Hot Yoga for pain management – Guest article from Gina Hopkins M.SC

For those who know me and for those who don’t, I’m the lady who has Dystonia, this means my posture is pretty unusual in my neck and sometime you may notice in my back. This is what you can see. What you can’t see is the prolapsed disc at L5 causing Sciatica, sometimes in both legs, in addition to back pain. Also, you don’t see the severe neuropathy in my feet, both of them, this is extremely debilitating. You might just notice I’m off balance, take easier options and modify when exercising.

I’m not known for being a ‘Yogi’ or a Yoga fanatic, many people will be surprised I even entertain Yoga. Yoga is known for being very gentle and for those who don’t break a sweat, you’re very wrong! I am known in Bristol for my Grappling, Wrestling, Strongman and generally being a big advocate of sport for disabled. Yoga is hard! You need to be or will get very strong from doing Yoga!

Hot yoga class at Yogafurie where students are building their strength in side plank position

The Yoga I enjoy is Hot Yoga, due to my aches and pains I find the movement and workout in the heat makes my body more willing to play ball! Yes, I am advocating Hot Yoga for pain management, as well as keeping yourself strong, in a fairly functional way. The older I get the more unkind my health, aches and pains are to me which makes the tool for management important.

I know I’m not alone, so many people have aches and pains from all kinda of diseases, disorders and injuries. Maybe try Hot Yoga while the evenings are getting darker, colder and wet, when those of us with chronic conditions feel three times our ages!

Hot yoga class at yogafurie

The benefits range from the obvious and usual exercise benefits from Yoga and other physical activity, to the more complex benefits. Especially when you add in a chronic health condition; please note this is very different for acute injuries; the warmth adds in a number of beneficial physiological responses. With the warmth your blood vessels dilate increasing blood flow, especially in the little capillary vessels, this helps to warm the joints and muscles and somewhat adding some protection from injury. This also occurs with raising your heart rate, therefore you should be warmer before you start. With this brings increased flexibility, the increased blood flow means muscles and more pliable. Again this extra blood flow, if you’re like me, and have chronic inflammation this can help get rid of some of that excess fluid and ease your joints and pain *. In short, I found Hot Yoga very good exercise and very good for pain management.

Hot yoga student at Yogafurie who is doing a gentle twist

So, why now?

Many people, like myself find an increase in pain when the weather changes and you either feel the cold or become more sedentary. Yogafurie have lots of offers, one might suit you if you just want to try and see if it helps.

Additionally, mix up your exercise routine! I’m known for being strong but the different exercise highlights my weaknesses, I’m glad it was hot too hide my sweat just from Yoga!

*Please check with a Doctor if you have a chronic inflammatory condition or chronic fatigue as in some cases this can be a contraindication. You should not use heat if you have an acute injury, please seek professional advice.

Yogafurie hot studio

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