"Can I Safely Practice Hot Yoga
Or Bikram Yoga* In The Comfort
Of My Own Home And
Still Enjoy All The Benefits?"
Gabrielle Raiz a.k.a The Hot Yoga Doctor,
author "Hot Yoga MasterClass™"
You know what? This is probably one of the most frequently asked Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga questions around the world!
Always a resounding "Yes!"
But safely practicing at home and enjoying all the benefits does present its own set of unique challenges (even if you also practice at a studio).
I'm going to show you what they are and how you can overcome them!
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I'll also show you why practicing at home will reveal some delightful aspects of your yoga practice that you simply cannot discover in a hot yoga studio.
*Bikram Yoga® referred to by many students and teachers on this page is a registered trademark of Bikram Choudhury.
Now, before you immediately start thinking about how you're going to heat your room; what type of heaters are best ... let me stop you right there and suggest something to you ...
There Is Something WAY
More Important Than The Heat!
Wow! That's a little controversial coming from a Hot Yoga Teacher isn't it?
Let me explain ...
If you are anything like me, the attraction of a yoga practice is because you desire some (or all!) of the following things:
- To improve your general fitness;
- To lose weight;
- To deal with stress;
- To become strong and flexible; and
- To feel vital and full of energy all day long! (Who wants to say goodbye to those mid-afternoon slumps?)
- To enjoy that amazing feeling AFTER class, where life simply feels richer, more full of joy - and your body is buzzing with vibrant energy.
If that's the case, then no matter where you practice your yoga, we're on the same page!
So here's my point about the "hot" part of Hot Yoga:
While having the heat may help you achieve the list above a whole lot faster (and I'll explain why a little later on); there is something far more important for you to consider - and it's super-critical for an effective home hot yoga practice.
Now you might be thinking - "Ah yes, she means you have to do the poses well".
Well in a way, yes ... but there is a key distinction I want to share with you ... first let's take a look at this whole issue of a "yoga pose".
A Proper Yoga Practice Will Always
Consist Of Far More Than "Poses"
Hatha Yoga, which is what most physical yogas are - no matter what the trendy brand name - is comprised of two main elements:
Asanas (the physical movements)
Pranayama (the breathing techniques)
In fact, a full "yogic lifestyle" would involve more than just these two elements - but with our western "beautiful-body mindset", we'll focus on the physical for now (since for most people it is what will have the most immediate impact on your goals!).
An Asana is what we think of as "the pose".
The original sanskrit translation of Asana is thought to intend the following meaning:
"The place where a practitioner sits and the manner (posture) in which she/he sits"
Patanjali, author of "The Yoga Sutras"
Here's the thing:
The physical elements of Yoga were key to help people focus and meditate for long periods of time without putting undue stress on the body.
Just think how difficult it would be to hold Lotus Position for hours on end. That's not easy!
So developing strength, flexibility and stamina, as well as an effective breathing practice were key.
We need to think of an Asana not as a "pose", but as "the place and manner in which you move", in order to develop strength; flexibility and stamina.
IMPORTANT: Doing "the pose" is NOT your goal.
Here's The Critical Distinction
You Must "Get"!
Rather than focusing on "achieving the pose", you need to focus on how the stretch is achieved; what is being stretched; what is being strengthened and the exact manner in which this is done.
Precision Alignment in your Asanas will deliver you TONS more benefits than simply trying to "do a pose".
And even more importantly, it will keep you SAFE and prevent injury.
Back bends are a common source of misalignment and unsafe practices: CAUTION!
WARNING: Risk Of Injury
Even though Hot Yoga, for the most part, includes what are considered to be "beginner poses", I'm here to tell you that if they are practiced without due care and attention, or even with ONLY PARTLY CORRECT technique then you could be at risk of injury.
Feeling good is the key ... but think how much better you will feel when your approach to your asanas improves out of sight!
Put simply: Bad yoga pose habits WON'T bring you the benefits.
In my view, this is a key part of ANY Hot Yoga practice - whether practiced at home or in studios around the world, and is one reason why I previously created The Hot Yoga MasterClass Manual - to help thousands of people around the world understand the anatomically correct practice and discover exactly how to multiply their benefits.
But ... enough about me ... let's get to you and practicing at home!
Practicing At Home Involves
A Few Extra Challenges!
Here are some key questions you'll want to have answered before you begin your home hot yoga practice:
What is best to practice with?
A CD or MP3?
How do you do the poses?
What is the correct sequence to practice?
How do you set-up and enter the pose?
How do you know when you've got the "pose" right?
How long should each pose be held?
How do you "correct" your pose if something doesn't look or feel right?
What's involved in setting up your space?
What is the best size and thickness of mat to use?
How does the mat affect your balance and your strength?
Do you need a mirror? If so, what size is best?
What if you only have a smaller mirror? Where and how should it be positioned?
Eating, drinking and ... when?
What do you eat - and when?
How will you make sure you are correctly hydrated?
How do you position your mat for getting the most benefit? (Yes, there IS a preference!)
What time of day is best to practice?
What is the best way to safely warm up if you are not heating your room?
And then if you are heating your room:
How hot does it need to be?
What is the optimum combination of heat and humidity?
What is the one thing MORE important than your heater?
What do you do about large areas of glass? (Windows; doors etc)
Which heaters must you NEVER use? (Danger, danger!)
What if you cannot reach the optimum temperature? What can you do to counter this?
For most yoga students practicing regularly in a studio, they don't even have to consider these questions because it's mostly all done for them.
But if you want to practice at home, then you'll want to carefully and thoroughly research all the answers!
"I Am A Complete Beginner,
Is This Safe To Start At Home?"
Any form of Yoga is best
learned from an expert!
This is another question I am often asked.
I hope by now you understand the point I'm making about precision alignment.
Precision alignment is essential to extract the best from your practice and enjoy the full benefits, and also to keep you safe.
It probably is a little easier for someone who has already completed a few classes to start practicing at home - and it is also extremely likely that they too will need assistance.
Even an experienced practitioner may well practice at home with unconscious "bad habits" - I've even seen long-time regulars become sloppy in their approach to their asanas ... even IN the studio!
(If you are an experienced yogini/yogi stick with me here, because I'm going to reveal some delicious aspects of a home practice that you simply cannot explore in your studio!)
Will I Get The Same Benefits?
Will It Be As Satisfying?
I'm going to let you in on a secret.
I've practiced at studios around the world and taught teachers and classes for years ... and let me tell you I absolutely LOVE practicing at home.
Think about it. Aren't there some things that are sooo much nicer at home? For example:
Your own bed.
Your own showers, toilets and bathroom.
Your own yoga mat.
Your own yoga towel.
No smells ... or other people's sweat flicking on you (sorry! Had to be said.).
Your own "things" around you.
Your home yoga practice will feel ... well ... just like home!
I love it because "it's my time for me".
A way to keep my world in balance.
I don't have to travel to a studio!
I love the intense focus when it is just me or one or two others practicing together.
My awareness is incredibly heightened - both my mind and body (less to distract).
There is no "mad dash" to get out of class - I can take a full 30 minute savasana if I like - or even take a power nap at the end of class!
There's no rushing me out of THIS pose!
I can add in extra stretches at the end of class, for example for improving core-strength or hip-opening.
If I am REALLY pushed for time, then I can take a very satisfying 60-minute class (you can't do that in a studio! You would simply have to miss out.).
Oh yes ... I can even be late to my own class haha!
I'm An Experienced Hot Yoga Student.
What Do I Need To Consider For
An Effective Home Practice?
I'm going to reveal something else that not many people realize.
A home practice can have some very surprising EXTRA BENEFITS for the regular Hot Yoga devotee.
In your studio, without realizing it, you would have developed some habits.
Some of these are supportive, such as automatically moving when other students move; which helps to keep the energy of the class flowing.
Some are not so supportive. If you've moved out of a pose too early because your neighbor did, then you'll know what I mean!
You probably also follow a set dialog and a set class, which would be pretty much the same each time.
While there are definite advantages to developing supportive habits, a home practice opens you up to a way of improving both your awareness AND your practice ... which ultimately can mean even deeper satisfaction and greater benefits!
Here's what I mean.
You will learn about self-correction (since there is no instructor to observe you).
Think about that for a moment.
What a valuable skill - being able to notice something about yourself; correct it; improve it and move on.
I wish I'd been taught that at school!
You will also learn a far deeper focus (believe me, you have to!).
Because without the distraction of the instructor reciting her dialog, the chatter of your "monkey mind" will come out to play ... and play it will!
Learning to be able to quieten this chatter and discover your own deeper wisdom and intuition ... well let's just say I'd like to have learned that at school too!
So yes ... I believe, when you practice mindfully and with great focus on precision, a home practice can be VERY rewarding for a regular student ... I speak from experience.
And you can even experiment a little!
What if you held one set of camel for the duration of two sets?
What if you tried two 45-second Standing Head-To-Knee Poses instead of one 60-second and one 30-second?
Believe me, you WILL get to know both your body AND your mind in a completely new way ... and it's all good!
Will I Still Get All The Benefits If I Can't
(Or Don't Want To) Heat The Room?
You don't NEED the heat to enjoy the wonderful benefits of yoga!
I'll let you in on a "secret" ... Yoga is an ancient practice!
You see over the course of thousands of years, millions of people have been practicing yoga and enjoying the benefits ... and I guarantee you, it's only a tiny percentage that would practice regularly in a typical yoga studio, let alone a hot one.
So if that's the case, I bet you're thinking "So why all the fuss about the heat?".
Great question - and I did promise to answer this earlier - so here you are.
I believe that the heat helps to kickstart your cardiovascular system; improves the depth of your breath; will help you develop a very focused attention and will also help train your mind and body to easily and effectively handle stress.
But don't worry - if you're practicing at home, I have some clever techniques to help you get the benefits even without the heat.
And if you do wish to heat your room I'll show you exactly how to do that, and do it safely!
Here's What You'll Need To Get Started
Alright, so you've decided to take the plunge and get started on your home hot yoga practice ... congratulations!
Here is what you will need to put together for yourself:
- Decent quality photos of all the poses;
- The correct sequence to follow;
- Timings for all the poses (and a method of timing);
- A mat and a mirror for self-correction; and
- A trustworthy expert resource to help you if and when you don't "get" something.
That got me thinking, "Hey, I can save you a whole bunch of time and effort and help you get started sooner than you think!".
So I ended up I putting all these resources, and more, together for you in one "Hot Yoga Precision Home Practice Kit"!
The Ultimate Hot Yoga
"Precision Practice At Home" Kit
Phew - a bit of a mouthful! But in truth, this kit includes everything you'll need!
196-Page Home Practice Instruction Manual & Class Dialog
Note: This image is for representation purposes only.
Two CDs and an MP3 with the Full 90-Minute Class
Contains the 90-minute sequence in:
Click the player below to listen to a short sample (First set of Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana):
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I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful CD I recently purchased. I could not get to my normal Bikram class this weekend and tried Gabrielle's Hot Yogc CD and loved it.
Gabrielle is not forceful in any way and by the end of the 90 minute class, I felt "taken care of". I never felt that in any of my other Hot Yoga classes.
A DVD of the Full 90-Minute Class AND 4 other variations
Total "running time"
* DVD is REGION FREE, professionally produced & printed and will play on any DVD Player or Computer and on both NTSC and PAL systems
Yes ... it's true, you can't learn everything from a book!
This DVD will show you precise Pose Set-Ups, Entries and Final Pose while the class is being narrated.
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This "At Home Practice" DVD Is Unique
The DVD is uniquely constructed to help a home practice!
You'll see exactly what to do at each step!
In particular, if you have less than 10 classes under your belt, you're going to want some detailed visuals ... and more than just a photo of the "final" pose.
Why? Because it uses the live soundtrack from one of my classes. You'll hear me instructing the very details explained in the text dialog – and you'll also hear this in a live environment with real students (I even mention them by name during the class - which can be very motivating when you hear it!).
I deliberately did NOT video-tape a live class, because, in my opinion, this makes it difficult, if not impossible to show ALL angles, and every correction visually.
Quite uniquely, I have gone a few steps further and put crystal-clear detailed and precise photographic demonstrations at each exact point on the DVD where the audio track mentions them (watch the snippet above and you'll see what I mean).
- You can play the DVD as a stand-alone class. Or you can use it as a reference that you will come back to time and time again.
- Bullet point text appears at key moments to reinforce your quick understanding.
- "Right" and "wrong" pose alignments are shown with green checks (ticks) and red crosses – no mistaking which is which.
- The background is pure white. No unnecessary distractions.
- I also had the DVD made so you can navigate directly to ANY POSE you wish to see specifically! (Just like a "scene selection" in a movie.)
- The DVD includes Class Variations with differing lengths - VERY useful when sometimes you only have 30 or 60 minutes available - and something is better than nothing, believe me! Running out of time at home? Wish you had a 35-min class? Simply use the DVD menu, press "play" ... and you're good to go!
Here's EXACTLY What's In The DVD:
- A 35-minute class
- A 60-minute class
- A 75-minute class
- A 90-minute class
- An all standing poses "class" (double set)
- An all floor poses "class" (double set)
- Pose-by-pose menu selection
Access to a dedicated "Home Practice" Hot Yoga Forum
Where you can find the answer to any questions you may come across ...
Ask WHATEVER you need to ask, when YOU need the help. It's like having your own studio and your own instructor available to you 24 x 7!
My Recommendations For You!
Now I don't know whether you are just starting out, or you're an experienced "yogi", so I thought I'd put together two helpful options - then you can choose which one suits YOUR situation best!
RECOMMENDED if you are new to Hot Yoga or have attended less than 10 classes in a studio.
I strongly recommend the full Video- And Audio-Based Kit, since you WILL need visuals that are more detailed than just a photo of the pose.
And even if you ARE experienced, you'll find plenty of information in the DVD!
RECOMMENDED if you are a regular, or more experienced Yogini/Yogi with more than 10 classes under your belt.
If you are pretty familiar with the classic Hot Yoga series, you may not require the DVD, although I personally think it is very helpful for reference - so I've put together an Audio-only-Based Kit for you so you can still practice alongside a "live class".
You Can Start Today!
(To See How, Keep Reading)
BOTH Kits contain Instant Downloads for the Manual, and MP3s - this means you can get started TODAY while you're waiting for the physical CDs or DVDs to arrive!
Note: Your 196-page Manual is delivered electronically as well as MP3 versions of the Audio Class. These files are available for instant download post-purchase, complete with comprehensive instructions.
Delivering electronic files has several significant advantages. Firstly it keeps the price to you at about 30% of what it might cost if I shipped you a large physical book.
You save on shipping. You get to start NOW! And it's 100% portable - your Home Practice Kit can also be used on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone/tablet or any mobile device that will display pdfs and play mp3s .
And if new editions or updates to the Manual are released - you can download them anytime completely free of charge.
I love that the internet and our modern "gadget-based" world makes it possible for me to bring help to you and information that you simply cannot get elsewhere!
(If you've not yet seen the Hot Yoga MasterClass - the definitive "how to" reference for hot yogis around the world ... then head over here first: See The Hot Yoga MasterClass )
I've put together a handy comparison table that shows the key differences for you (and by the way, a ton of folks own both, so you can always add one or the other at a later date and still learn more!).
304 page Manual
196 page Manual
DVD Volume One
Full 90-min Class and all Double-Set variants
Total "running time" (all class variations): 5 hrs 50mins
DVD Volume Two
Single Set Classes
Total "running time" (all class variations): 4 hrs 05mins
16-Page QuickStart Guide
Hot Yoga Poses Poster (2-parts)
CDs x 2
(CD 1 - Standing series; CD 2 - Floor Series)
(For iPod/iPhone etc same as CD 1 & CD 2)
Hot Yoga MasterClass
Home Practice Kit
Video & Audio
Home Practice Kit
|= Physical product shipped to your door||= Downloadable product|
And if you don't want to see the comparison table right now, here's a quick summary:
The Hot Yoga MasterClass Manual is a step-by-step guide from beginning to end of all the yoga poses in the series. It has 744 full color photos showing the technique and also many of the mistakes that invade practice. It is the most in depth Hot Yoga resource available and can be used by beginners and advanced students.
The Home Practice Kit Manual helps you with the nuts and bolts descriptions on how to create and heat your space at home. It covers many, many considerations from how to set up mirrors, mats, heaters (even some brand suggestions), how to ensure you keep the space hot.
It also includes a section on mat selection, what to do if you travel, and there is a comprehensive FAQ section and some class variation suggestions for when you don’t have 90 minutes to practice. After the FAQ you will find the transcript to the class that I currently have available (and that comes with the Kit).
As you get to each pose you will find a list of the benefits of each pose. There are also photos that show the end pose (and no technique photos) – one for each side and each set. Then the words from that pose follow.
The Home Practice Kit is aimed squarely at those who want some guidance for a home-only practice (or are traveling). It also comes with CDs & MP3 in both versions for a "practice along to a live class" experience. Common mistakes are not covered in as much depth (except where mentioned in the video and audio) and there are no photos of common mistakes in the manual.
Help! I think I want both!
No problem - I recommend that you purchase the AUDIO Version of the Home Practice Kit so you don't double up on DVD Volume One, which is in both packages. We've given you a super-deal if you want both - here is the link: Purchase Hot Yoga MasterClass AND the Home Practice Kit (Audio Version) together.
I am so certain that you will love this package that I'm giving you my 100% satisfaction guarantee!
I guarantee that if The Home Practice Kit does NOT quickly get you practicing easily and safely at home, then I'll give you a 100% refund, no questions asked! (You have a full 60-days under my Guarantee. Does not include shipping.)
This mp3 hot yoga class has been amazing for me, because we travel alot so now I can do hot yoga in my hotel room!!
I absolutely love it! Your instructions are very clear and concise and make me feel as if I am in my class in Bangkok.
Thank you so much---this is exactly what I needed.
The CD is great, but I also recommend the instructional guide with pictures of all the postures.
It has helped me improve my technique immensely.
Gabrielle also provided great customer service when I had a couple of questions about the product. Writing this review is my way of showing her how much I appreciated it.
Thanks for giving me the chance to practice everyway I go, the audio class is so motivating!
For a very limited time, I'll make either one of these Hot Yoga Home Practice Kits VERY attractive when you purchase today:
Yes Please! I'd Like
Or Choose Option Two!
Yes Please! I'd Like