What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is a type of yoga that can provide physical and mental health benefits. Like yoga, hot yoga includes many poses helping with flexibility, relaxation, and breathing. Each class also goes on for around 90 minutes. The major difference between hot yoga and regular yoga is that hot yoga classes are held in a room that is heated to anywhere from 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 to 38 degrees Celsius. There are many benefits of taking hot yoga and it is especially helpful if your muscles are sore or tense!
Benefits of Hot Yoga:
1. Helps Flexibility
Many people know that heat helps relax your muscles, and therefore, will help increase flexibility. Therapists, trainers, or doctors may have recommended taking a hot bath after doing exercise to help stretch out muscles. When you do hot yoga, the heat relaxes your muscles and improves flexibility and increases range of motion in your joints. This helps make different poses easier and strengthens your whole body overall!
2. Greater Lung Capacity
Your lungs retain more air when doing yoga, because yoga also concentrates on breathing techniques and being aware of your body and breathing patterns. Yoga also isn’t an active activity, more of a relaxing one, so you can train your longs and take regular, deep breaths that allow more oxygen to enter your bloodstream, keeping them healthy and increasing lung capacity.
3. Burns Calories
Even though yoga isn’t an active activity, it still burns calories and works out certain muscles depending on what poses your instructor tells you to do. A typical yoga class can burn up to 180 to 460 calories, depending on the intensity and duration of the class and your body. Research from Colorado State University shows that women can burn around 330 calories during a 90-minute class, and men burn around 460 calories. The reason why you would burn so many calories is mainly because of the heat. You sweat a lot more in heat, which means your body must work harder to regulate your temperature, and your heart must circulate more blood.
4. Boosts Heart Health
Working out in a hot room is no doubt a physical challenge. Your heart, lungs, and muscles work harder, thus giving your respiration, heart rate, and metabolism a boost. One April 2019 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that one session of hot yoga gets your heart pumping at a similar rate as a brisk walk (3.5mph).
5. Improve Skin Health
Increased sweat improves circulation and increases oxygen-rich blood to your skin cells, providing you with a post-yoga glow. Sweating from exercise can actually reverse signs of aging from a cellular level. The positive impact means your skin can produce more collagen, better hydration, and less sagging.
Attire for Hot Yoga/ What to Bring:
Usually in hot yoga, people would wear clothing that is tight and easy to move in. Girls and women usually wear leggings, sports bras, tank tops, and shorts for yoga. Boys and men usually wear just shorts and no shirts. A yoga matt is also needed since there are some poses that require you to lay down. You also have to make sure to bring a lot of water since sweating a lot dehydrates you, and bring some snacks during occasional breaks outside of the room!
Want to Start Hot Yoga? Here are some tips!
If you’re interested in hot yoga, consider trying a regular yoga class first. And ask your studio if they offer hot classes suited for beginners. Some classes use the residual heat from the previous class, so it’s not as hot as a regular heated yoga class but is usually between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 29 degrees Celsius). The important thing is to try it out so you can see whether hot yoga is right for you or if you’d rather stick to non-heated classes.