Hot Yoga: Blissful simple stretching

What did the hot yoga instructor call their dog?

You’ll find out at the end.

woman doing yoga inside a room
Photo by Valeria Ushakova on

First, I’m going to write about hot yoga. How initially I’ve always been sniffy about alternative therapies/practices. Through consciously being more open-minded, I have encountered a lot of fantastic experiences.

Hot yoga is one of them.

Yoga/hot yoga may not be for you, and that’s OK. Yoga and in particular hot yoga has benefitted my mental health. You might benefit from reading about my experience.

If not, that’s grand, and I’ll see you next time.

If you’re still reading, then on some level your interested, or at least curious.

Before you continue, a few points.

Hot yoga should complement your exercise regimen, not replace.

It’s not a cureall, it’s not a wonder drug, you won’t lose weight.

It’s not for everyone, and that’s OK

One final point before moving on is I was going to talk specifically about Hot Yoga Belfast. The place where you’ll find me in a heap in the corner. I’ll talk about Hot Yoga Belfast in another post. Why, because a lot of you aren’t reading in Northern Ireland, I like to think you are but let’s be real. Shout out to those of you reading in USA, India and Canada.

I’m going to focus on Hot Yoga the practice instead of one specific place.

Hot Yoga

Isn’t Hot Yoga some hippy-dippy nonsense?

I mean to a certain extent, I guess. You may consider it to be such a thing, but if that is a case, then how come you’re reading about it right now?

If you know for sure, it is nonsense then what is there to talk about? Don’t get me wrong I was sceptical about how useful something like yoga is. I want to be more open-minded. My scepticism might be costing me something wonderful

With its peace, love and namaste’s, I understand it has a reputation. However, everyone is welcome. Instructors want you to get the most out of your class. It’s a very positive and inviting atmosphere. It might seem a bit of a shock. To be somewhere where the people withhold cynicism and sarcasm. It’ll make you suspicious at first but remain open, and you’ll benefit.

How hot is hot yoga?

It gets pretty hot, 33 Celcius, four degrees of separation from body temperature.

Mental hot yoga benefits

Someone asked me if I noticed improved flexibility after doing hot yoga.

I couldn’t answer him. You want to know why?

Here’s the thing.

I don’t go to hot yoga to be more flexible. Yes, my balance improves here and there. I’m able to focus more and go deeper into the stretch; however, it’s not the reason I go to hot yoga.

There’s something deeper, more mental going on when I practice yoga. I’m not a great word person, so I’m going to use a couple of analogies to explain it. The analogy is used to explain not to persuade. They won’t be perfect analogies. In fact, you’ll probably point out how flawed my analogies are.

“Kieran the human body isn’t like that” I’ll hear you shout from your side of the screen. Fair enough, it’s to give you a rough idea of what I get from Hot yoga.

Two analogies to explain hot yoga

The analogy of the net.

You’re imagining, your favourite pair of lace-up shoes. You wear them some much that naturally the laces get tangled every now and then. There are little knots in the laces. Now you’re still able to pull them through the loops. They get caught occasionally, but they’re not a big deal.

Now hold up your free hand and look at the palm of your hand. Look at the lines of skin that criss-cross your hand. Relax your eyes and put all your focus on the lines. They’re almost like a net, aren’t they? Imagine that net below your skin.

That net knots in subtle ways you may not realise.

Hunch your shoulders, sink your head. How would someone feel after having that posture for several hours a day, seven days a week? Imagine what a person with that posture would look like.

Posture knots the net.

Where does the posture come from?

It comes from our habits, routines and one more thing.

Here’s where I lose half of you.

It comes from our emotions. I believe emotions get locked into specific parts of our body. Through stretching, we are stretching out the net, untangling the knots. It may take time, and some are tougher than others but being aware of the knot in the first place is halfway to untying it.

Right, was that any use? Onto the next analogy.

The analogy of the large house.

Through a twist of fate, you have found that you have inherited a large house. You’ve only moved in. You are living in what must have been the old servants quarters. It’s OK, it has everything you need.

Your friend comes to visit and asks you what the rest of the house has to offer. You don’t know because you haven’t looked around. Your friend tells you to get up off the sofa because you’re going exploring.

The house is dark, there are cobwebs and the curtains are drawn. Your friend opens doors, some are locked, and you need keys. Some rooms are in pristine condition, they haven’t been used in years, but everything is good to go. There’s an astronomy room with all different kinds of telescopes. A library with first editions. There’s even a huge bath. You check the taps. The splutter and shake, but the water still works. You didn’t realise the house had so much to offer.

Now you’re probably already way ahead of me. As soon as you saw the word house, you said: “the house is the body”.

That’s why we get on so well together because you’re sharp, perceptive, two steps ahead of me. Whereas I’m an outrageous flirt and charmer.

Yoga can feel tough at times. Not because it is tough but because you are opening up areas of yourself that you haven’t used in a while.

Were those analogies useful? Again, they’re not perfect.

Where does the heat come into hot yoga?

The heat in hot yoga makes it more intense. It helps to quiet that inner voice that won’t shut up about the future. The hotness puts that voice to sleep. The heat brings you into the present, into your body and into your breath.

When I finish a class, it feels like I’ve had the stagnant flushed from my system.

It feels like the stationary has become mobile again.

I feel more aware of my body at peace.

Have you ever had a fantastic hug from a massive person? One of those hugs, it feels like they are squeezing the stress out of you?

If you have, I’m jealous. I’m no the biggest fan of hugs, and at 6’4 people taller than me is less common.

Hot yoga feels like a long hug.

Does that make sense?

Let me wrap this up.

You can give it a go

If you are considering it, go for it. I started off with classes 45 minutes in length. Go at least three times before making up your mind if it’s something that you want to consider. After that, it’s worth going for the hour-long sessions.

Again, you might hate it, you might not get any benefit from it, that’s grand. I’m not here to convert anyone. To be honest, the classes I’m going to are getting pretty full.

You know what? Don’t go to hot yoga. Especially not in Belfast, yeah it’s too hard for you, you’ll not enjoy yourself.


There you have it. Hope you found it insightful. Again, hot yoga is not for everyone. I’m enjoying it, and you might enjoy it too.

What did the hot yoga instructor call their dog?


Peace, love and namaste.

Have a great day!



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