MYTH: Germs can’t survive hot yoga

There is a myth in the Bikram and Hot Yoga world: If you are sick, you can’t possibly spread germs in the hot yoga room because bacteria and viruses “can’t survive in the hot room”. FALSE. There is no evidence to support this assertion. If the yoga room was hot enough to kill a virus, it would probably be hot enough to kill YOU. As an example, the Influenza virus can be killed by heat AT TEMPERATURES ABOVE 166°F [75°C]. A Bikram Yoga hot room is around 105°F [40°C]. It’s not hot enough to kill the flu virus. You might hear the argument that…

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I Don’t Make The Rules – Biology Makes The Rules

In my previous post, How Calories “Work“, I said “So if you are convinced you are that one special snowflake who is accurately tracking 1500 calories and working out 2 hours a day and still gaining weight: YOU ARE NOT. You really really are not. You are not eating 1500 calories and gaining weight. 1500 calories will ultimately maintain (barely) 100 lbs in a full grown sedentary woman. This is truth.” I got a few comments and messages that were in opposition to this concept. They were mostly polite, which I very much appreciate. Some argued that they were different…

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How Calories “Work”

The topic of appropriate caloric intake has been on my mind a lot recently. There is A LOT of confusion around “how many calories” people ARE eating, SHOULD BE eating, and what it all means. I know many people who insist their caloric intake is very, very low: 1200 to 1500 calories per day. And they are sure their metabolism must be broken because they are now gaining weight (or not losing weight) on this very low calorie intake. It’s not true. It’s not accurate. It’s not the way things work. You have to eat enough food to support your activity, energy…

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On Being Thin

I’m going to just say it. I hope you can hear it. BEING THIN is not the end-all & be-all of your existence. BEING THIN doesn’t solve your mental health problems – or fix your relationships. BEING THIN doesn’t make you smarter, more powerful, financially stable, or creative. If you’ve dieted 4 months, 4 years, or 40 years to reach some outward goal that seems to hold the solution to all of life’s problems, I implore you: work on liking yourself NOW, the way you are, because liking yourself regardless of your body fat levels is the only way to…

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Start Small

Start small. Start where you are. When it comes to making life changes, as much as I love positive self-talk and big ideas, I am an even bigger fan of practicality. If you are in a space of self-hate, self-love won’t just walk in the door and kick the self-hate aside. You have to start where you are, and find a small step you can actually manage right now, in your current headspace. Googling “positive affirmations” won’t fix you. You have to do something you can see and measure. If you are depressed, you feel exhausted, you feel stuck, you feel…

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Electrolyte Depletion

“Why Do I Feel Sick In Class?” You have a rough class. It begins with a headache. Then you feel a bit dizzy. You take a knee, you decide to sit out a posture, take a break. You get up and try another posture, you sit down again. You start to feel nauseated, you wonder if you’ll need to run out of the room to vomit. You’re worried now, “what’s wrong with me?” By the end of class you are absolutely wiped out. When you come out of the hot yoga room to talk to the teacher, you are convinced there…

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Electrolytes & Nerves

Bikram Yoga Survival Guide My partner & I have joined forces on an e-book – Bikram Yoga Survival Guide – geared towards providing anyone walking into a Bikram yoga class, whether newbie or veteran, with basic information about how their body functions when exercising in intense conditions, and what they need to know to take proper care of themselves. (My partner, Silas Jackson, blogs at http://planetbeast.wordpress.com & is the author of The Man Who Pulled His Own Leg.) You can see the chapters on sweating and hydration here or at Planet Beast. Again, these are chapters from an e-book geared towards hot yoga class, but the information in it…

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Sweating & Hydration

Bikram Yoga Survival Guide My partner & I have joined forces on an e-book – Bikram Yoga Survival Guide – geared towards providing anyone walking into a Bikram yoga class, whether it’s their first time or they’ve been doing it for a while, with basic information about how their body functions when exercising in intense conditions, and what they need to know to take proper care of themselves. (My partner, Silas Jackson, blogs at http://planetbeast.wordpress.com & is the author of The Man Who Pulled His Own Leg.) So, we’re writing the book with a Bikram Yoga class in mind, but the basic information in there could…

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Perception of Effort, or Calorie Burn in Hot Yoga

“How many calories will I burn?” “Will I lose weight?” These are, by far, the two most popular questions I hear from new Bikram Yoga students. And really, when you get right down to it, they are the same question – “I want to lose weight by burning a lot of calories – will I do that?” The answer people WANT to hear is: YES, you will burn a TON of calories and you will lose weight, you betcha, I promise! (Also, would you like to buy some magic beans??) The real answer: IT DEPENDS. If you understand general fitness…

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Those Who Can’t Do, Teach.

GUEST POST from Silas Jackson (The Man Who Pulled His Own Leg: A Bikram Yoga Memoir) You’ve probably heard the old saying that “Those who can’t do, teach.” Maybe you took offense on the behalf of teachers everywhere—maybe you are a teacher, and were personally offended. I can certainly understand that. It’s a crass, infuriating sentiment—it’s used ignorantly by ignorant people who don’t appreciate what a complex and amazing skill it is to effectively teach someone something. But actually, there’s some truth in it. Have you ever had a teacher who was naturally gifted at whatever they were trying to teach you? Didn’t…

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