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Yoga is a transformative practice for your body and mind. The focus and breathing techniques help decrease anxiety, stress and depression symptoms, and the flows strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.
For many yogis, this is enough. However, many prefer finding new ways to challenge themselves — to turn up the heat. If you want to push your yoga habit further or just love a good sweat sesh, the hot yoga benefits might entice you to give it a try.
The difference between hot yoga and its traditional counterpart is the room’s temperature. Normally, yoga can be done anywhere, like in a park or a climate-controlled studio. It doesn’t truly matter.
Hot yoga, on the other hand, has some particular temperature requirements. When taking a general hot yoga class, you may find yourself in a room resting anywhere from 80-100 degrees. Bikram, a more structured form of hot yoga, is more exact, requiring 105 degrees and 40% humidity.
The extra heat can actually do wonders for your physical and mental health, even beyond traditional yoga. Hot yoga benefits primarily stem from the temperature’s effects on your cardiovascular system — pumping more blood and making you sweat.
Turning up the heat causes your entire body to work harder. It has to keep up with the challenge of the flow as well as maintain your body’s temperature. These increased demands expend more calories than a traditional yoga class. The only caveat is that your body excels at adapting to its atmosphere, meaning the hot yoga benefits will diminish if you stick only to this style. To prevent this from happening, switch up your fitness routine, using hot yoga as one tool in your bag.
Every athlete and fitness enthusiast knows the most critical part of starting a workout is to warm up your muscles. Going through a warm-up routine makes your muscles more pliable and equips them to get you through the upcoming movements.
The heated hot yoga studio works similarly. Your muscles will be warmer throughout the session, so you may experience more flexibility than in other classes, allowing you to go deeper and hold longer in your poses.
Love that post-workout glow? Who doesn’t? Hot yoga benefits your skin by cranking up your body’s circulation, bringing better blood flow to your skin and encouraging cell turnover. Sweating also clears your pores of all impurities, which can improve your acne. To maintain these perks, shower right after your session, or all of the sweat, bacteria and debris can sink right back into your skin.
Hot yoga is a beast of a challenge and a great way to up your game if you feel you’ve stagnated in your habit. You’ll need to improve your stamina and focus beyond the typical flow to get through a session. The reward at the end is a buzz that no one can take away from you. Odds are you’ll walk out sore but with a big smile.
While you may not find a sauna-like atmosphere the most comfortable location for a workout, the results are pretty remarkable. You’ll leave your session feeling empowered like the sweaty boss babe you are. Just remember to check in with the instructor if you have any underlying conditions or injuries. They can make adaptations to increase your safety and improve success.