I recently started taking hot yoga classes at a local studio in Perth in addition to my regular gym training and it’s now something I am going to integrate into my exercise regime for the long term. You’ve heard of traditional yoga and you’re probably wondering what difference Hot Yoga has other than the obvious use of the word ‘hot’. Firstly, hot yoga is also known as Bikram yoga which involves 26 poses and 2 breathing exercise. The name is self-explanatory in that the difference to traditional yoga is the heat element which is where the room temperature is raised between 26 – 40 degrees Celsius with varying percentages of humidity for a nice cleansing sweat. I have practiced regular yoga before, however the induced sweat and body warmth made my body feel absolutely amazing during and afterwards. Yoga in general not only relates to our physical body but also our mental, emotional and energetic self to promote inner harmony which makes it attractive for anyone seeking a personal challenge, all-round balance and peace. Below are 5 benefits of Hot Yoga:
- Hot Yoga reduces the risk of injury by warming our deep connective tissue (fascia).
- Hot Yoga promotes flexibility and range of motion which allows for a deeper workout.
- Hot Yoga is detoxifying as sweat is a great form of toxin removal.
- Hot Yoga improves blood circulation which activates more oxygen to your cells.
- Hot Yoga alleviates stress and depression by calming the flight or fight response in the body, reducing cortisol levels and promoting calmness.
Testament to the benefits above, A Hot Yoga enthusiast recorded her incredible weight loss results after 3 months of this form of exercise.
“In 3 months, I lost 4.3cm off the widest part of my waist (i.e. the highest point of the bulge on my belly fat) and 6.2cm off the smallest part of my waist.”Jessica Korteman – Notes of Nomads
Jessica lists the following tips for those who are looking to transform their bodies with hot yoga:
- Practice regularly, at least 3-5 times a week if you want to see noticeable results, especially in a shorter span of time.
- Try not to eat anything 2-3 hours before hot yoga practice, or at least keep it to something light. If I’m feeling a little hungry before practice, I’ll eat some crackers or a handful of almonds to avoid feeling lightheaded in the hot room.
- Drink lots of water – before, during and after practice.
- Listen to your body. If you need a break, rest in child’s pose until you feel ready to continue (this is what my instructor tells us to do and lets us know we can do it anytime). We are also given different “levels” of difficulty for many of the poses so we can extend ourselves based on how we are feeling that day. If the heat is causing you to feel unwell, leave the room for some air, and finish the class early if you need to. Health first.
- Avoid cotton clothing. While I don’t think you need to get whole new yoga outfits specifically for class (although you may feel like it when you start hitting those body goals), it’s best to wear stretchy materials that won’t feel uncomfortable when dripping with sweat. Cotton holds water and feels extremely heavy when drenched in sweat.
Further to this blog the benefits of hot yoga are widely blogged about, one of these articles is by Body Alive Fitness who list the science backed benefits of Hot Yoga which you can read further into in the following link – https://bodyalivefitness.com/15-benefits-of-hot-yoga-backed-by-science/.
Have you started looking for a studio yet? unfortunately not all yoga studios hold Hot Yoga classes and the studios who do have them can be on the expensive side. If Hot Yoga interests you and you don’t have a studio local to you or cost is an issue, you can always do it at home on a hot day or in a temperature-controlled room in the very comfort of your home. Below is a great online hot yoga class for you to get started.
Hot Yoga isn’t just for the ladies, more men are signing up to hot yoga as their active recovery days in addition to their regular training. The Hot Yoga Club in the UK have recognised more men have been signing up to this practice and talk about about why it has been appealing to men in their article ‘MAN POWER: Why more and more men are making time for hot yoga’ – Click here to access the link.
For any guys out there who are thinking about trying it out or joining, just do it. This club is not for ladies only …… it will challenge you.”Ian – Hot Yoga Club Member
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