Yesterday’s review on Pure Yoga got me thinking about the benefits of hot yoga. I often seek out hot classes as opposed to a standard class in a non-heated room. I thought I would share with you all the reasons why hot yoga is so great.
First things first. I take hot vinyasa classes. For those of you who don’t know, vinyasa is a type of yoga practice where the poses (a.k.a. asanas) are linked to your breath. Because each pose is linked to breath, vinyasa classes can move at a quick pace and are often deemed “power” yoga classes. Hot vinyasa classes are traditional vinyasa classes performed in a room heated to 100 degrees. Not to be confused with Bikram yoga classes. Bikram is also a hot yoga genre performed in a heated room. However, unlike vinyasa classes, Bikram is based on a form of yoga called Hatha yoga. Bikram consists of 26 poses done in the same sequence each and every class. Although vinyasa classes are based on the same core poses, the sequence and selection of poses change each class. I prefer hot vinyasa classes because I enjoy the variety and prefer a class that “moves” as opposed to Hatha classes which hold the poses for longer.
So what are the benefits of hot vinyasa classes? Well, for one, the heat requires greater exertion by the body and causes the heart rate to increase causing you to burn a greater number of calories. The heat also loosens your muscles allowing you to stretch deeper and work on your flexibility. Working through intense heat strengthens your resolve and trains you to mentally and physically deal with uncomfortable situations.
Because hot yoga causes you to sweat profusely, it is imperative to drink a lot of water before, during and after class to avoid dehydration. Everyone should consult their doctor before taking a hot yoga class, especially if you are heat sensitive. You should also take a break if you feel tired or dizzy during class.
Some tips for your first class: make sure you have a non-slip yoga mat and you may want to invest in a non-slip towel to place over you mat, bring tons of water and towels to wipe yourself down. Remember to check you ego at the door and don’t be afraid to take a break. If you are up for the challenge, give hot yoga a try!