Regular yoga practice isn’t just about muscles, flexibility, and strength. It’s about calming your mind and committing to improving yourself. The toughest postures are only metaphors for the toughest challenges. And yoga teaches you that you can overcome them. So…
How can you balance hot yoga into your busy schedule? Read here to learn about hot yoga and if it is the right kind of exercise or workout for you.
Balance Hot Yoga: What Is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga began in the 1970s in California. The practice may sound mundane, as it requires the repetition of the same 26 poses throughout a 90-minute session, but it can have amazing benefits.
- Whether you want an intense workout, are recovering from injury, trying to soothe chronic pain, or are looking to detoxify your body and relax, hot yoga offers a chance to tailor your experience based on where you’re at. Of course, the classes are intended to help you:
- Build strength
- Reduce body fat
- Increase lower body and upper body range of motion
- Improve balance
- Alleviate stress1
What Makes Hot Yoga Different Than Other Yoga Practices?
Now, there are three major factors that (when combined) make hot yoga different than other forms of yoga.
- There is a set sequence of 26 asanas. The word asana means any of the hot yoga postures or movements. There are also two set breathing exercises that accompany the asana sequence.
- The heated yoga studio. Hot studios are heated to 105°F. The studios should also be set around a 40% humidity level.
- Finally, the instructional dialogue of a hot yoga class differs from other forms of yoga. Each class starts with standing pranayama. Pranayama means deep breathing. Once the pranayama is complete, the instructor will move into the standing asanas.2
Hot yoga was actually developed for beginning practitioners. However, as you advance and build strength, your workout evolves. Again, hot yoga is customizable. You can adjust the practice to your personal level of physical fitness. Once you learn the basics, you can work at the right pace for your body.
What Are The Benefits Of Hot Yoga?
Burn Calories With Hot yoga – Hot yoga classes were built in order to give your heart a good workout. Not only that, hot yoga postures ask you to keep your balance while you strengthen various muscle groups. So, even if you’re moving slowly, you’ll likely raise your heart rate and burn calories.
In fact, one study reports that women burn approximately 330 calories in a 90-minute hot yoga class. The same study mentions that men might burn approximately 460 calories during a 90-minute class.3
Another one of hot yoga goals is to elongate and squeeze your internal organs while stimulating your metabolism at the same time. The intention is that every muscle group will get worked within one session.
Stress Relief – While many people exercise to shape their bodies, a lot of us are simply trying to relieve the stress of our daily lives. One of the tenets of hot yoga is to set the room at a temperature that calms your mind and limits stress on your body.4
Another reported benefit of hot yoga is that it just might help keep you from stress-eating. In fact, one study about hot yoga participants reported significant decreases in binge eating frequency and eating to cope with negative stressors.5
Upper And Lower Body Flexibility – One of the best benefits of the higher temperatures in a hot yoga studio is that they allow you to more safely stretch your muscles. So, if you’re recovering from some sort of injury, hot yoga classes can be a safe way to test your body and to start a low-impact workout.
Hot yoga may also support:
- Healthy blood circulation
- Healthy digestion
- The flow of lymphatic fluid
- Muscle growth
- A healthy posture and spine6
Just get the okay from your doctor before you begin any sort of exercise program, including hot yoga.
Start Small With Yoga Postures Until You Build Up Core Strength And Flexibility
Like any yoga practice, hot yoga is a learning curve. Your yoga instructor will be able to walk you through certain postures and movements you may find challenging at first.
Instructors continue to coach you throughout the session so you pay no mind to distractions. The more you practice, the sooner your body will dive deeper into each stretch, movement, and posture. And the deeper you dive, the stronger you’ll become.
So, it’s okay to take it slow. You want to work on pursuing a healthy form, not jump to making it “look” right.
And again, make sure to get the approval from your doctor before giving hot yoga a try.
Find Certified Yoga Instructors In Your Area For The Best Experience
You’ll likely discover a joyful addition to the practice of hot yoga.
Since you repeat the same moves over and over, you’ll be able to see just how much you’re growing — physically and in terms of focus. And isn’t growth the name of the game?
And who knows? You might love it so much you pursue teacher training and open your own yoga studio someday.