Hot yoga has many healing advantages such mental alertness, relaxation and physical wellness. The practice also offers weight loss opportunities, even for yoga beginners.
Yoga is well known as a slow and thorough exercise which promotes mental, physical, and even spiritual health. It makes an ideal exercise for anyone who is trying to lose weight, since its gentle and fluid motions tone and train the body without being overwhelmingly strenuous.
More recently, hot yoga for weight loss has gained some popularity. This variation of traditional yoga places the participants in a heated room, which ramps up the intensity and helps burn more calories.
Overview of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is, essentially, yoga which is practiced in a room heated to upwards of 90 degrees. It is frequently confused with Bikram yoga, though the two are not exactly the same thing.
Bikram yoga follows extremely specific and copyrighted guidelines, from the precise temperature of the room (105 degrees Fahrenheit at 40 percent humidity) to the exact exercises and the order in which they are performed. Conversely, hot yoga methods will depend on the studio. However, all studios have at least one thing in common: hot yoga is yoga, but hotter.
How Hot Yoga Promotes Weight Loss
Since regular yoga is such a lauded exercise, it makes sense that a more intense version of yoga for weight loss purposes would burn even more calories. This is the principle on which hot yoga operates. The actual exercises performed are much the same, with poses and postures which stretch, stimulate, and tone the muscles.
The results of these exercises may be different, since the heated room helps to prevent potential injuries by improving limberness. It also causes the body to sweat more, which helps to burn calories. With the heat of the room relieving muscle tension, partakers of hot yoga can stretch more effectively and get a better overall workout for maximum weight loss (source: Bikram Yoga)
Top 5 Benefits of Hot Yoga
Of course, the benefit of hot yoga will be different for each person. However, there are some common benefits from a regular practice of hot yoga classes, including the following:
- Hot yoga stimulates and stretches muscles and joints to promote physical health.
- The regular practice of hot yoga retains all the meditation aspects of traditional yoga to reduce or eliminate mental and emotional stress.
- Practice promotes greater weight loss than traditional yoga, since the heated room allows for greater intensity and a harder workout.
- The heated room reduces the risk of injury by making muscles more limber.
- The breathing techniques and asanas (postures) used in hot yoga help make the lungs more efficient for greater oxygenation in and out of the studio.
Some people also believe that the excessive sweating combined with the oxygenation process of hot yoga help to flush impurities from the body. No matter how you look at, and even for those who are not seeking weight loss, hot yoga is an ideal exercise for everyone and anyone.
Warnings for Newcomers to Hot Yoga
As with anything else that is new to the body, one should take care to ease into this physically demanding activity and take it nice and slow. In hot yoga, there are some warning signs to look out for, including the following:
- The heat of the room can prove stifling to some, especially beginners and those who are unused to high temperatures.
- Nausea and light headedness is to be expected for newcomers to yoga.
- A workout which is too strenuous may cause fainting, which can lead to falling and subsequent injury.
- A lot of sweating can lead to dehydration, so bringing and using a water bottle is of utmost importance.
As a heated take on traditional yoga, hot yoga should be performed with caution, but also offers greater opportunity for weight loss.