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Our approach to teaching Hatha Yoga

Much of Hatha Yoga is improperly taught

So many of our new students arrive poorly taught. No one has adequately corrected their asana practice. Over the years we had found that many students suffered unnecessary discomforts and micro injuries as a result of poor instruction. Simple practices such as the sun salutations if taught improperly can result in back ache and eventual injury.

Anatomically adjusted PracticeRembrandt's Anatomy lecture

We chose to provide an informed teaching of the yoga postures in our Hatha Yoga classes. For this reason we made anatomically informed asana pratice an integral part of our Hatha Yoga teacher training programmes.  We insist that our students learn an anatomically corrected yoga practice and all of our teachers are instructed how to detect a poor practice and the ways to correct it. Each student is unique. Her body has particular capabilies and limitations that must be considered when teaching Hatha Yoga. One generic practice routine is insufficient and will usually result in some students suffering unnecessarily.

heat exhaustion

What about room Temperature

Some of our students who have tried Bikram Yoga ask us about the best temperature for Yoga practice. Generally speaking a comfortable range between 20º - 25º C. is fine. The body stretches better as its muscles warm up with effort. Of course, what you find most comfortable will be quite personal.

Isn't 40º or 50º better?

Not really according to research on physical performance at Life Fitness, above a certain temperature the human body experiences thermal stress.

"Exercise can be safely performed on warm - and even hot - days. Certain precautions should be taken, however, including wearing proper attire, performing a sufficient warm-up and cooldown, ensuring adequate fluid intake and reducing the intensity or duration of workouts on extremely hot and humid days."
Robert Girandola, Ph.D.


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10 comments for this post

Saturday November 28, '09 at 02:08 PM

Swami Atma


My personal biased view is that a generic practice session IS a good solution.

As for the heat issue I find it interesting that in India, a very hot country, masters have traditionally advised to practice early morning or late evening to avoid excessive heat.

Saturday November 28, '09 at 02:23 PM



Exactly! In fact during the summer months in India, the traditional advice was to stop Yoga asana and meditation pratice until the fall season when temperatures decline.

Sunday April 25, '10 at 09:54 PM



I guess as many opinions as people. Studies at the university of Tokyo have indicated the beneficial effects of the heat, especially in allowing the muscles to better stretch and therefor reduce chance of injuries.

Tuesday April 27, '10 at 11:02 AM



Rene you are perfectly right that people have differing opinions; however, my post was referring to human physiology and the danger of hyperthermia. I quote now from Dr.Girandola's article to explain what I meant by thermal stress.

"To exercise safely in warm environments, understanding how our bodies regulate internal temperature is very important. Humans are homeotherms, which basically means that we must maintain our internal, or core, temperature independent of the environment. People produce constant internal heat and maintain a core temperature of approximately 98.6 º F or 37º C. This internal heat must be dissipated to the environment. Without effective heat dissipation, heat accumulation can lead to illness and death. At rest, this internal heat production is rather minimal (about one calorie/min). Exercise, however, generates a large amount of body heat. During heavy exercise, heat production may increase to 10 to 20 calories/min, which necessitates a greater need for heat dissipation to prevent becoming overheated. If both the ambient temperature and the humidity are high, it becomes difficult for the body to dissipate heat - and body temperature may rise. If body temperature becomes too high, hyperthermia may result, along with concomitant heat related injuries, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is characterized by dizziness, fainting, rapid pulse and cool skin. Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency, symptomized by a high body temperature (above 106o F or 40 o C) and dry skin because sweating has stopped. In some cases of heat stroke, delirium, convulsions and loss of consciousness can occur." (http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com/Content.cfm/exercisingintheheat-understandingthermalstress - accessed April 26, 2010 at 11:03)

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