When I started teaching, my very first blog was on getting the temperature of the room right. An odd thing as a new teacher to be worrying about perhaps. There are plenty of other things I should have been worrying about. What if someone faints, or get falls badly and is bleeding. What if someone who is 7 months pregnant strolls into my 2-3 class after it has started. What if water starts pouring in through the ceiling? What if no one shows up? I was more naive then of course, all of the above and more has subsequently happened in my classes over the years. So, now I have been teaching for a while, is the temperature really such a concern ? Absolutely!
Bikram Yogis like their yoga at a dizzying 105+ degrees (40.6 C).
For Power Yogis a tropical 90 degrees (32.2 C) is enough.
In these classes women might glisten but men turn into mini rain forests. There will be no hands on adjustments from me in these classes 🙂
If everyone is sweating that much, it must be better for them right?
Actually there have been recent studies/claims that show yoga in an overly heated environment has no additional benefit and may even be bad for you.
I have taught classes where people complain when the thermometer rises to a balmy 72 degrees (22 C)
Tibetan Monks have demonstrated they can meditate for hours even days in sub-zero temperatures and gain super powers in the process.
The articles I have read on this don’t talk about risks or benefits. Not very scientific perhaps, but in all of the pictures of monks meditating in the snow that I have seen they never look very happy.
So what is the answer?
7 years ago, according to my previous blog, the thermometer on the wall had two settings “high” and “low” so you had to pick the temperature somewhere in the middle that felt right to you.
The problem is everyone likes their yoga at different temperatures. So the old adage applies “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
One degree to high and some rebel at the back of the class, you know who you are :), will open the fire exit doors. One degree too low and people are reaching for their Lululemon jackets.
Once I took over as teacher of a class from that previously set the room temperature at 90 degrees. Each week I reduced the temperature a few degrees. Eventually getting to the point were I only needed three tee shirts and four hydration bottles to get me though the 90 minute session. As the yogis got use to me they also got use to a new temperature.
That’s it, that’s all I’ve got, after 1500 classes and thousands of hours booked. Here is my collective wisdom and advice:-
Pick a temperature that works for you 🙂
Yogis come to your class for your particular brand of yoga. Some will like it, some won’t. Part of your class atmosphere is the temperature, so pick something you like.