Hot yoga isn’t for everybody because of the safety risks but for relatively healthy people who can take the heat, literally and figuratively speaking, it’s a great fitness routine. But don’t come into your first hot yoga class without having your questions satisfactorily answered, and here are a few of them.
What Is Hot Yoga?
Basically, hot yoga is similar to the yoga classes offered at YogaWorks but with a difference – it’s performed in a heated room. The styles of yoga used varies depending on the yoga instructor but the more popular are styles derived from Vinyasa and Bikram yoga.
As its name implies, hot yoga involves plenty of sweating because of the heated environment. For this reason, it’s crucial to drink plenty of water before, during and after the session. Otherwise, you can suffer from dehydration that, in turn, can adversely affect recovery and even cause serious health issues.
How Does It Work?
In a typical hot yoga session, the room will be heated to between 95°F and 105°F with varying degrees of humidity. The type of equipment used to generate heat differs, too, between yoga studios – others may use radiant heat while others use space heaters.
Hot yoga practitioners swear by the numerous benefits that it brings including:
- Improves flexibility since the muscles are more relaxed
- Clears the skin pores since these open up with the warm temperature
- Provides a more intense workout
Others say that proper and regular performance of hot yoga speeds up weight loss, boosts metabolism, and detoxifies the body, among others. These benefits may or may not be true but if you feel good after a hot yoga session, then you may want to continue doing it. Just be sure that you’re doing it under the guidance of an experienced yoga instructor.
The sequence of poses will depend on the type of yoga being practiced. In general, you will spend a few minutes performing stretching and breathing exercises, which will loosen up your muscles and generate body heat. Afterwards, you will perform more complicated postures.
Yoga may be open to everyone but hot yoga isn’t suitable for everybody. If you have underlying medical issues that precludes being in a heated environment, such as hypertension, then you shouldn’t be in a hot yoga class. Ask your doctor for his or her professional opinion before getting on your first session.
But if you can take the heat, then hot yoga will definitely challenge your mind and body!