What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga is a series of 26 static yoga poses performed, in a specific order, within a heated room; temperature can range from 90’s to over 100 degrees, and humidity level ranging 30-40%. The heated conditions warms the body and promotes flexibility and increased perspiration. The traditional class is a 90-minute practice, however, 1-hour and 75-minute classes are also available.
Why Hot Yoga Is Good For You
Hot Yoga increases strength and flexibility, and gives you all the many benefits of yoga in general. However, the high heat and humidity component brings a long list of other benefits. Here are a few:
- Detoxification – While giving you an amazing feeling of detoxification from the sheer amount of excessive sweat you produce from the workout, there is a physiological action that also takes place. The heat causes the capillaries that weave around the muscles to dilate. This brings more oxygen to the muscles and helps in the release of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
- Weight Loss – Heat speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids and helps to burn fat more easily. Warmed muscles burn fat more easily than cold ones. Physical stress under the heated conditions releases more fatty acids into the blood stream.
- Stress Reduction – Exercise, deep breathing, and self-reflection have been revealed to cut back anxiety levels, and hot yoga combines all three. Concentration on poses in the heated conditions distracts and distances the mind from stressors. Decreased stress levels allow for better sleep, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and improves mood.
- Improve Performance – Many athletic people find that hot yoga helps improve performance. Well-stretched muscle tissue improves range of motion and is less at risk of injury. Joints in good alignment are less pain-prone in high impact physical activities. The breath control of yoga improves cardio and anaerobic activity. Stretching, in general, can provide some similar benefits, however, it tends not to get placed in high priority, so a more strenuous stretching workout like hot yoga, is worthwhile to the athletic person.
If any of these benefits are part of your overall mind and body goals, why don’t you give hot yoga a try? Come to a class and see what it’s all about.
* Hot Yoga is not recommended for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester. Please consult your physician.
Is Hot Yoga the same as Bikram Yoga?
About.com has a good explanation. See the article at this link.
How to Prepare for a Hot Yoga Class
Bring water, a towel and a mat. The studio has loaner mats available, however, it is recommended that you bring your own since you will likely sweat more in hot yoga. Wear fitted workout clothing, you can sweat in. Drink plenty of water before and after class to avoid dehydration. Refrain from eating two hours before class. Please arrive a few minutes to fill out paperwork if you are new to the studio, and relax on your mat before class begins.
During the winter season, bring dry clothing to avoid getting a chill when you go outdoors, as it is likely that your yoga clothing will be damp from perspiration.
DURING CLASS: Feel free to rest in savasana or child’s pose during the practice, if you need a rest. It is advised not to exit the room to avoid exposure to sudden change in room temperature.
AFTER CLASS: Be sure to replenish fluids over the next few hours. During Winter season, avoid exiting the studio too quickly after class; allow your core temp to cool down before venturing outside.
WHEN NOT TO DO HOT YOGA: Hot Yoga is not advisable for pregnant women, since it can raise core body temperature. Pregnant women should always consult and get their physician’s consent before taking a yoga class. If you have other concerns or health issues and unsure, it is always best to consult your physician.