Is Hot Yoga as Beneficial as People Claim?
Hot Yoga is a unique practice of yoga. Here, the temperature along with the humidity of the room is increased to a certain level. This is done to match the environmental conditions of India, i.e., the birthplace of Yoga. Common in many countries like The United States and Japan, there are many variations of it.
The most popular one is the Bikram form. It was founded by Bikram Choudhury, an Indian born American Yoga Teacher. In Bikram Yoga, one has to perform a series of standing and stretching postures. It is advised to do this for 90 minutes straight in a 105 F studio.
Hot Yoga Outfits
Hot yoga is practiced under specific conditions. It demands a special set of outfits for both men and women. The lesser clothes one puts on during the practice the better it is for the performer. This is because it demands the body to sweat to relax the muscles.
- When choosing your outfits as a woman, make sure to include tops made of sweat-resistant material. This helps you to avoid prominent sweat marks and a bottom of non-cotton material. Some women prefer wearing a sports bra along with a bottom which is one of the most suitable hot yoga outfits.
- Men do not prefer covering their upper body in a hot yoga class. They can wear a light sweat-resistant hot yoga shirt made of nylon or spandex though. Bottom wear is the focus for men when selecting an ideal outfit. To provide proper protection and comfort, it is highly suggested to wear sweat-resistant hot yoga pants.
Other Unisex essentials
Despite clothes, there are plenty of essentials which are required to carry along in a class. Some of them are:
Regular yoga mats are for daily yoga practice. They cannot be used in hot yoga sessions as it requires a special mat which is thicker and heavier than usual. It prevents from slipping as high temperature can lead to excessive sweating which makes the mat slippery.
One of the most crucial essentials to carry in a session is a hot yoga towel. You will need it to wipe out the excess sweat during and after the session. The towel must be made with a quick-drying soft material to ensure the skin is not damaged. It must also be washing machine friendly because you need it in every session.
Water bottle is without a doubt the most important element in a hot yoga class. Extravagant sweating can lead to dehydration and to counter it, a water bottle is a must.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is termed as one of the most beneficial and difficult yoga by yogis all around the world.
- The intense postures in the high temperature lead to profuse sweating. This relaxes the muscles, makes the joints flexible and helps the skin to breathe. It is also believed that many toxins are flushed out of the body through the sweat.
- It is also an effective way of losing weight or toning the body. The high-temperature workout increases the heart rate of the body and cardiovascular activity. This helps to burn a significant amount of calorie. In short, when any work is done at high temperature, the body burns a notable amount of calorie.
- It can be seen as a method of relaxation of muscles and body after a long day of work. Sitting on a chair for 9 to 5 can strain your shoulder and back muscles. Hot yoga can help eliminate such strain and make you feel refreshed after a tiring day of work.
- Apart from physical benefits, it is also very beneficial for mental health many studies say. Detoxification of mind; it flushes all the negative and toxic thoughts and energizes the mind with positive energies. Hot yoga also teaches us to adjust, tolerate and control our mind. The hot temperature might not be pleasant for everyone but convincing the mind for tolerating and adjusting in such heat is one of the main pillars of yoga. It teaches us to be comfortable in outside our comfort zone by controlling our mind.
Cons of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is packed with plenty of health benefits. But like every good thing in this world, it does come with a few drawbacks.
- It is performed in an artificially heated studio. This heat might not be suitable for those with sensitive and oily skin. This is because the excess sweat can produce sebum which causes acne. It is not suggested for the people who have a history of heat-related illness such as heatstroke and dehydration.
- Practicing this yoga is not suggested for pregnant women because of the excess heat and intensive nonstop workout. People who want to practice regular yoga and avoid intense workout should not consider hot yoga as it takes yoga to an extreme level.
- Some studies claim that workout injuries are common during sessions. It is seen that people are pushing to their limit to perform some asanas. It can cause ligament tear and bone dislocation in extreme cases. Last but not the least; it can leave you dizzy. This is because it is not easy to adjust your body in such extreme temperature.
Hot yoga is one of the hottest trends today attracting many enthusiasts and celebrities such as Madonna. It is packed with many health benefits as well as a few risks for certain people. It is best for people who want to try something new and intense.
As we all know, every human body works differently and hot yoga affects everyone in a different way making it beneficial for some while not for others. It is highly suggested to try this unless you are pregnant or sensitive to high temperature. So grab your hot yoga gears and get ready for some intense asanas.