The word ‘hot yoga’ is trending worldwide as it is considered as the best yoga exercise for stretching muscles. Hot yoga is nothing but the regular yoga exercise done in hot and humid conditions to increase the flexibility of the body. This yoga style is developed by Bikram Choudhury.
Let’s take a look at the 10 benefits of hot yoga that you must know and how it compares to traditional yoga as we know it.
About Hot Yoga
The primary idea behind introducing hot yoga to the western countries is to match the temperature level of the yoga room with temperature of tropical India from where yoga originated.
In hot yoga sessions, the room temperature, heat and humidity level are set to replicate the climate of tropical India. With the introduction of hot yoga, the efficiency and the results of practicing yoga in colder countries have increased considerably. Apart from Bikram Yoga devised by Bikram Choudhury, there are other forms of hot yoga; they are- Forrest Yoga, TriBalance Yoga, and Power Yoga.
Hot yoga is a form of Bikram Yoga and it is practiced only in certified studios across the world. While choosing any hot yoga studio, one has to ensure that the studio professional follows recommended green-heating principles to set their studio temperature. Smaller studios with sauna setup are not advisable at all. Hot yoga requires maximum workout from a person while maintaining the temperature level of the body. So, choose a hot yoga studio that is certified.
10 Benefits of Hot Yoga That You Must Know
1. Increases Blood Circulation
Hot yoga works out by increasing the body temperature of a person. This way, muscle stretching becomes easier. Blood circulation of a person following hot yoga also increases during and after the yoga session. With a quick warm up of body and with easy muscle stretch, one can get in to all yoga positions safely.
2. Increases Flexibility
Yoga is all about flexibility, but many beginners find it really difficult to stretch their body when they are introduced to yoga. Instead of regular yoga, if a person prefers hot yoga, then s/he can quickly achieve flexibility. Hot yoga tones your muscles and gives you energy to stretch better. Moreover, it increases the flexibility of blood vessels by accelerating your metabolism and pulse rate.
3. Removes Toxins
Hot yoga can quickly flush out toxins from a person’s body. Hot yoga consists of 26 primary yoga poses that are specifically designed to gush out unwanted toxins from the body. While practicing hot yoga, people tend to sweat excessively which helps remove excessive salts. Hot room detoxifies your body which is a key to energetic and a healthy lifestyle.
4. Regularizes Breathing
Those who are obese face a lot of breathing issues. Not only obese people but also others who are facing the danger of developing cardiovascular diseases also tend to develop breathing issues. Hot yoga can relieve breathing difficulties including short breath. Yoga with added element of heat increases blood circulation in a person’s body to streamline their breathing process.
5. Improves Body Strength and Stamina
Hot yoga has direct impact on the muscles. The more you stretch your muscles, the more stamina your body will build. This way, muscle toning becomes easier and effortless with hot yoga. Certain hot yoga poses that focus majorly on spine, neck, shoulders and thighs increase the body strength of a person.
6. Good for Spine
For those who are suffering with back pain and chronic backache, hot yoga is strongly recommended to them. Certain hot yoga poses are meant to increase the spine strength. Keeping spine stiff and stretchable relieves back pain.
7. Improves Focus
Hot yoga classes have longer stretch sessions along with 26 difficult postures to follow. Doing them regularly increases focus of a person. Mental stability can be achieved by practicing hot yoga for more than 8 weeks regularly. Besides, hot yoga sessions are a proven method to relieve a person from depression and stress.
8. Good for Healing
Healing and recovery processes can be made faster and effective with hot yoga classes. Smaller to bigger muscle and bone injuries and even fractures can be healed with hot yoga. This yoga can be of great help for athletes and sportsmen.
9. Helps Reduce Weight
Hot yoga is a recommended workout to reduce weight faster. It increases the body temperature while managing the cardiovascular activities of your body. In this way, overweight people can burn calories faster. Instead of just focusing on reducing the muscle weight, hot yoga also reduces the body weight resulted due to fat build-up. Weight loss by reducing body fat can give permanent relief from obesity and other weight-related health issues.
10. Makes Your Skin Flawless
This yoga clears blemishes and sloughs off acne from your skin. You tend to drink more water after attending hot yoga classes which, in turn, hydrates your skin and keep it healthier and younger.
Hot Yoga vs Cold Yoga
Before we look into the differences between both forms of exercise, let’s take some time to explore the similarities.
No matter the temperature in the room, yoga helps to connect your mind to your body through meditation techniques that help you to feel present.
In hot yoga and cold yoga, you’ll begin your routine with a series of warm-up exercises and breathing techniques to encourage blood flow and circulation around the body. These warm-up moves are referred to as asanas.
Hot yoga takes place in a room that’s heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the entire routine features two breathing techniques and 26 poses that are usually combined in one session. With the combination of poses and heat, your mind is challenged to remain stable and persistent, while the excess sweaty helps to detoxify your body so you feel fresh and rejuvenated afterward.
On the other hand, cold yoga isn’t performed in as hot conditions, though it’s not in a cold environment either. You’ll be in a room-temperature environment and the moves encourage your body to warm up so you’ll never remain cold.
Cold yoga incorporates two different moves – Ananda and Ashtanga. The former is a slow and gentle flow from one pose to the next, while Ashtanga involves a quicker pace to increase the intensity.
The temperature difference challenges you. The more heat, the more calories you’ll burn since your heart has to work harder. Step onto scales after your first session of hot yoga and you’ll discover you’ve lost weight. Although this is primarily fluids from sweating and you should replace any lose moisture with water or sports drinks.
Many people who regularly engage in hot yoga find that their flexibility has improved compared to cold yoga. The temperature increase encourages your muscles to warm up quicker, making you more able to stretch further, and safely.