Prana is energy. It fills each of us and the whole universe. Physically it manifests as heat, light and electricity, and these things effect our bodies and minds profoundly.
For years, I have noticed that I have more energy when I practice in the daytime. Noon is best for strength and focus, the brightest time of day. In the evening when it gets dark, my energy diminishes greatly. I clearly draw strength, energy and focus from the light.
I think the same can be said for practicing in heat, because heat is powerful energy too. When we are surrounded by heat, our bodies and minds become supercharged with energy. We are stronger and more focused, filled with Prana.
The tricky thing about practicing in heat is that it raises our body temperature, and our body reacts in a multitude of ways. Often our bodies continue cooling themselves long after we have left the hot yoga room. Our body temperatures are still high, and they continue to shed heat for some time. I usually feel deeply chilled 30-60 minutes after leaving a hot class because my body has dumped so much heat.
We might be able to counteract this heat loss by staying after a practice and "cooling down" in the warm room. Somehow we need to keep our bodies in a safe and warm environment until our core temperature returns to normal and our body restabilizes.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga