A Mental and Physical Way to Stay Healthy
Yoga is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years, potentially as far back as 3,000 BC. Having originated in India, the routine has been enhancing fitness and relaxation for dozens of generations of yogis.
By the 1800s, yoga had been adopted by western countries, including America - with millions more people able to start enjoying the benefits. In fact, today, 300 million people practice yoga across the globe.
Here you’ll learn about hot yoga - a yoga subcategory - and discover how beneficial it can be to your physical and mental health goals.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the collective term for positions that strengthen your body. Moving your body into different holding poses in a sequence differentiates yoga from other physical activities. Yoga usually takes place with an instructor, though experienced yogis can practice on their own.
Alongside the physical benefits of yoga, the practice also supports emotional wellness by incorporating meditation and stillness.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga takes the yoga tradition to new extremes. Emerging in the 1970s as a new form of fitness regime, hot yoga differentiates from tradition in one important way. It’s practiced in a hot room - usually around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Performing yoga in hotter, more humid environments increases your heart rate and sweating - helping burn calories and achieve results more quickly.
Hot yoga sessions have become increasingly popular as more and more people take on the challenge of pushing their bodies.
What are the Best Hot Yoga Poses?
1. Deep Breath Pose
Doing yoga in a hot environment is different from yoga in moderate temperatures, and your body will react differently as a result. To maintain stamina, it’s important to incorporate good breathing into your hot yoga exercises.
Completing a deep breath pose is easy. Simply lie down on your yoga mat. Flat on your back, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
Slowly breathe in and out, controlling each breath and familiarizing yourself with the intense heat of your new fitness environment.
2. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
If you’ve heard of yoga, chances are you’ve heard of downward-facing dog. It’s one of yoga’s oldest poses.
To complete downward-facing dog, start by standing up with the soles of your feet on a yoga mat. Pivot forward at your hips and place the palms of your hands against the mat without bringing the soles of your feet off the ground.
3. Classic Pose
The classic pose is synonymous with yoga. The most famous image of a classic pose is the one done by Buddha.
Simply sit with your legs crossed, keeping your back straight throughout. Place your hands on your knees.
The classic pose perfectly links the physical and mental processes - offering you a chance to meditate and reflect while still burning calories from sweating.
How Long Should my Hot Yoga Session be?
Hot yoga classes are more challenging than their standard yoga counterparts. While the benefits are greater, exercising in hot environments can be risky if done for too long or too often.
Hot yoga sessions should last between 30 and 90 minutes only and should only be done once a week for the safest results. Beginners should wait two weeks between sessions while they get used to the heat and humidity.
What Are The Benefits of Hot Yoga?
1. Improves Flexibility
Hot yoga is excellent for limiting stiffness and loosening your body. Yoga benefits those looking to make their bodies more agile and ache less frequently.
2. Burns Calories
Hot yoga burns calories faster than traditional yoga due to sweating from the heat. A one-hour session of hot yoga burns an average of 500 calories.
17% of Americans want to lose weight in 2023, and hot yoga can play an essential role in achieving weight goals.
3. Enhances Balance
Not since learning to ride a bike has balance been so important to physical exercise. Yoga requires you to hold your body still in sometimes challenging positions. Mentally and physically holding yourself steady builds tolerance to quirky positions and improves your balance.
4. Builds Strength
Hot yoga is often mischaracterized as a primarily mental activity. The practice of hot yoga is, instead, one of the best methods to grow muscle, strengthen bones and build overall strength.
Most yoga positions are challenging to hold for long periods. Pushing through your mental and physical blocks will make your body stronger.
The Bottom Line
The health benefits of hot yoga include building strength, burning calories, and increasing flexibility.
Hot yoga benefits beginners, seniors, and seasoned professionals and is a perfect fitness and wellness exercise.
High muscle strength helps you to live longer while taking the time to reflect and be still can boost mental well-being.