The continual rise of yoga’s popularity is never more apparent than today. With stress
There are many forms of yoga but recently Hot Yoga has been generating substantial interest amongst new and seasoned practitioners alike. So, what exactly is hot yoga?
Difference between Yoga and Hot Yoga?
Essentially, there is not much difference between yoga and hot yoga except for one. Hot yoga sessions, as the name implies, are conducted in a controlled hot environment. The temperature is usually set between 38°C to 40°C with 55 to 65 percent humidity. For those familiar with Bikram Yoga, the same question arises — How does it differ?
Unlike Bikram Yoga, hot yoga is more akin to a flowing vinyasa practice closer to that of a dance. It is not based on Bikram’s 26-posture series. According to Mandy Ingber, fitness expert and author, “One of the benefits to many hot yoga classes is the routine is repetitive. When you are doing the same poses repeatedly, you can begin to see where you are today in relation to yesterday.”
The benefits of Hot Yoga
Clarity of mind
Hot yoga promotes better joints flexibility and coupled with proper breathing improves blood circulation and cardiovascular system. These are certainly good and essential for better brain function as well and you’ll experience newfound clarity.
Better weight management
With better flexibility and improved cardio, practitioners of hot yoga are able to execute the poses better. This renewed confidence and capability will certainly put you on the path to better health and possibly achieve your dream physique as well. It’s important to remember that although you will burn off calories during hot yoga, sweating does not equate to weight loss; it’s water loss. How you refuel your body after each session and adopting a healthy eating habit is key in maintaining a healthy weight.
You will breathe better
It is a challenge to maintain proper breathing as you move from one pose to the next. But with constant practice, hot yoga will help to improve your breathing rhythm. Proper breathing is essential not only in yoga but in everything we do. It enables to think better and do what is needed efficiently. It also helps in recovery and injury prevention. With improved cardiovascular and breathing capabilities, you will soon begin to enjoy the benefits of hot yoga.
Lower body fat percentage
A recent study done by Texas State University showed that those who did hot yoga 3 times a week for 12 weeks had a higher reduction in body fat percentage compared to those who did yoga in regular room temperature 3 times a week for 12 weeks. This significant change in body fat thus implies that heat helps to increase metabolism, making hot yoga a more efficient method for fat loss compared to regular yoga.
Reduces chances of injury
“Heat actually increases the blood flow into the muscles so they’re more pliable,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at the University of Auburn, Montgomery. She added that the chances of injury are lesser with warm muscles.
Improve Sleep Quality
A study done by Henan Polytechnic University which studied a group of 50 women who practiced hot yoga for one year reported that majority had better sleep compared to before.
Increase bone density
According to Dr. Loren Fishman and based on his 2010 pilot study, “We did a bone mineral density (DEXA) scan, then we taught half of them the yoga, waited two years, and did another scan. Not only did these people not lose bone, they gained bone.”
Alleviate undesirable effects of Menopause
Menopause is something that most women will face and for some, considering its symptoms and side effects, is a life event that they wish they could avoid. Good news is yoga can help to alleviate its undesirable effects including hot flashes. Hormonal changes can cause issues but as yoga teaches one to be at peace oneself, this does help in overcoming challenges as such. The physical part of yoga where improvements can be felt to your body functions also comes in handy during trying times.
Don’t sweat over sweating
It’s natural to feel a little queasy when the subject of sweating is mentioned. But it’s good for you! When you sweat, you release toxins from the body. These include urea, potassium, and ammonia to name a few. Understand that sweating is good for you and important too. Apart from flushing out toxins, it also improves the lymphatic system. Embrace the sweat and the benefits that hot yoga can do for you.
Tips on practicing Hot Yoga
You will be sweating a lot in hot yoga, so it is important to ensure that you drink up hours before, during, and after class to ensure that you are will not be dehydrated. If you only start drinking water just before class, your body may not be able to absorb the water in time till the class is over which might be too late.
This means dressing as light as you can to minimise the heat trapped between your clothes and your body, making you feel even hotter than it is. Consider wearing a headband to keep your sweaty hair from sticking on your face.
Eat the right amount, at the right time
You would need all the energy you can get for the workout, yet you do not want to overstuff yourself either lest you feel like vomiting. Try to eat a couple of hours before your workout to give your body the fuel it needs. A light snack in the form of nuts or fruits would work just fine.
Punctuality is not enough
Try to reach the studio about 10 minutes before class to ensure that you allow your body enough time to adjust to the temperature before working out immediately. This would decrease the chances of your body having to work in overdrive to get used to both the temperature and the yoga moves all at once.
Know when to stop
You are likely to be new to hot yoga if you are on this page. If so, it is perfectly normal to occasionally feel lightheaded when practicing hot yoga. In instances like these, one should learn to step back and take a break. If it gets too overwhelming, leave the room when necessary. Do not be too hard on yourself when you are just starting out.
The Yoga effect
For something that has been around for as long as time itself it seems and still practiced fervently today it must be really effective. That’s yoga for you.
Yoga equips us with the necessary empowering tools and teaches us to understand ourselves better.
Lava Yoga Singapore
“Yoga teaches us to connect, not only with each other but also with everything around us.”
– Tomoko Fujita, Executive Director of LAVA Yoga Singapore
In Singapore, Lava Yoga continues to expound its beliefs and has successfully been helping women attain a better sense of well-being and health. Through its various hot yoga classes, many women have discovered newfound confidence and rejuvenation that’s helped them better understand their self and everything around them.
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