Do I have to practice yoga in the 'yoga sauna'? What should I do in there?
The yoga sauna is larger than the 2 person saunas which means that there is more space to stretch out. But just because it is called the yoga sauna, doesn't mean you have to practice yoga. The yoga sauna is a great option to book if you want to share your session with your partner, or one or two friends (we suggest a maximum of three people). If you are interested in making use of the space for some gentle yoga, you might like to try out the below sequence.
If you choose to do a gentle flow, we suggest setting the sauna at a lower heat - around 55 degrees.
- Start in child's pose and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Take this time to arrive in the space. Take note of how your body is feeling. Is your breathing smooth or laboured? Concentrate on lengthening and smoothing out your breath.
- Gentle rise up to table top position on an inhale - fingertips spread and pressing into that mat, wrists in line with shoulders, knees hip distance apart, toes untucked. Exhale.
- Slowly work through five or so rounds of cat/cow - Inhale to dip your belly to the ground at the same time as opening up your chest, heart forward, elbows slightly bent. Exhale curl spine upwards starting between the shoulders, pressing hands and knees down into the mat.
- Come back to a neutral spine table top position, tuck your toes and press up into downward dog. Fingertips are wide and pushing into the mat to protect your wrists, spine is elongated, slight bend in knees to start with. Practice bringing some movement into your dog - rise up to your tiptoes, sway your hips, whatever feels right for your body in that moment. Then find stillness - hips pulling up and back, straightening back of legs if this does not compromise the elongation and straightening of your spine, armpits rotating inwards as if to face one another. Breathe - five long breaths.
- Bend knees and look to your hands, step to the front of the mat. Inhale for a halfway lift, exhale to fold forward, inhale to sweep up to standing, exhale release hands down by your side.
- Flow through a few slow vinyasa variations - playing with warrior 1 and 2, triangle, extended side angle - but all the time taking note of the heat that will build and being careful to listen to your body. This should be a slow, gentle flow. Be creative and go with the flow of your breath and your body.
- Come down to the floor and here you can play around with a few seated twists, seated forward folds, gentle stretches. Take five breaths in each pose.
- Continue to focus on your breath and making the inhalations and exhalations as long as feels right. When you inhale you expand, straighten and lengthen. When you exhale you melt, fold, take the expression of your twist a little bit deeper.
- Come back to child's pose - coming back to the body and the breath. Notice how different your body feels now to when you began.
- Take five or so minutes (or more!) in savasana - lying on your back with your palms facing upwards, your feet falling out to the side, you are completely relaxed, chin is lightly tucked. Scan your body and mentally relax every muscle as you go starting with your toes and ending with your face and jaw. Take rest.
Now you are perfectly prepped for meditation. You can choose to connect your phone to do a guided meditation (we love the free Insight Timer app), play some peaceful music, or meditate in silence - always coming back to the breath when your mind starts to wander.