Why should someone try the Hot Yoga Primary Series (26+2)?
Susan Wyler, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
The hot yoga primary series of 26 asanas and 2 pranayama is designed for beginning yoga students but remains a challenge for advanced yogis. There are no inversions and there is no downward dog (both of which require a profound understanding of the body to avoid strain in the neck and wrists.) The series was designed with medicine in mind: it addresses every muscle and organ, every joint, every system in the body.
Often, in yoga classes, a lot of attention is directed at the teacher: waiting to know what’s next (sometimes like a game of Twister.) In this series, once we are familiar with the sequence, the mind can relax, the body can let go. And because we practice this same “kriya” each and every day, the student becomes his/her own master. For ninety minutes, we move through this perfectly choreographed sequence knowing that our whole body is strengthened, lengthened, and toned. It’s perfection. That’s why I’ve been teaching it for close to forty years.
John Hicks, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
My first 26+2 yoga class was unbelievably hot, humid and I thought I was going to die, but I learned to love the feeling of the hot room and how it made my body feel. I remember the intensity of the experience and what was reassuring to me was the fact the their were only 26 postures and two breathing exercises. After just a few classes I had a basic understanding of the postures so there was no stress not knowing what was going to happen next in class. That gave me the ability to focus on the postures and not so much what was going to happen next. Knowing this gave me the ability to stay present and focused in class. This also took away the stress of the unknown and gave me the ability to go deep within these postures. Seeing the different levels of the students around me helped me envision my own potential and not feel self conscious as a beginner. This gave me the confidence and desire to go back again and again. Having mirrors in the studio increased my mental concentration and enabled me to see if I was doing the postures right and self correct to improve my own practice. I also noticed my ability to focus increased outside the studio in my everyday life and this improved my ability to perform at work. Since I stepped into my first class, I am more than fifty pounds lighter and have more strength, endurance, and flexibility than I thought possible. Some people have said to me, “Don’t you get bored doing the same postures every single time?” But I always say with a smile, “When I master these 26 postures then we can talk about doing some more.” The primary hot yoga series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises work the whole body from top to bottom and leave you feeling refreshed and empowered. Learning how to breathe and stay focused in the 90 minute class has given me the ability to handle many difficult situations outside of the yoga room and still stay calm. I am so grateful I discovered the benefits of the 26+2 in a hot room, because it healed my body and emotions in countless ways. I encourage every person looking for ways to increase their health and happiness to try this transformative class.
Katie Lowsley-Williams, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
In my opinion the hot yoga primary series is so important to try if only to see how you respond to it mentally. Its not just the postures that challenge us its the fact that we are in a hot environment, staring in front of a mirror while exerting our bodies. The mind to body balance is more difficult during this series that once finished it can be the most rewarding self experience. The benefits are endless, the challenge doesn’t stop even in Savasana when trying to control the mind chatter. Not only do you feel great when you leave you also learn to accept feelings that come and go during class. Coming from a Flow background I really do embrace both practices and can’t recommend going to a hot class enough!
Ryan McCourt, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
Teachers in many other disciplines search for the perfect sequence. One that strengthens and stretches all areas of the body. And that’s exactly what the hot yoga primary series already is. The whole series is nicely balanced as forward bends follow backward bends; strength poses and stretching poses intertwine seamlessly. Every posture is a wonderful compliment to the one before it and a beautiful precursor to the following posture.
KelleyJane Paradise, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
One word. Sadhana. “Sadhana is the way of accomplishing something. That something is- by effective performance and correct execution- the achievement of the real.” -Iyingar
By trying the hot yoga series, one can start a new journey, with many destinations that lead ultimately to a better Self. Along the way, one can achieve better health and mental attitude, and ability to control the outside influences that interrupt growth, peace, faith and love.
Jeannie Savage, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
Fantastic question! The first time I ever took a yoga class it was the primary series 26+2 and I did not like it! I felt hot and uncomfortable! At this point, I didn’t realize all the different types of yoga, everyone around me would always refer to it as ‘hot yoga’. After that, the classes I took were flow and vinyasa. Than I went off to training, to study this specific series, the primary hot yoga series. Earlier there was a blog: going on a date with your Self. It really was like a relationship. There were days that I was fired up and had an amazing class, days that I really struggled and had doubt. It’s a journey. I learned how to deal with the discomforts of my mind and have them subside. My body was transforming inside and out. I felt absolutely amazing. I remember asking other people in my training “hey do you see any of these muscles??” Because I felt muscles that I had never felt before, I didn’t even know some were there until I made there presence known through this series. This series is the best place to start, continue and always go back to. It is specific, telling you how to build your body from the ground up. Physically and mentally, I have learned a lot and continue to learn. I’ve been able to create this balance that I’m able to carry over into other aspects in my life. After seeing many answers, the better question is why wouldn’t you!?
Toddy Willis, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
No one should have to try anything, but if you’re calling than this is a great place to start with your yoga journey. The 26+2 series, the series is achievable for most people to comprehend, to feel, to try and to discover the benefits of what the yoga has to offer. Some of us are led to the series in the need for physical reasons due to injury or illness. Some of us are drawn to the series because of the necessity for heat or the love of being in the heat. The heat helps in relaxing the muscles giving that sensation as if you’ve stepped off the plane onto a tropical island. The muscles relax, shoulders drop down and you just start to relax, chill out. The heat in the series certainly is a great way to allow yourself to surrender to a different environment, different exercise, different movement/pattern and reconnecting with things maybe you’ve left to your dark or unconscious for some time. So, again why should you want to try this series: why not?