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Are you into yoga? What type of yoga do you practice? Hot yoga is one of the several forms of this meditative exercise. It is called hot yoga’ because of the conditions under which it is performed. Instead of doing it in a cool room, hot and humid conditions are deemed perfect. The purpose is to induce teeming sweating.
Heat is used in yoga practice for different purposes with the most common being the replication of hot and humid India, the home of yoga. As such, hot yoga is performed in a heated room. The most common form of hot yoga is known as Bikram. However, while Bikram yoga is hot, not every form of hot yoga can be said to be Bikram.
How Is Hot Yoga Practiced?
Hot yoga is mostly done in the seamless vinyasa style in which the students follow the teacher’s instructions by performing one pose after another. The temperature in the room has to be maintained at between 95 and 105.
It is usually a vigorous routine of yoga in very hot conditions. There is no choice but to feel very warm and start sweating profusely. The heat is meant to loosen your muscles. As for the sweat, it is an effective cleanser for your body.
What Are The Hot Yoga Styles?
Hot yoga is not just a style but a collection of them. The following are some of the most commonly practiced hot yoga styles:
This is the most well-known hot yoga style. There are numerous Bikram yoga certified studios in the US and across the world. To many people, this is the original form of hot yoga. In a Bikram yoga class, you have to go through a series of 26 postures. The focus is on building endurance.
This routine originated in Toronto. Two yogis thought they could take the idea of hot yoga even further. They infused the environment into hot yoga practice. As such, Moksha yoga studios in the US and Canada have all gone green. Elements such as sustainable flooring and energy-efficient heating are all features you would find in these studios.
This hot yoga style is not as big as the other two, but it is growing rapidly across the US.
•Hot yoga styles offered by the many independent studios.
These styles are variations of the most popular styles and are different in the sense that they are offered by different instructors according to individual style and taste.
Preparation for a Hot Yoga Session
You can only enjoy hot yoga if you are prepared. Know the state of your health and ensure you are adequately hydrated. You are going to sweat profusely during the hot yoga session and you should be prepared. If you have an evening session of hot yoga, drink a lot of water during the day.
Avoid eating too much just before you go to the class. Instead, use a fortified drink to take in as many electrolytes and minerals as you can. Coconut water is a great option. Be prepared to move at your own pace. After all, there is no competition in yoga. You don’t have to keep going when you are tired.
Hot Yoga Tips and Precautions
Apart from being prepared for a hot yoga session, you will need to observe the following general precautions:
.Carry a yoga mat with you. Since you will be sweating a lot, you don’t want to share mats. Also, carry a few mat towels. You will place these on the mat to help improve traction and absorb sweat.
.Choose the type of yoga wear that will allow you to sweat without feeling uncomfortable. Whether you are a man or woman, you may want to adorn tight-fitting tops and long pants or capris. These outfits also help you avoid slipping between poses.
.Drink a lot of water. Start early before you go to the hot yoga class. During the session keep replenishing the water in your body. After class, take time and drink as much water as you can. That will keep you hydrated.
.You should avoid hot yoga during pregnancy. It can be detrimental to the health of the unborn baby by raising the core temperature of the body. Being exposed to excessive heat when pregnant can result in an increased risk of overexertion and muscle injuries. Blood pressure is affected by hormones and fetal development, increasing the mother’s susceptibility to fainting and dizziness when exercising under extreme heat.
.Anyone with heart problems is encouraged not to try any type of hot yoga class unless they consult a physician. Also, If you have high or low blood pressure, consider exercising in a more convenient way and keep heat exposure to a minimum.
The Benefits of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga has a number of benefits. However, one of the most touted of these may not have a basis. Of course, hot yoga induces a lot of sweating. But does that necessarily remove any toxins from the body? The role of sweating is nothing more than cooling down the body. The liver and kidney are the two organs in the body which remove toxins, not sweating.
The following are some of the benefits of hot yoga:
•Hot yoga relieves stress. After an hour of sweating and music, a lot of tension will be released from your body, thus helping relieve stress.
•After a hot yoga session, most people tend to feel mentally stronger because of the challenging nature of the routine. To face life’s challenges in future, you need to be very strong mentally.
•Hot yoga is easier to practice. The heat in the room warms your muscles thus making them easier to stretch. It is, therefore, much easier to practice than the other forms of yoga.
Is Hot Yoga Safe?
It might seem that working out in a hot room is dangerous but experts suggest otherwise. In fact, hot yoga is deemed safe for most individuals. In fact, the core body temperature wouldn’t be any different from what you get by running on a treadmill for at least 30 minutes.
Take precaution by ensuring you are properly hydrated. If you feel lightheaded while working out, take a break. No fitness goal is good enough to make you over-exert yourself. Beginners should start slowly. Using easier poses enables your body to acclimatize to the hot environment.
At the end of a hot yoga session, most practitioners report feeling sweaty but well stretched. However, it is the feeling of relaxation that most of these individuals go to the studio for.
The best thing about hot yoga is that you get to stretch easily than the other forms of yoga and also in part as a result of the release of endorphins. As in the best workouts, you will reap the direct benefits in proportion to all the hard work you put in.