Everything you ever wanted to ask from a yoga instructor

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Welcome to Racked’s Fitness week: Five days of training coverage, so you can start your New Year’s resolutions on the right foot.

Few things in yoga are as mysterious as hot yoga-a practice in which the thermostat is pushed up to a muggy 100 degrees or more. The benefits: detox for the whole body (thanks to a lot of perspiration) and increased fluidity which allows you to slide in and out of postures. When you add the word “power” to the course description, things get even more intense.

Loren bassett is a Pure yoga instructor who teaches the Hot Power courses, and she also recently worked with the company to create the new PXT conditioning class. After the jump, she shares more reasons why turning up the heat is a great workout, as well as how to overcome your fear of handstand, what you should eat before class, and why excuses like “I’m not flexible” are. a bunch of BS.

How important is a good sense of balance in yoga, and what if your balance is bad?

First and foremost, there are no prerequisites or expectations for practicing yoga, and I think people are intimidated by yoga because they think you have to be in a certain place already to start. practice, which is not true. The goal of yoga is to become more centered physically and mentally. One of my favorite mantras is: “A journey of a thousand kilometers begins with the first step.

When it comes to balance, being centered is the lifeblood of yoga. Mentally, the most important thing is to ground yourself in the present moment by focusing on your breathing, which is meditation. From a physical point of view, any connection with the earth and the postures is the starting point of the posture. For example, in Tree Pose, your connection to the earth is your foot. Essentially, it’s like you’re the root of a tree. If you are pear tree, it would be your hands. So this is really the most important thing: where the posture begins, to take root.

Do you have any advice for when you are starting a practice and you are not very flexible?

It’s so interesting, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to people who say, “I don’t do yoga because I’m not flexible” and all the rest. goal practice yoga. I wasn’t flexible when I first started – I was an athlete who never stretched and couldn’t even intertwine my hands behind my back for a full year. Like anything else, the more time and energy you spend connecting with your body through movement and breathing, the more you get to know your body and discover your full potential. As a result, you will become stronger and more flexible as you practice.

What are the best intentions you can think of before your practice?

The first would be to stay present. Staying present and calm is the most important thing because in reality our only reality is the present moment – we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, and the past is gone. And the second thing is to clear the space, in what I call the clean house. Basically calming the fluctuations of the mind, staying present, staying calm, and removing all negativity, whether it’s destructive thoughts or what we call limited beliefs. Replace it with what is called a positive mantra.

What’s the best thing to eat before yoga?

I would say maybe a light smoothie, yogurt, almond oatmeal, some fruit. Something very light, but the most important is to eat, give yourself even two hours to digest the food. If you’re starving right before, I’d say you’re eating something really, really light as a fruit. It is important that you eat because you will need strength and your body needs fuel and energy. But try to eat an hour and a half to two hours before your practice.

What do you think are the most difficult positions? One of our editors was really curious about how to overcome the fear of pear trees and pear trees.

It completely depends on the person. For example, I am very strong and can stay balanced on my hands all day. I’ve been practicing for 14 years, but if you put me in a Half Pigeon or Hip Opener and I feel like crying. I’m doing cardio and weights so I’m going to be a bit tighter at the hips. A lot of people are intrigued by arm balances, and they want to learn how to do them because they are fun, beautiful, and powerful.

When it comes to overcoming your fear, another mantra of mine is: “to be courageous is to do something that you are afraid of and to do it anyway”. Obviously your safety is important, so I would say the first thing is to build physical strength – you want to build strength in your arms to have confidence in yourself and believe that your arms can support your body weight. It’s baby steps. I think the most important thing [to know] It is because you cannot completely overcome this fear. It suffices to establish a different relation to fear. Don’t let fear cripple you.

Question: How often should a person train to see results, both physically in their body and mentally.

Minimum, minimum, minimum three times a week. Practicing yoga doesn’t mean you have to go to a class every day. Twenty minutes of stretching a day is practicing yoga. The more frequently you do this, the more you get to know your body and the stronger and more flexible your body will become, just like anything else. But I think at least three times a week. Ideally five to six days a week.

What poses would you recommend for someone who sits at a desk all day?

My initial recommendation would be to do postures that stretch the quadriceps and hip flexors. One of my favorites is Lizard Pose, and that’s where you’re in a lunge with your hands towards, say, the inside of the right foot, and the right foot is pillar. You go down to the forearms if you can and you stretch the left hip flexors and the left quadriceps and you lengthen the right hamstring muscle.

The pigeon variations would probably be my second recommendation. These open up the hips, chest and shoulders. Lean forward or lean forward to stretch the back of the legs; Downward Dog helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles of the body; and the locust pose, because when you’re sitting at a desk you tend to round your shoulders – you tend to lean forward because you’re working at a computer.

What do you say to people who don’t consider yoga to be a real workout?

I love it when they say that. My first reaction is to come to my class and see how you feel afterwards. I teach hot power classes and am very strict. I don’t let people leave the room unless they tell me beforehand, and if someone leaves the room, we all do five push-ups. recently had a guy competing in Ironman races, and he said, “This, in a different way, is a lot harder than what I just did.”

If you want a more rigorous workout, you want to come to a hot power class where you get moving, your heart rate is high, your head down, and there’s no stopping and starting. In my class, you move from one position to another. Your heart rate will increase, so it’s more cardiovascular.

What [hot yoga] does for me more than anything is detox. It flushes toxins out of the body and for me it adds an intensity to the practice that you won’t get with a style of yoga that isn’t hot. I think it strengthens you from a mental point of view as you have to deal with the heat on High to be upside down in the postures. You are going to deepen the postures, because your muscles warm up much faster and it creates more elasticity in the muscles, and obviously this increases the heart rate, which helps to break down glucose and fatty acids and you burn more calories. .

How hot is it?

It depends on the weather outside, as it affects the heat inside, and also on the number of people in the classroom. If I have a room full of 45 people who are carpet to carpet and the temperature is set to 100 degrees, it’s really going to be 105 to 107.

Can you think of any workouts that are a good addition to yoga?

Absolutely, I am a big fan of cross training. I think that in order to be in peak physical shape, you have to do a little bit of everything. We recently started a program here called PXT, which is pure cross training because I think first of all your body will stabilize if you do the same thing every day or five days a week. You have to change it because you are going to be using different muscles and you want to work on cardio, endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. You can’t get it all in one workout.

For example, in yoga there is no way to “pull”. In order for you to target back muscles, you need to get to the rower at the gym. You need to pull something to strengthen the muscles of the round shoulder blades and the muscles of the shoulder blades. We don’t have that in yoga. We work a lot inside the body and not the posterior. It is important to get into and do the weight room.

Do you have a favorite brand of yoga pants?

Lululemon is close to my heart. Most of my clothes are Lululemon because I love the brand and have been its ambassador. I like Tanya-b; it has its own brand. It’s very flattering and it feels good. There are a lot of really fun brands out there, like PRISMPORT and Onzie, if you want to go a little lighter and a little wacky. I also have a few, to mix it up a bit.
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