What is hot yoga? How is it any different from the yoga we know? Here we address your questions about this exciting practice, so you can find out if it’s for you. If you’re looking to expand your wellness practices, it’s time to take a look at this alternative form of yoga.
What Is Hot Yoga and Other FAQs
What Is Hot Yoga?
Imagine doing your usual yoga routine but in a sweltering tropical heat, then you have an idea of what hot yoga is like. Hot yoga requires a yoga studio to maintain a temperature of about 37 to 40 C (105 F) and a humidity of up to 40 percent. The goal is to sweat as much as you can while doing your yoga postures and breathing exercises. It’s usually a 90-minute exercise.
Hot yoga has gained quite the following in recent years, but its original form was actually developed in the 1960s and 70s by Bikram Choudhury. Today, any form of yoga which applies heat is classified as hot yoga. Among the variations are Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Forrest Yoga and Power Yoga. Below, we focus on Bikram Yoga, which follows 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises.
What Are the Health Benefits of Hot Yoga?
Doing hot yoga during the cold seasons is amazing. Imagine yourself transported to the tropics while the outside world is freezing. As an added benefit, hot yoga warms up the muscles, making them more limber and less stiff and sore in the cold.
If you want to lose weight or stay in shape, hot yoga is highly recommended. Hot yoga postures, coupled with the heated environment, can burn calories fast.
Although our body is well-equipped with its own detox system, sometimes it’s just not enough. Your skin has to pitch in and sweat some of the toxins out. In staying hydrated while doing hot yoga, toxins from the body are flushed out. Sweating helps cleanse the skin, too. You’ll notice that people who do hot yoga have beautiful, healthy skin.
While hot yoga is good physical exercise, it also benefits your mental health. Hot yoga helps improve concentration, relieves stress and calms nerves. It also helps you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
How to Practice Hot Yoga Safely
Unfortunately, hot yoga is not for everybody. Pregnant women, for example, are advised not to practice hot yoga. While hot yoga is generally safe, there are certain precautions you need to observe to prevent any unfortunate incidents.
If you’re concerned, consult a doctor first before starting hot yoga. You might have a condition which prevents you from taking part in this practice. For example, hot yoga is discouraged for people with certain heart conditions.
Make sure to stay hydrated. Eight glasses of water are the daily requirement but be sure to add more when practicing hot yoga. Eat in moderation before and after doing hot yoga. Fruits with higher water content and nuts with high sodium content are recommended.
Lastly, the transition into hot yoga is easiest if you’re already a yogi. If you’re still a beginner, take things slowly and listen to your body. If you’re feeling nauseous, light-headed, dizzy, exhausted, or weak, leave the hot yoga room.
How to Get Started in Hot Yoga?
If you’ve decided to try hot yoga, here’s how you can get started:
1. Get Ready
Find out everything you can about hot yoga. Look for well-equipped hot yoga studios and yoga instructors you can trust. Choose yoga practices which use sustainable energy to heat up the yoga room.
2. Prepare Yourself Mentally
If you don’t feel confident with your research, don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with the instructor. Find out more about what to expect when doing hot yoga. The practice room, for example, can get really hot and you might feel lightheaded. Find out about each yoga posture, the duration of each session, and the temperature.
3. Wear the Proper Clothing
Wear comfortable yoga clothing, preferably something that is neither too loose nor too fitted and will let you move around easily while executing the different hot yoga poses.
4. Follow Rules and Instructions
Arrive at the hot yoga studio early, so you can register and receive instructions. Familiarize yourself with the studio set up and allow yourself to adapt to the temperature. Observe other yogis and pay attention to your yoga instructor.
Follow the 26 Bikram or hot yoga poses in this video from Fair Articles to get more ideas:
Now that you know what hot yoga is and its health benefits, it’s time to get out there and try it!
Still wondering “What is hot yoga?” Leave your questions in the comments below, and we’ll answer them.