Do you love nothing more than working up a good sweat when you take a yoga class? Then hot yoga could be just the practice for you. Hot Yoga is somewhat like the Marmite of the yoga world, but it’s far from being just another yoga craze. Its many dedicated followers swear by its detoxifying and invigorating nature, whilst other yogi’s find the mere thought of it about as appealing as being a trapped dog in the back of an unventilated car in the height of summer. Before you make your mind up which camp you fall into, here’s everything you need to know about hot yoga...
What is hot yoga?
Hot yoga is a vigorous style of yoga. It’s practiced in a very warm and humid studio. The temperature can vary depending on the class (so it’s always worth checking beforehand), but ranges from around 32-40 degrees Celsius. There are many different types of hot yoga classes.
What’s the difference between hot yoga and bikram?
Hot yoga is any type of yoga practice (Vinyasa, Power, Hatha etc.) performed in a hot room. That means the class can be completely different in style and sequencing depending upon the yoga studio and teacher. The temperature will also vary, as there are no set rules for how hot the room should be.
Bikram yoga is simply one type of hot yoga and named after its creator Bikram Choudhury. Dating back to the 1970’s, it’ the birthplace from which all hot yoga practices developed. The room is heated to precisely 40 degrees celcius with a humidity of 40 percent. It’s always the same 90 minute sequence of a specific 26 pose series of stretching and standing asanas.
What are the real benefits of hot yoga?
Fans of hot yoga list detoxifying the body as one of it’s benefits, but that’s not from the sweating. In fact there’s very little evidence that sweating itself “flushes out” toxins in the way that we often think. Having said that, the need to drink extra fluids to rehydrate the body does have a detoxifying effect. The extra water intake can improve your urinary, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems.
Most fitness fanatics already know that working up a good sweat can be a great stress relief. Just like “warming up” the body before exercise makes your muscles more flexible, the high temperatures in hot yoga can improve muscle tone and flexibility. The increased heat also leads to an increase in heart rate and metabolism, so if you’re looking to burn more calories then that’s another bonus of hot yoga.
Can anyone practice Hot Yoga?
In theory yes, but it is a physically demanding style of practice.The intensity alongside hot temperatures always has the potential to cause heat-related issues. If you’ve got any concerns it’s best to check with your doctor before trying it out. Even if you’re fit and healthy be sure to drink plenty of water and always stop if you feel lightheaded or unwell in any way.