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10 Tips for your first HOT Yoga class

Want to try hot yoga but don’t know where to start?
Here are 10 tips to help you Sweat Safely
written by Mary Grace


I am not a doctor, but I do know one thing. The human body was designed with a built in temperature gauge to torch bacteria & to help the cells to burn out disease. We get a fever for a reason. But what about the little things. The things that are draining our precious energy, but aren’t strong enough to give us a full blown fever? Sri Pattibhi Jois taught that you must boil the blood to cook out disease. Just like the process of purifying dirty water to becoming safe to drink, one must boil the water within the body to be healthy. The great yogis have taught that one must heat the body up through a yoga system that produces a great amount of sweating. Heating up the body for healing is nothing new. “Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great ancient physician Parmenides.

The science of sweating
Sweating is induced by a process called Hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is when ones body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illness such as fever. Hyperthermia can also be used for healing. The use of heating a patient up to induce sweating has been used since the beginning of time. Heat Shock therapy has been discovered to be incredibly healing to the body. Watch a video here

I walked into my first hot yoga class as a New Years resolution on 1-1-2000. It was Y2K and I had to do something about the way my life was going. My friend was going and asked me to join her. My first class didn’t come with a training manual, or a guide book, or even a what to expect brochure. I didn’t know what to wear, and lululemon didn’t exist back then. I know Hot Yoga is always attracting new students, so I created this guide to help make it easier for you to join us and sweat safely today.
Hot yoga is nothing new. Hot yoga is popular worldwide and that is because it works!
So you just got invited to a hot yoga class
Here are my tips to help you Sweat Safely

Tip #1-
Drink a lot of water. Water, pure water. Not tea, soda or coffee. Not flavored water or ice water and not sparkling water. You need to drink pure, clean water before your class. I suggest drinking 32 oz. of room temperature water upon waking. And then another 32 oz. of water a 1/2 hour or more before your class. Its best to use a water filter at home so you can be assured that you are getting pure, clean water without additives or plastic residue. Water to the Hot Yoga practitioner becomes a part time job. The water you drink is not just to replace what you will lose in sweating, this water will help improve the circulation and assist in the detoxification of your body. It’s great for weight loss as well. Many times we think we are hungry and we are usually just thirsty. If you aren’t carrying a water bottle around with you, you are probably dehydrated. Drinking during the class may actually make the class harder, as it awakens digestion, which is depressed during the thermoregulation process.

Tip #2-
Don’t get Delhi Belly
Don’t eat before yoga class. With all that water how can you eat? If you take a morning class, wake up, drink your water, and perhaps eat a watery piece of fruit or juice. It’s not a good idea to drink a pot of coffee & have a bagel before your first yoga class. The coffee will jack you up and raise your heart rate too high, only making the class more challenging. And that bagel, well, it turned to glue in your stomach and may cause lots of nausea. The reason you don’t want to eat before yoga classes is simple. Because of the thermoregulation and the raising of the heart rate we are playing with the fight & flight response in class. When the body is in fight or flight mode, the digestion goes on the back burner, and food causes indigestion because it’s not being metabolized in the class. We suggest not eating 3-5 hours before class. Now some people take that too far, and they don’t eat all day, run 6 miles & then come to yoga class. This person may have a hard time because the blood sugar may drop. You may need some sugar in your blood so you can maintain your balance. A Juice, an apple or a banana. I suggest drinking a protein shake.

Tip #3-
No bikinis please!
Dress appropriately. We don’t suggest yoga pants for our yoga classes. Yoga pants are the new sweat pants but don’t wear them to actually sweat in! There are some awesome new products on the market made out of bathing suit material. They are tight and don’t hold the sweat. For this reason, we don’t suggest wearing cotton and don’t definitely don’t wear a baggy t-shirts. What is good to wear is a tank top and leggings. Men do well with swim trunks. But please, no speedos and ladies, please don’t show up in your bikini. Too little clothes allows the sweat to fly all over the place & you may be too slippery. So what do you wear? Think board shorts for the men and leggings & a tank top for the girls.

Tip #4-
SWEAT Responsibly
Bring a towel. I say this to everyone, bring a towel. And they show up with a facecloth. You need to bring a large beach towel. Think of the one that you would throw on your chaise lounge or bring to the beach. The towel should cover most of your body when you lay on it while doing the postures on your back. Perhaps bring two towels. We rate our classes on how many towels are needed to soak up the sweat. Like “two towel Tuesday’s”.

Tip #5-
Expect to be nauseous, dizzy, maybe hallucinate. Seems kind of funny, but everyone experiences nausea, stomach upsets, and may even see stars in a hot yoga class. In some ways it’s our fear of feeling this that makes it worse. I try to think that I’m dizzy because the yoga is working. The practice is constantly squeezing the body, and pushing the blood up to the head. The super high oxygen levels also make someone feel dizzy. It’s your choice whether you decide this is a good or a bad sensation. It’s only a temporary feeling, and the more you control your breathing, and the stronger your mind, and the fitter your body gets, the less dizzy you will feel. The healthier you get from the practice, the more these symptoms seem to subside. You master your body! Yay!

Tip #6-
spacial dynamics
Get to class early so you can get into the back row- Rushing to yoga class and showing up late is not only disturbing to others, but its very stressful for you as well. Make the time to get to class early, change your clothes, sign in to the class, and find a good spot in the back row. Many students show up 20-30 minutes early to class and allow their bodies to acclimate to the heat. This might work for you as well. Warm up, start to get into your body & breathe, will allow you to meet the other students and you can get some great tips from them. Speeding to yoga class and cutting people off to be on time isn’t recommended.

Tip #7-
Relax, nothing is under control
Don’t try everything in your first class- Many first time students experience the ego pressures to do everything in the class. Don’t fall into this trap. You don’t have to externally do everything. The best advice I can give everyone in their first class is to give the poses only 50% while you give your breathing 100%. It’s challenging to listen to the teacher and try to think your way through everything, especially since you don’t have the understanding of what expected of you, or what your body can actually do. Breathe more, give yourself permission to rest, and slowly try to approach the entire class, rather than thinking you have to do everything in your first day. It’s a relief knowing yoga isn’t like the gym. Nobody is judging you or trying to compete. Resting may be the greatest challenge in a yoga class, and may actually be the most beneficial for your health.

Tip #8-
Don’t run!
Stay in the room. Many people get very uncomfortable in a hot yoga class and may feel the need to run. I suggest stay with that feeling and simply sit down and work on your breathing, or just lie down until your body can recalibrate and settle down. If you think that you have to run out then that thought will always give you a way to escape. We don’t suggest running. We suggest learning to trust your breath and exercise your will power to help calm you down. Then you will have this tool ready for you in life, when the heat is on and you want to run, now you learn to stay and change your inner state.

Tip #9-
Just breathe. I am always teaching my students to breathe, and I still always find students holding their breath and trying to push too hard in the poses. This not only feels terrible, may make you really dizzy & nauseous, but this also may lead to injuries. It’s a good practice to count your breaths. I use a 6 count inhale & exhale. It seems like we have been trained to push our body and our mind so much in our culture that we forget to breathe. It’s very easy to forget to breathe. Hot crazy is that? We forget to breathe. Yoga helps you breathe better awake and conscious, as well as asleep!

Tip #10
En lighten upppp
Have a light heart. Don’t judge yourself too much. Stop thinking you look like an idiot and it’s too hard. Anything new is hard, get past your conditioned thinking. We all fell learning to stand, it’s so good we didn’t have these negative thoughts then. Enlighten up, Stop projecting onto yourself, the teacher, the heat, the others and just take responsibility for your breathing. Just focus on what is happening with your breath and your mind, your thoughts, and how you feel will shift. Yoga leads to inner peace, not simply making ourselves look like everyone else. Our minds may so effected by our culture that we don’t even see it. Just take a chill in a hot yoga class and let the sweat melt your body & the heat relax your mind.

written by Mary Grace.

Born on the day of the Spiritual Warrior, Mary Grace has been playing with horses, travelling the world & has been practicing yoga all her life. Read her full bio on

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Yoga for Pain Management

disclaimer- This website is for informational purposes only. Remember to always contact your physician before beginning any exercise program. This website does not intent to diagnose, treat or replace any medical treatment.

yoga backHow does yoga assist one experiencing back pain?
Of course, always check with your physician before trying any new workout routine. Many pain management doctors frequent our hot yoga classes for the amazing relief it gives them & their patients.

Here are some examples of how yoga may help-

Stretching and relaxation from yoga. Yoga incorporates stretching and relaxation, which reduces tension in stress-carrying muscles. Yoga requires that the individual hold gentle poses anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds. Within the pose, certain muscles flex, while others stretch, promoting relaxation and flexibility in muscles and joints.For people with lower back pain, stretching is very important. For example, stretching the hamstring muscles (in the back of the thigh) helps expand the motion in the pelvis, decreasing stress across the lower back. In addition, stretching with yoga increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in, toxins to flow out, and overall nourishment of the muscles and soft tissues in the lower back.Breathing is considered very important during the yoga poses. While holding a position, the tendency is to hold the breath as well. Instead, the intention is to have a deep, free, and rhythmic breath through the nose on both the inhale and the exhale.

The quality of the breath in many ways determines the quality of the yoga practice. This will emphasize a relaxed body and encourage strong circulation.
Posture, balance and body alignment through yoga. The yoga poses are meant to train the body to be healthy and supple. Consistent practice and application will result in improved posture, and an increased sense of balance, with head, shoulders and pelvis in proper alignment. Additionally, unlike many other forms of exercise, yoga helps stretch and strengthens both sides of the body equally.Proper body alignment and good posture, which helps maintain the natural curvature of the spine, is an important part of reducing or avoiding lower back pain.
Awareness of the body through yoga increases with practice. In theory, specific positioning and repositioning not only limbers the body, but also trains people to understand the limitations of their body. An increased awareness acts as a preventative measure, in that the individual will know what types of motions should and should not be avoided.

Engaging in Hatha yoga affords the practitioner with a mental state of mind that is ready for meditation, which in turn reduces stress and enhances mood. These mental benefits play an important role in the overall healing benefits of yoga.

There are several theories as to why a mental state of mind may affect those suffering from back pain.

Many believe that suffering from back pain increases because of perception. Negative psychological and emotional factors may not necessarily change the physiology of the back, but may tend to magnify a problem that already exists. Thus, reducing the perception of the pain (such as through meditation) can reduce the overall feeling of back pain.

Others take the role of mental factors one step further. They believe that psychological and emotional factors are the primary influence in the sensation of pain and can physically alter the body. For various reasons, high stress and negative emotions may actually cause back pain. This will in turn create negative psychological and emotional feelings, perpetuating the cycle.
In theory, yoga helps people concentrate their energy on breathing and maintaining posture. The methodical breathing increases oxygen flow to the brain and sets a rhythm within the body and mind. This action coupled with the poses and sometimes meditation is said to dissipate stress and anxiety, therefore, relieving back pain caused by psychological and emotional factors.


Yoga and its effects on back pain have been long documented. Try for yourself and see if yoga can help you.

Join us at Maui Hot Yoga sometime soon.

Yoga for Weight loss


It is becoming more and more commonly known that yoga is good for your health.
With the added benfits of the aerobic & cardiovascular affects of Hot Yoga, and you have a weight loss phenomenon that has been quickly becoming widespread all over the world. Since 2002 at Yoga Oasis Woodbury, we have seen some real miracles. We have assisted many students find what they need to help them reach their weight goals.

Believe it or not, some of our students have even reported losing 75, 85 & even 100 pounds with our hot yoga program! We have one student who has lost 135 pounds with us over the course of 1 year, and has kept it off with his newly found hot yoga lifestyle.

Through the practice of hot yoga, the cardiovascular system is challenged in a great new way.
Just being in a room heated over 100 degrees, the body tries very hard to maintain itself. This is called

Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when the surrounding temperature is very different. This process is one aspect of homeostasis, which is a dynamic state of stability between an animal’s internal environment and its external environment. If the body is unable to maintain a normal temperature and it increases significantly above normal, a condition known as hyperthermia occurs. The opposite condition, when body temperature decreases below normal levels, is known as hypothermia.

This means when the body is externally heated, like in our hot yoga room, the body is forced to find ways to cool itself down, raising the heart rate and sweating to cool down. This allows you to get a cardiovascular workout just standing still. Then in the class we do specific postures that help to further raise the heart rate, and then the body burns more calories. Some students wearing heart rate monitors have reported their heart rate raising up as much it does in their spinning classes, which can lead to burning 700-1000 calories in one hour. Hot yoga is a lot more fun then running of spinning, and it is a great way to get in shape when you are very overweight and running is not an option. Also, hot yoga can be nourishing to the body, healthy to the joints, and a very safe way to get a workout no matter what your fitness level is, or lack there of. I have had students over 300 pounds take my hot yoga classes and they have lost over 100 pounds, and kept it off.

What other workout can help them? Nothing is as easy on the bodies structural system, the knees and the back of over weight people like Hot Yoga.

Try our special Yoga for Weight Loss classes Monday, Tuesday Wednesday & Thursday’s at 4 & 8 pm

YogaRama Kids Yoga

Kids yoga

Kids need yoga too! At Yoga Oasis, children are encouraged to explore and discover the mind and body in a fun-filled way. Kids gain wonderful benefit while learning to engage their body, mind & spirit in a peaceful, non competitive, non judging environment.

At Yoga Oasis, Kids Yoga is a fun, creative approach to yoga that can be very helpful for children whose bodies are still developing. The use of ancient yoga postures, which includes animated poses and basic stretching exercises. These have been known to promote strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Breathing and visualization techniques teach kids how to focus, relax and develop self-control.

Kids will improve concentration and focus, stimulate their imagination and help to release energy in a fun, safe environment. Using interactive games and animated postures, kids learn about animals, nature and basic anatomy through playing yoga at Yoga Oasis.

The Yoga Oasis kids yoga program helps to promote inner-strength, confidence and self-esteem. Granting them a feeling of well-being and respect for others. Most importantly, love for one’s self, their body and mind.

Kids YogaRama! is a 45 minute class designed to teach children the basics of Yoga in a fun and interesting way. In addition the great health benefits, children also learn discipline and concentration in a playful manner. This is especially helpful for children with attention challenges. Yoga gives them a chance to express themselves and learn through movement. It is amazing how much children love doing Yoga!

The class is intended for children ages 5-12.

Call to reserve a space because this class fills up quickly!

The cost is:

$10 per session paid in advance.
If you bring 2 kids its $100, Three for $125 ask about group pricing
Drop in rate is $15 per class

Kids Yoga Parties also Available.
1 Hour group class of 10-20 Children. $150-200 per class.

Types of Yoga at Maui Hot Yoga

Types of yoga

At Maui Hot Yoga we offer several types of Yoga

Hot Yoga

Our Hot Yoga is a series of postures scientifically designed to give a comprehensive workout to the entire body. In each workout, muscles, ligaments and tendons are warmed and stretched in a specific sequence. New practitioners are often surprised at how fast their core strength is built and the amazing vibrant health that is rapidly achieved through a regular practice.
Internal organs and glands are gently massaged and the heated room ensures that participants will sweat helping them to flush toxins out of their system. In this intense cardiovascular workout, fresh, oxygenated blood is brought into to every part of the body cleansing and rejuvenating the entire system.

The result is a workout like none other. One that has been embraced by thousands of people ranging from sports enthusiasts to people suffering ailments to those who just want to stay fit. Proper weight, good muscle tone and vibrant health are some of the many rewards experienced by regular participants.

Hot Vinyasa & Ashtanga

Yoga Teacher Training

Ashtanga, more commonly known as vinyasa yoga, both are an in-depth study of the union between body, mind, and spirit. This tends to be more appropriate for the more physically fit individual.

We teach Ashtanga Yoga in the Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, with a bit of influence from our local blessed Guru, Sri Dharma Mittra.

Yoga is a philosophy of life which also has the potential to create a vibrantly healthy body and mind.
Ashtanga Yoga, practiced in its correct sequential order, gradually leads the practitioner to rediscover his or her fullest potential on all levels of human consciousness – physical, psychological, and spiritual. Through this practice of correct breathing ( ujjayi Pranayama), postures (asanas), and gazing point (dristi), we gain control of the senses and a deep awareness of ourselves. By maintaining this discipline with regularity and devotion, one acquires steadiness of body and mind.

“Ashtanga” literally means eight limbs. They are described by Patanjali as Yama (abstinences), Niyama (observances), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath control, Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (absorption).
These branches support each other. Asana practice must be established for proper practice of Pranayama and is a key to the development of the yamas and niyamas. Once these four externally oriented limbs are firmly rooted, the last four internally oriented limbs will spontaneously evolve over time.

“Vinyasa” means breath syncronized movement. The breath is the heart of this discipline, and links asana to asana in a precise order. By synchronizing movement with breathing and practicing Mulabandha and Uddiyabandha (internal locks), an intense internal heat is produced. This heat purifies muscles and organs, expelling unwanted toxins as well as releasing beneficial hormones and minerals, which can nourish the body when the sweat is massaged back into the skin. The breath regulates the vinyasa and ensures efficient circulation of blood. The result is a light, strong body. There are three groups of sequencing in the Ashtanga system. The primary series (yoga chikitsa) detoxifies and aligns the body. The intermediate system (nadi sodhana) purifies the nervous system by opening and clearing the energy channels. The advanced series A.B.C.D. (stirtha gah sampata) integrate the strength and grace of the practice, requiring higher levels of flexibility and humility.

Each level is to be fully developed before proceding to the next, and the sequential order of asanas is to meticulously followed. Each pose is a preparation for the next, developing the strength and balance required to move further.

Yoga Teacher Training

HotCore Yoga-

This is an all level Hot Yoga System combining the best parts of Hot Yoga & Hot Vinyasa. This class will have more focus on the core muscle groups utilizing poses like planks, pushups, and abdominal strengthening poses. HotCore yoga is an hour or an hour & 15 minute class with a warm up, a build up, and a cool down. We use traditional yoga poses from the Ashtanga Yoga system and modify it for all levels and all body types. The room will be heated to 105-110 degrees.

Thai Yoga & Thai Yoga Massage

Website Banner 4 acro

Thai yoga is a type of yoga where someone stretches you into the yoga positions. It can be related to a massage, although the clothing is on, no oils are used, and skin contact is not required. The practitioner utilizes hands, feet, elbows, forearms and various tools to create deep stretching and working along meridian lines. The system is closely related to acupuncture in how you work with the energy systems in the body. For instance, you can massage points in ones feet to access the stomach.
Mary Grace & James Onnikian both travelled to Thailand and became certified in Thai Massage at Wat Po, the Worlds Oldest Thai Massage school.

Acro & partner yoga

Acro yoga and partner yoga are types of yoga in which you use a partner for the strengthening, stretching, and balancing. Maui Hot Yoga offers classes & workshops in these forms of partner yoga.