Hot Power Yoga: Get Strong for Summer
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Are you one of the folks who habitually skips out on the stretch portion of your workouts? Maybe you want to build muscle but don’t have the money for a gym membership or to stock a home fitness center. Hot power yoga might be the answer to your prayers. This workout style combines flexibility and strength for a calorie-torching workout that helps you build lean muscle.
What are the benefits of this unique exercise style, and what should you know before your first class? Learn how you can combine sweat and strength with a hot power yoga workout that will get you in shape for the summer.
What Is Hot Power Yoga?
Hot power yoga combines the best of two distinct styles: power yoga and hot yoga. Both these forms arose relatively recently, making combining the two a natural fit.
Hot yoga builds on the teachings of Bikram Choudury who brought the practice to Hollywood in the 1980s. Traditional Bikram classes mimic the environment on the Indian subcontinent by practicing in a room heated to 105° Fahrenheit with 40% humidity. However, many modern hot power yoga teachers don’t dial up the temperature quite as much.
Power yoga arose nearly simultaneously on the east and west coasts. Bryan Kest brought the practice to Los Angeles, and Beryl Bender Birch used similar techniques in New York. The practice builds on the teachings of the great Ashtangi Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and focuses on building agni fire or heat in the body through strong vinyasa movements followed by powerful stationary holds.
Power yoga already brings the heat — hot power yoga dials up the external temperature. The result is one scorcher of a workout that will leave you feeling internally cleansed and ready for the day.
5 Unique Benefits of Hot Power Yoga
What are some of the unique benefits of hot power yoga? Check out these fabulous advantages.
1. Combines All Three Fitness Components in One
You need a combination of strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training for a complete fitness program. That’s an awful lot to squeeze into your week, especially if you work long hours.
However, this workout combines all three aspects of complete fitness into one. The combination of vinyasa flows and power holds elevates your heart rate, while moves like chaturanga and high lunges tone your upper and lower body. Of course, it’s yoga — so you get a terrific stretch, too.
2. Doesn’t Require Equipment to Build Strength
Maybe you don’t have much of a budget for workout equipment. That’s no excuse for skipping fitness — the only tools you need for hot power yoga are a mat and a towel, although you can invest in blocks and straps if you like.
Perhaps you hesitate to lift weights out of fear of gaining bulk. Do you want that lean, swimmer’s look? Hot power yoga can help you achieve a sculpted physique that’s lean and mean.
3. It’s Suitable for Those Who Need Low-Impact Activities
Even though hot power yoga is intense, it is still low-impact. You always have options, such as stepping back into plank instead of hopping.
Therefore, this activity is perfect for people with arthritis who crave a hardcore workout that doesn’t put undue pressure on their hips and knees. You’ll also strengthen surrounding muscle tissue, which helps support creaky joints.
4. It’s the Perfect Way to Cross-Train
Rest day doesn’t mean all-day Netflix and Nintendo. Are you seeking the ideal cross-training activity? Hot power yoga is the perfect activity to squeeze in between your lower and upper body strength training days if you want to add variety to your weight-lifting addiction.
5. It Introduces You to Yoga Principles
Many people who take these classes are there for the workout, not spirituality. However, you’ll still learn several yoga principles that may encourage you to expand your practice into a more reflective, nearly religious experience.
What You Should Know Before Going to a Hot Power Yoga Class
Hot power yoga offers oodles of benefits, but there are some precautions you should know about before you attend your first class.
- Talk to your doctor: This is intense exercise. Furthermore, it’s done in a heated room. People with heart conditions need to take extra precautions, so talk to your doctor to find out if this regimen is right for you and get tips for your unique body.
- Talk to your guide: Every yoga guide is different. Some take a very hands-on approach, adjusting you in various poses. However, you might not appreciate a stranger’s touch if you have sensory-processing issues or a trauma history — let your guide know your preferences.
- Go early: Arriving early gives you a chance to talk one-on-one with your guide, who can recommend modifications for tricky moves.
- Relax and observe: Don’t worry about perfecting the moves at first or following everything perfectly. After all, it’s hard to see the guide when you’re bent in a forward fold and facing the back of the room. Do what you can, but observe the rest until you feel confident.
- Be patient: I know we keep repeating it, but hot power yoga is intense. You might struggle through your first few classes and will still experience the burn years into your practice — so don’t get discouraged if you feel challenged.
Why Hot Power Yoga Is Perfect for Summer
Hot power yoga is fabulous any time of the year. However, it’s especially sweet in summer. Why? You can take your practice outdoors.
Pay attention to atmospheric conditions — but let Mother Nature guide your practice. Instead of remaining at home, head to your favorite nature area to soak up some vitamin D-producing sunlight and let the day’s heat relax your muscles.
Sweaty Summertime Strength With Hot Power Yoga
Do you want to get sleek and strong for summer? Hot power yoga could be your ticket.
This modern variation on the ancient practice gives hardcore exercisers the intense experience they crave. Build sweaty summertime strength with hot power yoga.