Yoga studios across the country have added heat to vinyasa flow, hatha, ashtanga and kundalini yoga classes…hot yoga is officially a thing. The temperature, humidity and styles of yoga will change, but it is the sweat that unites us.
So what’s behind this trend and what are the benefits of hot yoga class over your conventional room-temp practice?
I’m not naturally flexible and the heat dramatically helps me open up my hamstrings, spine and shoulders. Some have claimed that the heat encourages over stretching, but I have never found this to be the case. In fact, I am more likely to pull a muscle in a standard room; the heat helps me safely stretch my otherwise stiff body.
More on hatha yoga postures to help increase flexibility HERE.
There is nothing like the focus that comes from working through a hot yoga class. You need to be kind to yourself, focus, breathe, and block out all the mental chatter in order to keep working hard in a heated room. The heat is an added element to your yoga class that helps cultivate mental discipline that will help you inside and outside your yoga class.
More on how to use your hot yoga practice to cultivate mental discipline HERE.
I have personally experienced tremendous and sustainable weight loss through practicing Bikram hot yoga. When I am feeling a little bloated or “puffy from winter” I know that 3-4 classes a week of hot yoga and I’ll be back to my healthy weight. This personal testimony is powerful, but it’s also been backed up by good ole science. Researchers found that between practicing yoga in a room temperature studio and one that was heated, those that practiced hot yoga saw more weight loss. This is due to the elevated heart rate that comes from practicing in the heat.
You can read more about this hot yoga study HERE.
As I’ve outlined before, most “detox” claims on products and services are a scam. There are however three primary and scientifically backed ways to eliminate unwanted toxic chemicals from your body: breathing (usually through exercise), sweating, and elimination (going to the bathroom #1 ). We come into contact with harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals in our everyday lives: the couches we sit on (flame retardants), the skin care we use (phthalates), the pans we cook on (teflon), and the hand soap we use (triclosan). So the sweat that comes from hot yoga is not only satisfying, it’s helping your body detox.
More on legit detox methods HERE.
So why do I practice hot yoga? Primarily because it makes me feel good. All of these other elements simply sweeten the pot.
Why do you practice?