What is Hot Yoga

What is hot yoga?

As the name implies, people perform this yoga practice under hot and often humid conditions. The main difference between a regular yoga class and a hot yoga class is that the former takes place in a heated room that is regularly kept between 90 and 105 degrees. The heat is considered part of the process and provides many benefits. Why the heat?

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Why the heat?

There are many reasons why adding heat to the yoga studio is beneficial:

  • It helps the mind to focus and be still.
  • It shortens the amount of time needed to release stress and tension.
  • Warm muscles are safer to stretch than cold muscles, reducing the risk of injury.
  • The heat brings about sweat, which detoxifies the body.
  • Hot yoga purifies on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

It has long been known that practicing yoga can positively impact health in many ways but the added benefits of hot yoga are only now coming to the forefront. In fact, most people don’t even know that many variations of yoga exist, even within the category of hot yoga.Besides stress relief, which is one of the most known effects of any type of yoga, you will find many benefits specific to hot yoga.

Detoxification

One of the most talked about hot yoga benefits is the removal of toxins from the body through sweating as a result of the heat.

Weight Loss

For many people who participate in this exercise, the benefits of hot yoga include weight loss. This is thanks not only to physical movement, but also improvement of the digestive system and metabolism, which aid in normalizing the appetite.This form of exercise also makes the bodywork harder due to the heat in the room,increasinges the amount of calories used as the sweat cools the body, forcing it to work harder.Bikram yoga, a popular form of hot yoga, is known to burn 500 to 1000 calories per session, depending on height, weight, intensity, and other factors. Hot yoga also provides a good cardio workout as the heat results in an elevated heart rate.

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Healthy Lifestyle

The practice of yoga in general makes practitioners feel healthier, which in turn leads many people to be more conscious about the nutritional content of the food they eat. Improved strength, flexibility, and overall wellness also promote a more active lifestyle as other physical activities become easier.

Improved Mental Clarity

More benefits of hot yoga include the increased blood flow to the brain, which results in better mental clarity, better memory, and improvement in overall mood. People who practice this form of yoga tend to be better able to deal with stress and other emotional problems in everyday life.

Improved Breathing

Moist heat is good for some people with respiratory problems such as asthma as it helps to open up the airways to make breathing is easier. Since the practice of yoga also includes the teaching of pranayama, or breath awareness also helps to improve the circulation of blood and expand overall energy.

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Improvement in Health Conditions

Along with the breathing exercises, the stretches and yoga asanas (poses) performed in hot yoga have been known to help flush toxins from the body, aid in digestion, and can help improve a multitude of health issues including:

-Arthritis
-High blood pressure
-Back pain
-Dry skin
-Diabetes
-Stress and anxiety
-Depression
-Breathing problems (Asthma, allergies and respiratory issues)
-Cholesterol
-Thyroid regulation
The benefits are not just a result of the heat, but also the types of exercises and poses that this type of yoga entails. Another plus is the improvement in vitality and vigor that comes from participating in hot yoga. Yoga improves breathing and blood circulation, which provides freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. The heart moves this oxygen-rich blood to every part of the body, providing better especially in the lungs, heart, diaphragm, abdomen, intestines, kidneys, and pancreas.

Healthier Skin

The improvement in circulation also result in better skin as your blood vessels become stronger and function better. Skin also benefits from hot yoga because the release of sweat helps to open up the pores, unclogging oil and dirt and releasing natural lanolin that helps to soften and preserve the skin’s elasticity.When showering after hot yoga, get into the habit of rubbing the skin with a loofahor scrub to help exfoliate. Not only does yoga result in healthier skin, it also revitalizes and leads to brighter eyes and healthier hair and will provide you with a healthy “glow”.

Other Great Benefits

As if the list of above benefits is not enough, hot yoga also increases flexibility, aids in better sleep, and improves hydration levels. Restful sleep is something everyone desires, making it good reason to participate in this activity.

To keep safe and really gain all the of the yoga benefits, you need to drink lots of fluids to replace those lost through sweating. In fact, if you do not normally drink as much fluid as you should this is one way to train yourself to drink more and improve your hydration.

When looking at all the advantages of this type of yoga, it’s a wonderful activity to bring about all around healthy living.

Sources:

http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/sweating-it-out-hot-yoga-enthusiasts-see-benefits-from-heat/article_0f9e7432-af89-11df-a158-001cc4c002e0.html

http://www.yogiseeker.com/index.cfm/pg/article/id/15/kw/hot-yoga-weight-loss-benefits

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/fitness/the-benefits-of-hot-yoga

http://bikramyogamemphis.com/2011/05/13-extraordinary-benefits-of-bikram-yoga/

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