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Get Fit At Pure Hot Yoga

By Keith Donaldson

Hot yoga, or Bikram yoga, is an intense form of yoga that melts the pounds off in a high-temperature environment. In the busy college town of Ann Arbor, Pure Hot Yoga has become the place to go for hot yoga workouts and to find all the joys of what this spiritual workout can do. Director and owner Lora Rosenbaum, and owner Ann Putvin, answered some of our questions about her studio.

How would you describe the experience of hot yoga?

Hot yoga is based on the "Bikram" method and is a beginning therapeutic hatha yoga class. Classes are a series of 26 yoga postures (asanas) and two breathing exercises (pranayamas). It is done in a 105-degree room with 40 percent humidity. As you move through the postures you stretch and massage your spine and muscles, stimulate the organs, glands and nerves, moving fresh oxygenated blood through the entire body restoring all systems to a healthy working order. A consistent practice helps to prevent illness and injury. In addition, the series of postures combine skills of concentration, patience, determination and self-control, which lead to increased mental clarity and reduced stress. The class is practiced in a heated room, to promote cellular metabolism, detoxification, and suppleness of the muscular system. It is a beginning class designed for everyone.

What advice would you give to people who are new to hot yoga?

Acceptance of where the limitations are. Acceptance is an active process and practiced every day the mind starts to accept where the body is today. Allow the mind to accept that where the body was Yesterday was different and tomorrow hasn't even happened yet. Daily practice of this yoga has enormous benefits in acceptance. Learn to overcome adversity, this is the essence of the human experience. The more we overcome our own adversity the more we grow physically, mentally and even spiritually.

Boost in confidence by continuously looking at yourself in the mirror. The more a person practices hot yoga and looks in the mirror, seeing yourself, you being a wonderful journey of appreciation of the self, your accomplishments, and your goals you set and reach each and every time you practice. Focus on the positive clears the mind of distraction and clutter. When the mind is still the body balances as well by connecting through the breath creating a deeper stillness. By opening the mind, you explore and build a new skill set that can be used in all areas of your life, not just in 90 minutes of hot yoga.

When you put 100 percent in you get 100 percent benefits. Practice 100 percent commitment to your practice, never giving up on the self because struggling and overcoming the struggle is way more gratifying. This series is a system, a specific order in which you do the postures, each posture warms your body up and prepares it for the next posture. When you are done with class you have worked your body from inside out and head to toe. The best thing to do is some as much as you can as a beginner (three times per week min) and take it easy. Then you can feel what the yoga will bring to you.

What else would you like to convey to the public about your yoga studio? What do you enjoy about your job?

Lora: I have seen this yoga help thousands of people over the years. The best part of running this yoga studio and teaching this style of yoga is watching people improve, become stronger, healthier and happier.

Ann: This space was created for every persons' self discovery and realization. We are a community of support with a mission of yoga is for everyone. We pride our studio as being inclusive. We encourage a person who is seeking yoga, come and explore it. Because what you are seeking, is also seeking you.

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