I never thought that yoga would be a part of my daily routine, but I find myself on the mat day after day for longer each time. At first my main motivation was just clearing my mind and getting some needed “me” time, which was the right reason I think.
Then over time while my mind was relaxing my body was also changing quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t lose much weight and it didn’t happen over night, but after many consecutive days I was becoming stronger, more flexible and the poses were starting to feel less awkward.
And it doesn’t take long once you’ve begun loving practicing yoga, that you look for ways to expand your practice, and Hot yoga is a great way to do that!
What is Hot Yoga?
I’ve explained this briefly and other types of Yoga before in a previous blog: https://kiknbacassets.com/yoga/
But to be more precise hot yoga is a rather vigorous form of yoga, which is practiced in, you guessed it, a hot and usually humid room/studio for 90 minutes. The climate goal is usually around 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity.
The type of yoga usually practiced in this heated climate is called Bikram yoga. This yoga type consists of a series of 26 different standing and stretching positions that usually require the contraction of all muscle groups. The main purpose of hot yoga is to raise your heart rate and exercise your muscles— this is not a stretch and relax type of class!
Hot yoga is not for everyone given its more intense nature so check with your doctor before diving in. But for those both healthy and crazy enough to try, you’ll benefit greatly from this type of practice!
One of the biggest benefits that comes from just the environment alone is that you will sweat like crazy! Which means not only are you getting a good workout and burning calories but you’re also detoxifying your body, the sweat helping to pull toxins out.
Beyond sweating the heat can also help with flexibility, the warmer the muscles are the more flexible they become. And being mindful of your flexibility moving into Bikram yoga is important to complete the series and avoid any injuries. It is also low impact, like most yoga, and allows you to get in a good workout without putting any unnecessary stress on your joints.
It is also a good mix of both strength training and cardio!
Even though hot yoga is usually all bodyweight training, due to the types of postures and prolonged period of time holding each one, it is a great full body workout that can leave all major muscle groups fatigued.
Plus your cardio vascular system will thank you!
Without a doubt your heart and lungs will be pumping during any hot yoga session, and this can help to make them both stronger and more efficient. Having a strong heart and lungs means more oxygen gets to your muscles, so you can do more!
And if weight loss and fat loss are your main motivators than hot yoga is probably your best yoga option. In a single 90 minute class you can burn up to 1000 calories. Not to mention it can increase your metabolic rate so that more calories are burned off versus turning into body fat.
Practicing any type of yoga for any reason is already a step in a healthier direction, for both your body and mind!
I’m an at home yoga practitioner and have never been to an in-person-class (Youtube is my teacher, so many FREE options!) but considering how hot and humid the room needs to be you will probably have to seek a class for the true and full experience that is hot yoga and all it’s benefits.
Which is also a great opportunity to meet other local yogi’s and make new connections!
But if I’m being honest with the weather getting both hotter and more humid, it’s more likely that you’ll find me doing some Bikram yoga, or any other type of yoga, in my backyard. And I know I won’t get all the amazing benefits that I would from the proper studio, but yoga is all about what feels good for you, wherever that is!
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