Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Personal Thermometer

382 classes (3 advanced) in 372 days.

The subject of the temperature of the room is always a hot topic (sorry for the pun!) of discussion amongst yogis. Some people like it hotter or colder, and it's really a matter of personal preference. I prefer it on the hot side as you know if you've read some of my earlier blog entries. Over time, I've developed various ways of determining if it's hot enough in the room for me. Now my opinion of whether or not it's not enough actually depends on how I feel that day. It's not so much the exact temperature and humidity readings, although that gives an idea. For example, I prefer it to be a little cooler on the weekends but during the week, I like it hotter, sometimes insanely so. So below is a list of things I use as my own personal thermometer:

1) How fast my water melts - I stick my water bottles in the freezer everyday before I go to class. They are usually a nice solid brick of ice when I start class. If it's not hot enough, they don't melt very much. If the heat is good, they melt nicely, but are still very cool when I drink them.

2) My hamstrings. A very important reason I like it hot. My hamstrings are generally a little tight, and a nice hot room loosens them up well. If the temperature is hot enough from the beginning of class, my hamstrings are fully warmed up by the time we get to Standing Head to Knee. If it's too cold, they never get fully warmed up during the class.

3) My lower back. If my lower back is stiff after the first three postures, it's too cold, that simple.

4) Sweat on my feet - On Hands to Feet pose, I obviously can see my feet up close. If there is no or very little sweat on my feet, it's too cold.

5) My towel - A great gauge of the temperature. The hotter it is, the more I sweat and obviously the more my towel is covered in sweat. You can practically weight my towel after class and the heavier it is, the hotter it was in class.

6) My right heel. I broke my right heel about 13 years ago and it never quite healed correctly. When it's cold outside it starts to hurt a bit. A few times, it's been so cold in the yoga room that it starts to hurt. This is a sure sign that it's a bad day in the room! Luckily this is a pretty rare occurance.

7) Steam. Yeah, that's right. A few times I've been in a class that's so hot and humid that I've seen steam, and the mirrors have fogged up a bit.

8) The temperature of the floor. If the room gets hot enough, the floor at my studio will actually get pretty warm. This is fairly rare, but it's happened.

9) The feel. My personal favorite and an obvious one, but it really works. After nearly 400 classes, I can feel the temperature and humidity very accurately. I usually check the temp and humidity when I first walk into the room and after class, and I'm pretty good at guessing the numbers. Sometimes I'm convinced the thermometer in the room is wrong, but that might just be how I feel that day. The teachers generally don't want the students to know the temperature and humidity, but most of them are fine with me checking because they know I'm checking for the exact opposite reason most other students are checking. I want to make sure it's hot enough, not that it's too hot!

I'd love to hear any other ways people gauge the temperature in the room.


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