Namaste Notes - Sweat 101

Greetings happy yogis!

Welcome to Namaste Notes!

I am a kindred yogi myself, warmly embracing our studio as my yoga home. I hope to share each month some lessons learned, and even unlearned, in Bikram practice. This unique yoga form changes how I live and its rewarding effects are so pivotal and transparent that I will strive to occupy this written space as a communal platform to relate just some of these paramount revelations.

Well, I hope you are all happy and if you are not, by the time you finish this post, you may find yourself treating your dismay with a naturalEy high dose of...sweat! Sweating is the lube of this awesome high and it doesn't get much more indulgent than the sweet, sexy, and sane self-care through Bikram.

Drip drip drip. We haven't even reached our first water break. Drip drip drip. Personally, those audible out comings get me really motivated. I try to make myself alone in class but when I hear the team not far from me working just as hard I am, I know...I am in the right place; and sweating in class is the right way to pull us through till the end.

That sparkling scented glow is SOOO good for us and its benefits might resolve some of your concerns in your practice. Our sweating is our personal AC and it’s obvious why we appreciate that in class of 105 degrees.

The more we drink water before and after class, the more we sweat and stay cool in class. The more we keep ourselves hydrated, the better we feel in class.

Dehydration can cause dizziness, nausea, and over all, a not- so-fun time pulling through class.

Concerned of overheating?
Drink plenty of water to upkeep your inner AC. Hydration produces sweat and our sweat ultimately helps us with our endurance.

The advantages of B.O's tears go beyond class too. Sweat is a key contributor in detoxification. Sweat releases alcohol, cholesterol and salt. Sweat helps terminate several toxins our body creates and improves the skin. Our skin is our largest organ so it makes sense to keep it healthy and happy. Sweat naturally unclogs pores and controls acne. Sweat also plays a pivotal role in decreasing the accumulation of kidney stones. Sweat demands our bodies to stay well hydrated and this in turn keeps our kidneys flushed and cleaned. Sweat also rids our body of modern chemicals like BPA and DEHP. Sweat is our own natural antibiotic. Sweat produces dermcidin and this is a very powerful tool against harmful invaders. Dermcidin is a protein and anti-microbial peptide released through our sweat and acts on the skin as a part of the instinctual defense of the immune system. dermcidin can help fight germs and injuries ranging from annoying insect bites, deserved cat scratches, or even the still existing tuberculosis. Sweat and the immune system are in synergetic friendship and gratefully, all we have to do to let this blossom is to come to class and sweat: sweat out the bad while we also sweat out the good.

Our sweat produces endorphins!

Endorphins are a quenching and refreshing cup of ‘happy juice’ we earned after all our hard work, producing a naturalEy high! Endorphins are hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic and euphoric effect. When class is over and we lay in savasana, that self made glory we feel comes from the endorphins we have been prized with for our focused and determined practice. It's not exercise generally speaking that produces happy juice but vigorous exercise instead, exercise that makes us sweat. A casual promenade around the block will not give you that cerebral bliss that can be felt all around and down deep. Touching O zones and producing endorphins act as natural painkillers for us. These sweaty byproducts can even soothe a sore neck we had before class. Being natualEy high is the best place to be in my book. I hear our awesome teachers often say that the worst class is the one you missed. I am reminded of that every time I finish class and experience that pure elation I have made for myself. I am always so glad I made it to class despite whatever may be going on in my tired and fun and busy life. I hate to demystify that rapturing intoxication but it primarily comes from our sweet, sexy and spiritful sweat.

Xoxo, Solasana; Surprising health benefits of sweating that actually don't stink by Lizette Borreli; 10 amazing benefits of sweating you didn't know by Lisa Stewart; Sweat health benefits by Ayren Jackson-Cannady; The many health benefits of sweating by Dr.Mercola

It's all about having the right tools.

I love to snowboard and it takes a lot of gear to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Construction and demolition require the right tools to be thorough and efficient. Buying a set of tire levers to fix a flat changed my bike commute completely. My husband Stephen always says, "work smarter not harder."

For Bikram yoga, the (physical!) tools you need are pretty simple: mat, towel, water, clothing. Our average class temperature is 105˚F, so it's important to dress appropriately for the hot room. Shorts are ideal, and a bra top for ladies is helpful so you can see how you're breathing in the mirror.  

Oh, the mirror. Looking at yourself in the mirror is part of the Bikram class. Many students, myself included, wear leggings and a tank top when they first start practicing or T-shirts on the guys that quickly get torn off after half-moon pose. For me, the thought of wearing shorty shorts and a bra top wasn't even in the equation of my comfort level. I arrived to class one day mentally prepared to practice only to find that I forgot my leggings at home and reluctantly purchased a pair of shorts from the studio rack. I started class mortified and incredibly self conscious but once I started practicing in shorts I never went back to leggings, ever. I was shedding the layers, from the outside in. Looking at my own eyes in the mirror? Well...that's another blog post.  

Being dressed appropriately for class not only gives you and the teacher the ability to see your anatomy, but also gives you one less thing to "worry" about. Having properly fitted yoga clothes allows you to focus more on your practice and less on tugging things into place or worrying about flashing some side boob. Try to go from leggings to shorts. You'll be able to see your knee locked and adding that visual component to your practice gives your nervous system the added visual to the physical feel of what it means to be locked.  

Before leaving for the studio I'd go through my checklist: clothes, mat, water bottle. Keep it simple, and your practice will thank you.  

We're still in the process of setting up our retail, but to help set you up we've collaborated with Portland based Evolve FiT Wear to get you 15% off your online order. Happy shopping, and see you soon in the hot room!