast can you type? You started this whole bit off with " I may not have time for a bit." LOL. Good stuff though.

  5. #65
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    Zoebird (or any yoga enthusiast):

    What's your philosophy on mirrors in the studio vs. no mirrors?

    The studio I currently go to doesn't believe in mirrors, because their philosophy is that the focus should be in your body, on how a position feels, not in your mind, thinking about what the position looks like. I'm not sure what my stance on this is, because I agree with this philosophy in theory, but I have some very weird issues, some of which are:

    1) I have a very poor perception of my body in space
    2) I have very poor balance/coordination,
    3) Most importantly, I suspect I might have some weird neurological crosswiring thing happening because when I'm using weights, I sometimes feel that the wrong muscles are being used (I've had people watch me to make sure I'm doing the exercises correctly, and I am, but for some reason, I'm getting screwy input.

    For example, if I'm doing lunges, I never feel my glutes being used, I feel it in the back of my neck. Similarly, if I'm doing ab work, I rarely feel it in my abs, I feel it in my quads. I can tell from next-day soreness that I was indeed using the correct muscles, but somehow in the moment, my brain just doesn't seem to register something correctly.)

    I think that I'm able to compensate for these issues, but I can't help but think that having a mirror would help me to see if I'm doing something right, since I can't always trust my sensory input. But then I argue with myself that this would keep me in my head too much.
    Last edited by BestBetter; 01-10-2013 at 05:29 PM.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Holy snikeys! Just how fast can you type? You started this whole bit off with " I may not have time for a bit." LOL. Good stuff though.
    I poked at it over 5 hours. LOL

  7. #67
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    You're talking about the development of proprioception.

    I prefer to work without mirrors because mirrors are usually deceptive, particularly to beginners. They *think* that they *look* right, but they don't know what they are looking for. It's much easier to learn yoga through *feeling*. It's a much harder way to learn than visual, aural, oral, or kinesthetic (though it technically qualifies as kinesthetic).

    Over time, you will develop the right spacial/body awareness, and while I wouldn't say that you don't have a wiring issue, my guess is that you are not fully using the right muscles, which is why you are feeling in these other muscles during certain movements -- and even really educated people won't notice. That's a difficult detail, but yea, anyway, hard to explain.

    I prefer to teach without mirrors because 1. it decreases a person's self jugement/hatred, and 2. people will try to "look right" without knowing what it actually looks like or what's important or how they should look based on their level/ability/body etc, and so they get all jacked up (bad way), as opposed to taking instruction and assists and learning how to do the postures based on feel, thereby developing that deep proprioception.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    My argument was that the moment on an individual muscle is less relevant to actually getting strong than the CNS activity that results from a heavy, compound lift, like the low-bar back squat.
    That is utter bullshit. The discussion was about muscle strength. It was never about CNS activity.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    Worker ants spend their entire life lifting and pulling heavy stuff, and they're pretty much the masters of relative strength. Make of it what you will.

    In before "allometry".
    I can understand why you identify with worker ants.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  10. #70
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    I am very excited to read your experience about yoga as i found many people complaining about not getting expected result. What i observe that, it is all depending upon how we practice the yoga. It require good amount of effort and best guide !

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