Those new to hot yoga often have these two questions when considering taking their first Hot Yoga class. Hot yoga originates in the warmer more humid climates of southern India where for centuries yogis have practiced yoga postures in a naturally heated and humid climate. Hot Yoga has hit the western world and to duplicate a warm and humid environment, studios all over the western hemisphere are adding heaters and humidifiers to the yoga experience. After practicing hot yoga for over 10 years, I’ve found that each time I take a class, a new benefit to practicing Hot Yoga is revealed. In fact, there are thousands of reasons to practice yoga and even more to practice Hot Yoga. To simplify, here are 8 top reasons Radiant Hot Yoga adds heat to yoga:
1- Strength: In yoga we use our own body weight as resistance. No need for lifting metal! Yoga offers a low impact way to build muscle strength. In a heated environment, we challenge our bodies as we build muscle strength which brings us to….
2- Cardio: In a Hot Yoga environment your heart will elevate and yes you will burn the same kind of calories you would running a mile. You can expect to burn 700-900 calories in an 80 minute class. As a result, you will boost your metabolism and continue to burn calories outside of your Hot Yoga practice as a result of strength resistance and muscles balancing and contracting in a heated environment.
3- Flexibility: Hot Yoga is not about being flexible and it is not a prerequisite. However, in practice you will gain more flexibility in time. The heat allows you to safely reach new levels of flexibility as your muscles, joints and ligaments are warmed up within minutes of entering the hot room.
4- Breath: I like to call the breath “your most valuable tool” in your yoga practice. Learning to control and concentrate on the breath will not only send the oxygen needed to your muscles but also to your brain to help you relax and meditate in challenging postures. And guess what? The Yogi breath will help you relax and meditate in challenging positions you find yourself in off the mat as well. You won’t make it through life not breathing and this certainly is true of Hot Yoga. Breathe deeply………
5- Detox: In a heated environment our muscles, glands and organs are detoxing which means releasing (through sweat) the things our body does not need. Hot Yoga accelerates the detoxing process and you will leave the class feeling purified and cleansed.
6- Concentration: In the Hot Yoga room, you are stepping into a secluded, safe environment where you can leave your worries and troubles outside. The heat will help you concentrate of healing your body and listening to you body. You will never be so aware with what your body and mind needs!
7- Healing: Adding heat to yoga provides a therapeutic environment where past injuries can be healed and new injures prevented. In addition, Hot Yoga has shown significant improvements in asthma, high blood pressure, stress levels, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and obesity.
8- Back pain: Strengthening the spine is a key focus of each yoga posture. We call the spine, the “Life Line” to which all is connected. Without a healthy, flexible and strong spine, nothing else matters. A regular practice of Hot Yoga will alleviate back pain and prevent you from the need to take pain medications, live at the Chiropractor’s office and getting back massage after back massage. You will now be in charge of the health of your back!
Now for the second question…How hot is HOT?
At Radiant Hot Yoga, we like to keep the temperature between 102 and 105 degrees. You body will acclimate to this kind of heat faster then you can imagine if you are consistent in your practice. Once you have acclimated to Hot Yoga (usually takes about 5 classes), you will become what we call a “Heat Seeker” and you won’t be able to turn back….
See you on your mat at Radiant Hot Yoga in 2013!!!!
Author: Lisa Ashton