Breathe through your nose and keep your mouth closed for 90 minutes.

For some, this effort is in vain and will not be accomplished until many classes pass but more broadly... this is an effort to stifle your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). You know, the one responsible for the fight or flight response?

Not so much the fight to hold an asana until the end... or fleeing the hot room... those are decision your mind makes in response to signals your SNS sends. Throughout your life, the SNS is constantly working to regulate your body systems, keep your heart ticking, and give you goose-bumps?

Goose-bumps are a response to SNS signals to insulate. Our skin (erector pilli more specifically) pull our hair down closer to the skin in order to trap air. But if I am hot, why would my body want to insulate me!? And if I am hot, why would I get goose-bumps?

Let's back up a little bit. Goose-bumps are a reaction. Perhapse there is an overlap of signals, a sort of short circuit

Experts indicate that this can be signal of overexertion. When you exercise your body heats up and evaporation of sweat cools you off, however when your body heats up faster than your sweat can evaporate sweat starts to form droplets... let's get real.. in Bikram Yoga it forms rivers! So your body isn't cooling as effectively as it can (with less evaporation).

So the lesson is this: drink more water and persevere.

For this practice, I am constantly pushing my boundaries. Personally I see this disparity between a hot body and goose-bumps as a metaphor for overcoming. It is only 90 minutes and as long as I am hydrated, goose-bumps are not going to kill me. It only kills the unwell part of me that says, "No, you cannot hold camel because it is uncomfortable or no you cannot hold standing bow pulling pose because it is hard." It is supposed to be hard.

**Photo from Flickr - MaryLane

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