The term Hot Yoga is used to describe various styles of yoga that share the common feature of having the classes take place in high temperatures. Typically, temperatures for hot yoga classes can vary from anywhere between 27 to 38 degrees celsius. But what are the added benefits of doing yoga in the heat? This page explores the additional benefits of this style of yoga and seeks to demonstrate why you should crank up the heat during your regular Yoga sessions.
Regardless of room temperate, hot yoga seeks to provide mental relaxation and improved physical fitness. Indeed, taking in place in a heated environment poses further challenges to practicing yoga, however with with the additional benefits that come with it, it may be worth making this temperature transition.
It comes as no surprised that hot yoga offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga, however, with the heat turned up, hot yoga offers you a more intense workout for your heart, lungs and muscles. Such benefits include:
- Improved Flexibility– This additional heated element to Yoga provides you with not just greater range of mobility but also makes striking yoga poses easier and more effective.
- Warmer Muscles are safer muscles– We all know that it is safer to stretch your muscles after you have warmed up than stretching when your muscles are cold. As such, stretching in the heat is a sure way to reduce risks of any injuries caused by being insufficiently warmed up.
- Burns more calories– Practicing yoga in heated temperatures gives our bodies another things to do while we are practicing yoga, cooling down! With the increase in external temperature and our increased temperature caused by doing exercise, our bodies will have to work twice as hard to reduce it temperature. This results in more sweat and more calories burnt in an effort to cool down.
- Good for the skin– high temperatures will open our pores and removes any dirt or oils that may get in the way. Furthermore, the increase in sweating helps improve circulation and brings more oxygen and nutrient rich blood to our skin cells.
- Reduces stress– As with traditional yoga, hot yoga is no different in its benefits of helping reduce stress and symptoms of depression, helping improve your mood and our ability to relax.
- Helps build bone density– Supporting your weight during a yoga pose may aid with building bone density. This is especially relevant for older adults and premenopausal women, as bone density declines as you age.
- Cardiovascular boost– As well as revving up your respiration and metabolism, striking different yoga poses in high temperatures can give your heart, lungs, and muscles a greater workout and more of a challenge than doing the same poses in a lower temperature.
- Reduces blood glucose levels– While any form of exercise aids burning energy and reduces circulating levels of glucose in your bloodstream, hot yoga may be particularly valuable asset for people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Tips for Beginners:
• Bring large bottle of water– It is far better to have too much than too little. Dehydration is a major concern for any type of exercise and with Hot Yoga it is no different. Forgetting your water is a sure way of having to leave your session prematurely.
- Bring a Towel– You will be getting up close and personal with the yoga mat, whether or not it is your own, it is important to maintain hygiene standards. While it may be fine for one or two sessions, over time you will need to ensure your mat remains clean. Placing a towel over your Yoga mat is a fine way to ensure this.
- Bring special gloves or socks– You are going to be sweating a lot so its important you are prepared. With the increase in sweat and ease of mobility, to avoid slipping over and potentially injuring yourself, wearing suitable socks and even a pair of gloves may prove useful is reducing slipping hazards.
- Wear Lightweight and Breathable fabrics Things to watch out for:
• Low blood sugar- While it may not be appealing to do yoga with a full stomach, having too low blood sugar may result in becoming dizzy or lightheaded. A sure way to prepare in the event of such having low blood sugar is to bring a drink or snack. This can be a piece of fruit, bottle of juice, the choice is yours!
• Pre-existing health conditions– If you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, history of fainting, it is advised that you give hot yoga a miss and stick to traditional yoga as the heated environment may cause unneeded stress to these conditions.
• Important Note: If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous. Leave the room immediately, have a drink and rest in a cooler environment until the feelings subside.
While Hot yoga may not be for everyone, if you are into traditional yoga and are looking to step your game up, the extra heat may be exactly what you’re looking for!