Yoga. It’s either raved about or hated on. People who dread yoga usually use the excuse that they are not calm enough of a person to relax and meditate. It’s usually too “slow-moving”; not up to their par for a fast-paced daily workout. Yoga haters, think again. We have found a happy medium.
Hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, is very similar to regular yoga in that you flow through moves and breaths to create a mind and body connection, except it is done in a room that is 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, that’s right! 105 degrees. Hot yoga might be a bit more appealing for those fast-paced, upbeat people. Why? Doing yoga at such a high body temperature causes the body to feel that it is working harder, pushing itself more, and really burning those calories and fat cells. It requires more effort than regular yoga because your heart is pumping faster in order to lower your body temperature.
Why is everyone raving about hot yoga?
Hot yoga is great for relieving stress and eliminating tension in the body, while at the same time, forcing you to concentrate on your breathing. (Literally, or else you will pass out.) It detoxifies the body and skin of toxins due to the amount that you are sweating and the high temperature allows the body to safely sit deeper into poses, increasing the body’s flexibility. Hot yoga is a workout that kills two birds with one stone; it is both a cardio and a strength workout. Certain poses work out muscles that you didn’t even know you had, and trust me the result is a sore (but happy) body the next day. Walking out of hot yoga at the end of a session is like walking into an air-conditioned room after running a mile in the desert. If you didn’t think your elbows and knees had sweat glands, think again.
What should you know before trying hot yoga?
You MUST be hydrated. Some people think it’s possible to drink less water throughout the day, and make up for it by drinking a large amount during a hot yoga class. This is false. Drinking too much during hot yoga actually causes an unsettling in the stomach, and will not make up for missed water during the day. Practice hot yoga on an empty stomach. You will achieve the most out of your workout this way.
Bring a bath towel and a hand towel. Your yoga mat will become EXTREMELY slippery throughout your practice, so lying a towel down over it decreases your chances of slipping during a pose. Also have a hand towel to wipe off your body every so often throughout your practice.
Don’t wear baggy clothing. It will become soaked and get in the way of your workout. Instead, wear leggings and a tight fitting tank top or t-shirt.