With the growing popularity of yoga in the Western world we have learnt much about the traditions of the practice, and the benefits of asana (the physical practice of yoga) for the mind and body. What we are yet fully understand however are the health benefits that come from practicing Hot and Bikram Yoga at elevated temperatures.
Many of us know that these practices have great affects on our body composition and we have likely seen some amazing changes in our own or one of our friend’s bodies since taking up Hot Yoga, but what if there was more to it than that, what if Hot Yoga didn’t only help you lose weight and get toned but also improved your physical, mental and emotional health too?
Whether you are practicing Bikram Yoga or a Hot Vinyasa Flow, the elevated temperature of the room provides a very similar environment for your body to sweat, stretch and reap the benefits of a ‘heated’ yoga practice, and we have explained them all here for you.
The Top 5 Health Benefits of Hot Yoga
It has been well researched for years now that heat actually improves blood circulation in the body and allows fresh blood to flow into the muscles more easily which makes them more pliable; meaning that you are able to stretch longer, fold deeper and hold poses longer than you would in an unheated room.
Not only will your experience of the practice benefit from being able to find your way deeper into poses than you otherwise would have but this improved flexibility also reduces the risk of injury as the muscle is already well ‘warmed up’.
Improved Blood Circulation
As we just mentioned the higher temperatures in hot yoga classes promote more efficient and effective blood flow throughout the body which carries great benefit after class…once you have left the heated room you are better able to regulate your own body temperature and send blood to your hands and feet to keep them warm.
The increased circulation of fresh oxygenated blood inside the body also nourishes the internal organs and improves function of our heart especially, and the detoxifying organs of the bod such as the liver and kidneys.
You have probably heard this many times before and that is because it’s true! Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible and charges your body to burn a lot more calories than usual.
Weight Loss and Muscle Toning
Carrying on from our last point it seems obvious that hot yoga would help with weight loss, however what many people often forget is that our style of hot yoga involves a lot of strength work that can actually burn fat and build muscle at the same time. This is because contrary to the belief that yoga is all about stretching, hot yoga actually focuses on toning the core, triceps and legs, and encourages the body to take a long, lean physique.
You may have noticed that you and your friends who practice hot yoga frequently tend to get sick less often. This is because as we improve circulation to the body’s organs through practice, our organs become stronger and better able to combat disease and illness. Not to mention that during our practice we are in effect removing all toxicity from the body through our sweat, and are able to keep our body in a more pure, alkaline state that has been proven to ward off disease in the long run.
So while you may have come to Hot Yoga to lose weight or lean up, it seems that you just might be doing your body a whole lot more good than you ever knew…
If you’re a regular of our you may have already noticed some of these things and have only now got some validation for what you were experiencing, but if you are yet to try your hand at hot yoga then we strongly encourage you to come along for a chat where we can show you the space, and introduce you to this new, sweaty and exciting branch of health and fitness.