Awakening the Psoas and Resting the Soul
August 12, 2022
A hot yoga studio is a great place–it's also easy a spot that's easy to overheat. Keeping students, like these folks, cool should be a teacher's number one priority.
How to Keep Yourself (& Your Students) Cool in the Hot Yoga Studio
August 18, 2022

Bring The Heat With This Hot Yoga Yoga Sequence

A hot yoga class works through a hot yoga sequence.

When it comes to yoga, some like it hot!

This hot yoga sequence is perfect for enjoying outside on a hot summer’s day, or inside of a hot yoga studio.

Hot Yoga Has Extra Benefits

On top of all of the benefits of practicing yoga, hot yoga has its own additional benefits

The added element of heat helps to boost heart health, helps manage stress, increases lung capacity, burns more calories, and improves skin health.

How is Teaching Hot Yoga Different from Teaching Non-Heated Yoga?

Many people equate hot yoga with Bikram yoga, which is a set sequence of 26 postures, but in fact hot yoga can be sequenced creatively. 

Depending on the studio you teach or practice at, even the temperature and humidity level can (and in my opinion, should) be changed up.

A few important things to note if you’re teaching in a heated studio:

  • Read the room. If your students are dropping like flies and you find a good number of your class stopping for water breaks or resting often, your room is probably too hot. 
  • Adjust the heat, open the door, and modify your sequence to include more cooling postures. You want your students to leave feeling good, not drained.

Side note: If your class is very full, you can take the heat down a degree or two.

  • Slow down. 

Adding heat makes your students burn more calories because their bodies are already working harder to regulate their body temperature. 

Their hearts are working hard to circulate more blood so you don’t need to move quickly through poses. Moving fast through poses in any environment puts your students at greater risk of injury anyway as it's harder to focus on alignment when you’re going fast. Use the heat to your advantage and move mindfully.

Encourage your students to rest when they’d like to and drink water as needed. Some students may have difficulty regulating their body temperature due to a number of reasons including hypertension, diabetes, and many other issues that are not immediately obvious.

Part of the job of a hot yoga teacher is to monitor the heat and watch students for signs of overheating.

Give your students options for resting poses that keep their head above their hearts, like Sukhasana or Virasana, to help them bring their heart rate down.

An entire hot yoga class moves through a hot yoga sequence together.

Ready to Bring the Heat?

Here’s the Hot Yoga Sequence

This sequence focuses on stretching the hips, hamstrings, and side body. The sequence utilizes multiple peaks, including Half Moon, Wild Thing, and Half or Full Splits.

For a 60-minute class, keep the opening integration portion to five minutes or less. You should be finished with Sun Salutations by about the 15-minute mark.

For a 75-minute class, you may be able to repeat the peak flow two or three times so that students can explore getting further into their Half Splits or Full Splits.

Opening Integration:

  • Seated Meditation & Intent Setting in Sukhasana
    • Choose any intent that resonates with you, or try one of these summer themed intentions:
      • Fire can create, or it can destroy. Use the heat to create something beautiful within you, or to burn away something you’re ready to release.
      • Heat transforms - water into steam, raw ingredients into beautiful meals. Use the heat of today’s practice to transform something within you.
    • Spend at least a minute or so in silence to give your students space to ground, connect with their breath,  and integrate their intention.
    • Seated Twist
      • Spend 3-5 breaths per side

Warm-Up:

  • Dead Bug Abdominals
    • Set up: Begin lying supine with arms raised towards the ceiling and legs lifted in a 90 degree angle with knees stacked over hips.
    • Simultaneously reach the right arm overhead, hovering it just off of the ground, and straighten the left leg, reaching it forward and hovering just above the ground.
    • Return to the start position, then repeat on the other side.
    • Isolate the limbs you’re working and keep the other limbs in the start position. Encourage students to press their lower backs down throughout so they’re not arching their backs off of the ground.
    • Repeat about ten times.
  • Cat & Cow
    • Move through 3-5 rounds of Cat and Cow with breath.
    • Optional: Add on Bird Dog or any other warm-up moves in a Tabletop position.
  • Downward Facing Dog
    • Encourage students to move around and do what feels good. Stay for about five deep breaths.
  • Tadasana
    • Cue students to walk their feet behind their hands.
      • Option to stay in a gentle forward fold, like Ragdoll, for a few breaths. Then stand up in Tadasana. This is a great place to remind students of the intention you set before getting into Sun Salutations.

Hot Part

  • Sun Salutations
    • Move through 1-3 rounds of Sun Salutation A and two rounds of Sun Salutation B.

Vignettes:

  • Vignette 1
    • Warrior II
    • Reverse Warrior
    • Triangle Pose
      • Hold each pose for 5 breaths.
      • After Triangle Pose, flow through a Vinyasa (Chaturanga, Upward Facing Dog, Downward Facing Dog).
      • Repeat on the other side.
  • Vignette 2
    • Head to Ankle Prep
      • Start in Warrior II legs with right leg forward. Set hands on the mat below hips.
      • Place left hand on the mat close to the left foot, or on top of a block. Place right hand on right thigh close to the hip crease with fingers pointing towards the knee.
      • Press the right hand into the right thigh and move torso towards the left leg.
    • Flank Stretch
      • From Head to Ankle Prep, place both hands back down under the hips. Straighten both legs and turn toes towards the side of the mat, like in Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide Legged Forward Fold.
      • Grab the outside of the left (back) leg with the right hand, and stack the left hand on top of the right hand.
      • Pull rib cage towards the right (front) leg. Fold forward and bend the right elbow towards the ground. Relax the neck, maybe allowing it to rest on the right arm.
    • Lizard Lunge
      • Give students the option to add on a quad stretch by pulling the back heel towards glutes.
  • Modified Side Plank
    • From Lizard Lunge with the right leg forward, rotate hips to face the right side of the mat. Walk the right foot back to use it as a kickstand in Side Plank. Either reach the right arm up, or leave it on the hips.
    • Hold each pose for 5 breaths.
    • After Lizard Lunge, flow through a Vinyasa.
    • Repeat on the other side.
  • Vignette 3
    • Crescent Lunge Twist
    • Extended Side Angle
    • Half Moon
      • Give students the option to move into Sugarcane Pose by pulling the heel of the raised leg towards their glute.
      • Hold each pose for 5 breaths.
      • After Half Moon, flow through a Vinyasa.
      • Repeat on the other side.
  • Vignette 4 - Peak Flow
    • Side Plank
    • Wild Thing
      • From Side Plank, give students the option to lift their top leg and drop it back into Wild Thing.
    • Half Splits or Full Splits
      • From Wild Thing, transition students to Half Splits either by stepping their leg with control directly between their hands, or have them return to Side Plank, lower their knee, place both hands down, and then step the foot between their hands.
      • Give students the option to stay in Half Splits, maybe with blocks under their hands, or cue those who feel warmed up enough to move into full Splits.
      •  Hold each pose for 5 breaths.
      • After Half Splits, flow through a Vinyasa.
      • Repeat on the other side.
      • After the second side, transition students to lying down on their backs for cooldown.

Cool Down

  • Supine Pigeon
  • Supine Gomukhasana
  • Supine Twist
    • Do all three poses on one side, then repeat on the other side. Hold each pose for 3-5 breaths depending on timing.
  • Savasana
Adriana Lee
Adriana Lee
Adriana's yoga journey began at a young age and continues to inspire her every day by healing mind, body and spirit through the breath. She received her 200 Hour RYT through Frog Lotus Yoga's center, Suryalila, in Adalusia, Spain. She also trained an additional 50 hours with Heba Saab at Body Heat Hot Yoga in Las Vegas, NV. She continued training with Heba by assisting and acting as a mentor to her 200 Hour trainees. She trained with Cameron Shayne in Miami and received a 50 Hour certification in the Budokon Yoga system. She is also a certified Pilates instructor and a Reiki Level 2 practitioner. Her yoga practice has brought sweetness and authenticity into her life and her intention is to share that sweetness and help her students strive to be their own authentic selves.