by: Deepak Chopra, M.D.

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In an ideal world, the title of this article would be 5 Ways to Feel Invulnerable. But the issue of vulnerability needs to be addressed first, because so many people feel powerless and anxious, and the social trends that drain personal power only seem to grow stronger. Whether you struggle due to finances, a controlling spouse, or the pressures at work, it’s crucial to find a way to feel secure in your day-to-day life.

Let’s first clarify what being secure isn’t. It isn’t egotism that you use like a weapon to selfishly get your own way. It isn’t suppressing what you don’t like about yourself and achieving a confident self-image that doesn’t exist inside. It isn’t something that can be created through money, status, possessions, or any other material surrogate. There are countless people sitting in the lap of luxury who feel even more insecure than the average person. This is because the source of invulnerability is all inside, where you relate to yourself.

Now we can address the five things that actually do create unbounded security as a personal quality in everyday life.

1. Stop Giving Away Your Power

Becoming insecure and powerless doesn’t happen in a single dramatic stroke, like the barbarian hordes breaking down your door and burning your house. Rather, it’s a process over time, and for most people, the process is so gradual that they don’t notice it. They are more than happy, in fact, to give away their power by degrees. Why? Because being powerless seems like an easy way to be popular, accepted, and protected.

Thus you are giving away your power when you please others in order to fit in. Or when you follow the opinions of the crowd. Or when you decide that others matter more than you do. Or when you let someone who seems to have more power take charge of you.

It can often seem right—or proper—to sit modestly in the background, holding accepted opinions, living for your children, or letting a controlling spouse run roughshod over you in order to keep the peace. In small and large ways, however, these kind of decisions reduce your sense of self-worth and without self-worth, you cannot rid yourself of your powerlessness.

2. Examine Why It’s “Good” to Be a Victim

Once you start chipping away at your self-worth, it’s a short step to becoming a victim. I define being a victim as “selfless pain.” In other words, by telling yourself that you don’t really count, you can make the suffering you endure into a kind of virtue, as all martyrs do. It’s “good” when you serve a higher spiritual purpose—or so some religions believe— but what if there is no higher purpose?

Most victims feel justified about worrying all the time, but worry makes you far more vulnerable to bad things in general, since worry is an all-consuming obsession about the future, not the present situation. So the mind isn’t free and alert enough to tell real threats from imaginary ones. Worry feels like a protection when it is exactly the opposite.

Victims find lots of other “good” reasons for their plight. They excuse the actions of an abusive spouse, because forgiveness is considered spiritual. They are enabling an addict, because tolerance and acceptance of others is equally spiritual. But if you stand back, victims in such situations are deliberately bringing suffering upon themselves, which not only confirms their powerlessness, it encourages it to grow and grow. The victim is always being acted upon. There are enough abusers, addicts, rage-aholics, control freaks, and petty tyrants to drain the power from anyone who volunteers to play the role of victim. 

Having given away too much of themselves, the first step for any victim is to realize that their role is voluntary. They are not trapped by fate, destiny, or the will of God. Their role is a personal choice, and they can choose differently.

3. Develop Your Core Self

Human beings are the only creatures who do not attain adulthood automatically. A baby chick has no choice but to turn into a chicken. But the world is full of people psychologically stuck in childhood and adolescence, no matter how old they happen to be. For us, to mature is a decision; adulthood is an achievement, one that requires—and results—in personal power.

This can take decades, but it starts with a vision of the “core self.” This is the part of you that connects to reality, placing you at the center of experiences that you personally create. To have a core self is to be the author of your own story; it is the exact opposite of being a victim, who must live a life authored by others.

4. Align Yourself with the Flow of Evolution, or Personal Growth

Once you establish your core self as a goal, your path will unfold and you will evolve. This evolution is wobbly at first; everyone has at least some elements of ignorance and immaturity. But thanks to free will, you can help guide your own evolution. The simple fact is that we all desire more and better things for ourselves. If those more and better things are good for our growth, then we are guiding our own positive and powerful evolution.

In India they make a distinction between Dharma and Adharma. Dharma includes whatever naturally upholds life: happiness, truth, duty, virtue, beauty, wonder, reverence, appreciation, non-violence, understanding, love, and self-respect. On the other hand, Adharma are choices that do not support life naturally: anger, violence, fear, control, dogmatism, skepticism, unvirtuous acts, prejudice, addiction, intolerance, and unconsciousness in general.

For our purposes, Dharma is the ultimate power. It easily supports you, a single individual. What is asked of you is that you honestly look at your everyday life and the choices you are making. Ask yourself how to increase the dharmic choices and decrease the adharmic ones.  

5. Trust in a Power that Transcends Everyday Reality

Nothing described so far will come true without a higher reality. For the moment, let’s leave aside religion and any reference to God. Fortunately, to have even a speck of consciousness is to be connected to the finite consciousness that supports life, evolution, creativity, and intelligence. None of these things are accidental or a privilege handed out to the lucky few. 

To use a metaphor, imagine that you are caught in a net. All nets have holes, so find one, and jump through it. I’ve known wives of abusive husbands who found a hole through learning to paint. For them, it was an escape route, and as they made their art, their thinking changed, from “I am trapped and can do nothing” to “I must be worth more than I imagined, because look at this beautiful thing I created.” Escape routes exist along the qualities hidden in consciousness. They include:

Creativity. Go beyond through discovery and exploration. This leads to insight. Your inner vision clears. You start to see glimmers of light through the fog of your situation. Something more beautiful starts to attract you, and you’ll want to go toward it.

Intelligence. Let your mind lead the way. You start having newer, more exciting thoughts than the old habitual ones you’ve been following. Beliefs are challenged. New points of view attract you, so you move toward them. You’ll want to expand your mind in place of living behind defenses and boundaries.

Love and compassion. Discover that you can forgive yourself and others. Fantasies of hurt and revenge are replaced with emotional softening. You’ll see that there is untapped love around you, so you move toward it. The fact that you desire to love and be loved starts to motivate you, without excuses about being unworthy.

Quantum leaps. Notice—and learn—when you have an epiphany, a moment of dramatic awakening. These are the great “aha” experiences that peel away an entire layer of reality. We say that the heavens open, but really it’s a new level of consciousness, one that brings more light.

Devotion. Understand that life is full of awe and wonder. From this you see a reason to revere your own existence. You have been placed in a world where you can be devoted to something, and your worship gives you a sense of worth.

These escape routes all lead back to the person you really are, and that person knows that what really counts extends far beyond the individual: the glory of creation, the beauty of nature, the heart qualities of love and compassion, the mental power to discover new things, and those unexpected epiphanies that bring the presence of God—these universal aspects are your true source of power. They are you, and you are all of them. The path out of feeling vulnerable, reaching for the goal of invulnerability, is opened inside yourself

If you are struggling with pain from the past that is preventing you from experiencing happiness in the present, now is the time to release this emotional toxicity and set yourself free at our 3-day emotional healing workshop, Healing the Heart. Click here to learn more. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 11.00.05 AMFor most of us, our ego began to develop when we were young children. We learned the word “mine” and how to manipulate our parents by being nice, nasty, or stubborn. As we continued growing, the ego grew too, serving a useful purpose in helping us to organize our education, careers, and families.

For many people, the ego continues to dominate throughout their lives. George Harrison’s song, I, Me Mine may be your anthem and “what’s in it for me” is their mantra. For other people, there comes a realization that there’s more to life than personal gratification and they ask themselves, “How can I serve?” This is when the spiritual journey begins.

Some people choose to help others while still expecting something in return. Others choose to practice selfless service, not expecting anything in return. My own reason for learning meditation some 45 years ago was, certainly on the surface, purely selfish. The benefits were being scientifically documented, and meditation seemed to offer an exotic-sounding way to improve my health and well-being.

My experience now, as a teacher, has been that the vast majority of people who learn meditation also come seeking personal benefits—and meditation rarely disappoints. It has transformed my life and the lives of millions throughout the world. Interestingly though, whether the motivation is purely selfish, completely selfless, or somewhere in between, meditation accommodates all.

Transforming Yourself Transforms the World Around You

This is where the spiritual magic begins. As you transform yourself, the world around you cannot help but be transformed also. Vedanta tells us that the Universe is a projection of consciousness so, as you become healthier, happier, and more peaceful, this automatically reflects in the world you create around you. Deepak Chopra has said, “Social transformation comes from personal transformation.”

In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali tells us that, “When we are established in Ahimsa (non-violence), all around us become peaceful, even the wild animals forget their nature of causing pain.”

There is a story of a great saint who lived a simple, humble life. One day God appeared to the saint and said, “Because of your great saintliness, I would like to grant you any wish you choose.” Because he was very humble, the saint replied that there was nothing he needed but God insisted. “Alright,” the saint conceded, “Make it that everyone I encounter is helped in some way by my mere presence, but without knowing it’s because of me.”

To a lesser degree, this is what happens as a result of your own regular meditation practice. You radiate the benefits to everyone you meet, whether your motivation is selfish or selfless. However, like the saint, it’s important to remain humble. Your own transformation and the effects you share come from inner silence, not external noise.

How Meditation Benefits Everyone Around You

During your meditation practice, your vibrational frequency rises, creating an increase in your own coherence or inner harmony. At certain points in deep meditation, mental activity stops and the two hemispheres of the brain harmonize completely. As a result of meditation, your coherence becomes like an aura of harmony filling the space surrounding you, directly benefiting those in close proximity.

When you meditate in a group, you share in each other’s coherence. Collective coherence created by a group is greater than the sum of the amounts of coherence being created by each individual meditator. This collective coherence then radiates out for the betterment of society.

If enough people are meditating or practicing similar techniques to expand their awareness, we will reach what is known as critical mass. This is the number whose effect is large enough to influence the whole world. Deepak predicts the number for this critical mass to be around one billion. This may sound like a lot but the good news is that not everyone has to be meditating to create a worldwide transformation into peace, compassion, and harmony. However, there has to be enough people and it’s up to each of us to do our part.

On a more localized level, if a friend or relative is unwell or needs help in some way, meditating with them, even if they don’t meditate, will have a beneficial effect. I remember when I was studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, someone was bemoaning the fact that his parents weren’t interested in learning to meditate. “Don’t worry about it,” Maharishi said, “Just by your own meditation, your parents are being helped many times over.” In the Vedas, it also says that by following a spiritual path, you can benefit the previous seven generations who have lived before you.

However, a word of caution: Whether you are helping someone through the effects of your meditation or by other acts of kindness, it’s very important to take care of yourself first. A sick or needy person will draw on your energy so you should always stay aware of your own energy levels. You need to be strong and energized to serve the world effectively.

How to Tap into Cosmic Energy

Whenever working with other people, I recommend tapping into the Cosmic Energy (Love, Light)—the cosmos have infinite resources. A simple technique for this is to follow these steps:

Bring your awareness to your heart center (mid-chest) and breathe normally here.
Move your awareness to your crown chakra (top of your head) and take a few breaths here.
Now become aware or imagine a tube of light rising upward from the top of your head.
Still conscious of your breathing, allow your awareness to begin rising slowly up this tube of light.
Continue rising until you become aware or imagine reaching your Higher Self about 2 to 3 feet above your head (your Higher Self is actually non-local but the process is easier, at least in the beginning, if we think of it in a fixed place).
Breathe into your Higher Self.
Be aware or imagine the infinite Pure Energy (Light, Love) of your Higher self.
With an in-breath, begin drawing that Energy down through the tube of light and in through the top of your head.
Breathe it down to your heart center; fill your heart center.
Now as you exhale, allow that Energy to expand to all the different parts of your body. Fill your whole body with Cosmic Energy. Feel every cell charged with Cosmic Energy.
If you wish, you can expand the Energy beyond your physical body into your subtle body, to create a halo of energy around you.
You can use this Energy for good, in whatever way you choose. You can direct it to flow out through your hands, you could project it from your heart center, or you can keep it within to maximize your own energy. The great advantage of working with Cosmic Energy in this way is whatever you share with others is coming through you and not from you. With practice, you can share Energy, Love, or Light all day without feeling tired or drained. All the Energy flowing though you will be energizing you.

Whether your motives for practicing meditation are personal or more altruistic, the effects for the world will be the same. Everyone benefits!

Deepen your meditation practice at our 7-day meditation & yoga retreat, Seduction of Spirit. This is a chance to renew your strength and become more deeply connected to who you truly are and what you want most in life. Click here to learn more.

Girl stay on fields.

Five minutes into our session, Claire dissolved in tears. “I’m so exhausted from making decisions!” she said. Claire did have a lot on her plate. Her boyfriend, Mike, had proposed to her (she loved him but said he was often impatient, so she wasn’t sure he was The One). She was looking for a new home (an apartment, actually, in case things with Mike went south) but hadn’t found the perfect place. And she was desperate to quit her boring job, but was still in the process of zeroing in on a better one. It all sounded normal until we started discussing time frames. “Impatient” Mike had been waiting almost four years for Claire’s answer to his proposal. Claire had been house hunting for three of those years. And her career indecision? Almost a decade old. Claire’s exhaustion didn’t spring from making decisions; it came from not deciding—from vacillating, fretting, seeking endless advice. In a word, dithering.

Now, most of us dither now and again, but there comes a time, as an old translation of Goethe’s Faust has it, when “indecision brings its own delays, and days are lost lamenting over lost days.” If you ever find yourself singing this particular sad song, it’s time to change course—before you hem and haw your life away.

Opportunity Misers

Claire thought her problem was excessive optimism: “I intend to have the perfect man, home, and career,” she explained, “so I can’t commit to the wrong thing!” But optimists are relaxed, and Claire was anything but. Her whole life was devoted to obsessively avoiding something economists call opportunity cost. Whenever we choose one course of action, we rule out others. Giving up those other options is the opportunity cost of any decision. Claire couldn’t bear the thought of losing any opportunity by making a clear choice. She was an opportunity miser.

Just as money misers hoard their wealth, living as if they were poor even when they’re rich, opportunity misers hoard their freedom to choose—and end up becoming prisoners of indecision. Because she was unwilling to limit her future opportunities even slightly, Claire was never able to enjoy the opportunities she had. Yet she felt huge pressure to do so, as she admitted during a couples-coaching session with Mike. “I know I need to step up and make the rational choices,” she said.

Ironically, that was exactly what she didn’t need to do.

Breaking Through Decision Deadlock

From Plato to Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, countless wise men have advised us to make rational decisions. Put aside emotion! Compare the costs and benefits of your options! Pick whatever option yields the highest value for the least cost! This seems like pretty logical advice—so how come other cultural icons, such as Captain Kirk, are always boldly going where passion takes them, making decisions based not on reason but on courage, love, loyalty? As it turns out, there are good reasons logical Mr. Spock ranked second in command, while emotional Kirk was captain.

We now know that decision-making is an emotional process, not merely a calculation. Brain-damaged patients who can still think rationally but have lost the ability to process emotions can become pathologically indecisive. They may spend hours simply deciding what to wear. (I’m not sure I have this kind of brain damage, but it would explain a lot.) And it’s impossible to rationally calculate opportunity costs, because life is unpredictable. So decision-making is always a gamble, and gamblers need confidence in both their calculations and their hunches.

People who trust their gut over their brain often take flying leaps with little information—risky, but at least they get somewhere. Folks with no faith in either their intellect or their instincts generally follow the path of least resistance; again, not an optimal strategy, but not paralyzing, either. Great strategists trust both intellect and instinct; they gather information until they feel they can make a good decision. But people who try to decide with the mind alone, who place no faith in their heart’s desires, are doomed to stall and fuss, compare and contrast, forever insisting that just a little more knowledge will make the choice clear. It won’t. Luckily, the two steps below just might.

Getting Unstuck: Step One

A yogi friend of mine once told me, “The body truth goes ahead of the mind lie.” When we dither over a decision, our intellect tries to gain the upper hand, shouting, You’d better be sure! Keep your options open! Have you considered the legal implications? and so on. Fortunately, our bodies patiently persist in telling the truth. All we have to do is listen.

Here’s how:

Think of a time you said yes to something you later regretted. Vividly remember the moment you made the decision. What were you feeling, physically? Did your gut churn? Did your hands feel cold? Did your feet get hot? Even small sensations are significant. Describe them.
Next, think of a time you said no to something and later wished you’d said yes. What physical feelings did you have while you were making that choice?
Now recall a time you said no and were later relieved that you’d passed on what would have been a bad experience. What were you feeling physically when you made that choice?
Finally, remember a time you said yes to something that turned out to be a great choice. How did you feel, physically, when you were making that choice?
Generally, the sensations of an unwise decision will be consistent, whether your choice was yes or no. A wise yes or no will also have a consistent “body truth.” Focus on these sensations until you can tell them apart.

Now think of a decision you’re making today—where to buy yogurt, whether to change religions, and so forth. Feel which choice your body wants to make. Thinking about that option will ease your shoulders, open your lungs. The opposite choice will close you up like a clam. Once you’re able to sense these feelings, go on to step two.

Getting Unstuck: Step Two

Claire found that her body always felt queasy when she was making an unwise decision, and solid and centered when she was choosing well. But when she tried to sense what to do with her many big decisions, everything became a nauseated blur. Nothing felt right.

This wasn’t because all of Claire’s future options were bad. Her body was reacting, as bodies always do, to the way she was spending her energy in the present moment. Our minds may tell us that deferring a decision can ensure our best possible future—even when doing so is making us crazy right now.

Check in with yourself: Does your life feel meaningful and on-purpose at this moment? If the answer is yes, your energy is invested in living your best life. But to the extent that you feel misery, your energy is asking to be reinvested. Misery literally means “the feeling of being a miser.” If you’re miserable, stop hoarding your life energy. Spend it now! Make a choice, any choice. If you’re still miserable, you can choose again. Eventually, you’ll see that all misery is simply life asking you to trade your current course of action—or inaction—for something purposeful and true.

…And Repeat

“Are you in earnest?” says my dog-eared copy of Faust. “Seize this very minute. What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” This doesn’t mean you’ll never misstep. It means that when you trade indecision for choice, you’ll be rewarded with either success or education. Guaranteed.

Claire finally said yes to Mike and no to her own apartment. Though her mind yapped like a mad poodle about lost opportunities, her body relaxed. She became less frantic. She hasn’t switched jobs, but right now, she says, that feels okay.

Claire discovered the genius, power, and magic that comes with finally, actively choosing. You have the opportunity to discover that for yourself. Feed your mind, but feel your heart. Trust in your truth. It will be the best investment you’ll ever make.

Martha Beck

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May
28
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A Word on Meditation

Copy-spaced image of a black woman meditating at home

For decades, we at the Chopra Center have been applying consciously chosen mantras as vehicles to move awareness from constriction to expansion. The use of mantra, a word that means “mind vehicle” is an ancient practice for settling awareness without straining or concentrating. These devices tend to be pleasant resonant sounds that have a vibratory quality without accessing the meaning quality of the mantra.

When we say the word flower, there are two components: one the meaning, which may conjure up visual and olfactory experience. The other is the actual vibratory quality, to which we have assigned an association between the word and its definition. Flower in Spanish is flora; in Italian, fiorire; and in French, fleur. In each case, we associate a vibratory quality with an experience, but this is at least in part arbitrary, based upon tradition. Unlinking the relationship between sound and meaning enables us to utilize the transcending, enhancing quality of the mantra because in this context, the vibration does not automatically require the invoking of a meaning. There are thousands of ancient mantras. The universal mantra is the sound Aum, which is said to be the vibration of the universe moving from silence to activity and back to silence. The “A” component is the expression of the beginning, in which the world moves from unmanifest to manifest. The “U” represents the maintenance of the experience, temporarily captured in time and space. And the “M” is that which expresses dissolution of the individuation, allowing for the vibration to settle back into silence. We can couple the sound with the breath, but will probably soon discover that your awareness transcends both the mantra and the breath as your mind settles and your body relaxes.

I encourage you to explore various technologies to see which meditative practices resonate with your physiology so that you have ready and reliable access to silence. After a while you will find that simply closing your eyes becomes a meditative practice, one that very effortlessly takes your mind from activity to silence. Because it is more comfortable to have peace than turbulence, with a little practice it will become easy for you to meditate and to reap the benefits of mind-quieting practices.

What is the relationship between meditation and spirituality? Although meditation does not need to be associated with spiritual unfoldment, it seems that when one practices meditation regularly, we cannot help but have thoughts about God. Perhaps this is because God lives within the gap of the mind, and when that dimension is not occupied with obsessive thoughts about the past or the future, God wanders in to fill that space. In a sense, even when we’re thinking about God, the very thought of the divine squeezes out the sacred. Words are intrinsically restrictive because the very nature of language is to differentiate one thought from another. When I say that you’re beautiful, intelligent, and kind, I’m implying that you’re not ugly, dim-witted, or mean.

However, if we’re being honest, we all know that each of us can be beautiful and ugly, intelligent and foolish, kind and mean. It is the nature of the languaging mind to dichotomize the world into pluses and minuses; it is not the nature of life. We use our mind to define ourselves.

It has been fascinating as I lose my mind as a consequence of my illness to recognize that I have a mind but I’m not my mind. In actuality, we are the silent witnessing awareness that gives rise to thoughts in the mind and sensations in the body.

Dr. David Simon

Terms & Conditions

It is assumed that when starting any Hot Yoga class, you have taken responsibility for these essential Terms & Conditions and contraindications prior to class. Failure to do so, or failure to discuss with your Doctor is wholly your liability to participate and not the liability of the Falcon Yoga, It’s Teachers, or it’s affiliates.

A sign reading Hot Yoga outside on the sidewalk

Falcon Yoga will be offering Infrared Hot Yoga beginning May 2016. Infrared Heat during Yoga Practice can help to detoxify your body. This type of heat therapy may help in fat loss, chronic fatigue, water retention, skin disorders, as well as in the elimination heavy metals, poisons, and carcinogenic material from our bodies.


Whenever we process food, and particularly when we have processed unhealthy food or meats, our bodies create lactic acids and free fatty acids, as well as excess sodium and uric acid. For those who have skin problems, research has found that this type of therapy can help clean the liver and kidneys, instead of overworking the skin in processing our toxins out through the dermis.

Hot Yoga is a very gently way of increasing blood flow by expanding the capillaries that carry blood. It also increases oxygenation and regeneration of the blood, deeply detoxifying it for the improved functioning of all of the major organs in the body, which depend on blood for energy. This detoxification is on the deepest level, allowing hidden toxins in the blood and tissue to be dissolved or immobilized.


Through the subtle heating, we can increase our immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells and killer T-cells. It is an excellent therapy for promoting healing, reducing muscle soreness, muscle spasms and relief for rheumatoid arthritis.

Research by NASA has shown that infrared heat on the cardiovascular system was a great way of keeping astronauts hearts’ in optimal condition. 
Infrared heat can also increase the processing enzyme activity in our digestive tract, as well as boost metabolism. An hour of this therapy can burn up to 900 calories, showing excellent results in breaking down trapped fat, waste, cellulite and other forms of toxic substances. The rejuvenating effects of Infrared has been shown to help heal scar tissue such as burn scars, acne scars and other forms of dermatological scarring. The sweating quality that comes from Infrared heat helps us detox from the enormous levels of pollution in modern times. It also is crucial for pain relief and the reduction of inflammation.

Clinical studies done in both the United States, and in Japan, found, “Much of the stiffness, aches and soreness that comes with aging is reduced or eliminated” and, “Whole body infrared heat relieved pain from burns and decreased healing time with less scarring.” Heart studies done by The Mayo Clinic and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that infrared heat significantly improved blood vessel functioning in high-cholesterol, diabetes and smoking patients. The therapy also was found to increase circulation, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and help in weight loss.

THE DO’S AND DON’TS 

In all situations, hydration is a requirement for Hot Yoga. Drinking lots of water both before and after class is a must, or it could result in fainting and medical complications including overheating! It is not recommended that you drink water for the first 15 minutes of class. Do not apply body lotion to your body prior to class.

In the rare event that you experience pain and/or discomfort, immediately discontinue class.

Medications

Individuals who are using prescription drugs should seek the advice of their Doctor or a pharmacist for possible changes in the drugs’ effects when the body is exposed to high levels of heat and/or elevated body temperature. Diuretics, barbiturates, and beta-blockers may impair the body’s natural heat loss mechanisms. Some over-the-counter drugs such as antihistamines may also cause the body to be more prone to heat stroke.

Children

The core body temperature of children rises much faster than adults. This occurs due to a higher metabolic rate per body mass, limited circulatory adaptation to increased cardiac demands, and the inability to regulate body temperature by sweating. Consult with a child’s Doctor before coming to class. The child’s parent or guardian must also do the class and take full responsibility for the child should any health problem occur.

The Elderly

The ability to maintain core body temperature decreases with age. This is primarily due to circulatory conditions and decreased sweat gland function. The body must be able to activate its natural cooling processes in order to maintain core body temperature.

Cardiovascular Conditions

Individuals with cardiovascular conditions or problems (hypertension, hypotension, congestive heart failure, or impaired coronary circulation) or those who are taking medications which might affect blood pressure should exercise extreme caution when exposed to prolonged heat. Heat stress increases cardiac output and blood flow due to the body’s effort to transfer internal body heat to the outside environment via the skin (perspiration) and respiratory system. This takes place primarily due to major changes in the heart rate, which has the potential to increase by 30 beats per minute for each degree of increase in core body temperature.

Alcohol / Alcohol Abuse

Contrary to popular belief, it is not advisable to attempt to “sweat out” a hangover. Alcohol intoxication decreases a person’s judgment. Therefore this person may not realize it when the body has a negative reaction to high heat. Alcohol also increases the heart rate, which may be further increased by heat stress.

Chronic Conditions/Diseases

Associated with the Reduced Ability to Perspire Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, central nervous system tumours, and diabetes with neuropathy are conditions that are associated with impaired sweating.

Other Conditions

Hot Yoga should be avoided by anyone who is predisposed to bleeding, Haemophiliacs.

An individual that has a fever should not come to class

Insensitivity to Heat: An individual that has insensitivity to heat should not use a sauna.

Pregnant women

You should consult a Doctor before starting Hot Yoga because fetal damage can occur with a certain elevated body temperature. The first trimester should be treated very carefully as maximal stretching of ligaments and tendons can mean you are partial to overstretching.

Menstruation

Heating of the lower back area of women during the menstrual period may temporarily increase their menstrual flow. Some women endure this process to gain the pain relief commonly associated with their cycle, whereas others simply choose to avoid Hot Yoga at that time of the month, it is a personal choice. Inversions should not be practiced during these weeks as blood flow is reversed unnaturally.

Joint Injury

If you have a recent acute joint injury, it should not be heated for the first 48 hours after an injury or until the hot and swollen symptoms subside. If you have a joint or joints that are chronically hot and swollen, these joints may respond poorly to vigorous heating of any kind.

Enclosed Infections

Vigorous heating is strictly contraindicated in cases of enclosed infections, be they dental, in joints, or in any other tissues.

Implants

Metal pins, rods, artificial joints, or any other surgical implants generally reflect far infrared waves and thus are not heated by this system. Nevertheless, you should consult your surgeon prior to practicing infrared heat. Discontinue if you experience pain near any such implants. Silicone does absorb far infrared energy. Implanted silicone or silicone prostheses for nose or ear replacement may be warmed by the far infrared waves. Since silicone melts at over 200°C (392°F), it should not be adversely affected by the usage of an infrared sauna. It is still advised that you check with your surgeon and possibly a representative from the implant manufacturer to be certain.

Post Class Advice

You might feel euphoric after class and full of life! Great news, don’t be concerned this may last for several hours afterwards!

Like any exercise, different muscles that have been neglected and suddenly re-used may experience discomfort. View this as a positive sign that every muscles is awakening to the joy of your yoga practice!

You may experience sickness, headaches or light headedness after class, overnight or into the next day. You could be dehydrated and need lots of water onboard! Always ensure relaxing breathing throughout the sequence to optimise oxygenation of the body.

You may look red or blotchy or have hot flushes. All of these are common signs of flushing out toxins. Make sure you wash thoroughly after class.

Terms & Conditions: It is assumed that when starting any Hot Yoga class, you have taken responsibility for these essential Terms & Conditions and contraindications prior to class. Failure to do so, or failure to discuss with your Doctor is wholly your liability to participate and not the liability of the Falcon Yoga, It’s Teachers, or it’s affiliates.

 

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