The word “Hot “ in itself is so intruding these days and hot yoga is no different! This beautiful form of yoga is true to its word as this form of yoga is done in a hot and humid condition. This yoga was first proposed by Bikram Choudhary of India and he had a special reason for making people practice yoga in the hot condition.
According to him, this condition mimics the climatic condition of the Indian land and is very important to improve the movement and flexibility of the joints and muscles. Moreover, he also proposed that hot yoga helps to remove the impurity out of the body.
Origin of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga started back in 1970 when Bikram noticed something fascinating in Japan when his students went for the sauna. That’s when it hit him that practicing yoga in a hot environment could be beneficial. After getting this idea Bikram increased the temperature of his yoga room to 28 degrees Celsius to mirror the temperature of him home time Calcutta India. Although, the temperature in studios of Bikram yoga is increased to about 40-degree Celcius, now.
Later to his amazement, his students gave a much positive response. Many came up saying that they were having wonderful workout time as the flexibility of their limbs was increased; additionally, this temperature made anyone sweat easily due to which his students felt that they were flexing more which in turn motivated them to try this yoga more.
This, as a result, gave birth to ‘Bikram Yoga’ – the first and original form of Hot Yoga. Today, we can find many popular styles of hot yoga. Which includes ‘Moksha yoga’ (also known as ‘Modo yoga’ in the United States) and ‘CorePower yoga’, including many more new and emerging forms of hot yoga.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is basically, doing all the normal yoga but in a hot and humid temperature. However, it is quite different from Bikram yoga as it consists of exactly 26 poses. Here are some benefits of this spicy hot yoga,
1. Improving Flexibility
Have you noticed that your joints and limbs are stiffer in the winter compared to the summer? Well, you might have presumed that in summer we are more physically active than winter and that may be the reason why. That is not true!
In winter the muscles tend to remain mostly in a contracted state to preserve the body’s heat and to top it all off if you do not exercise you will develop more chance of having tough joints.
Therefore, the temperature in hot yoga studios is quite high and warm. It was also found that yoga practitioners who performed hot yoga, had significantly improved their flexibility in lower back, shoulders, and hamstring, in a study in 2013.
2. Builds Bone Density
In orthopedics, there is a law known as the “Wolf’s law” which states that any area of the bone when subjected to tolerable stress and strain, will have more bone deposition.
This principle is applicable here as well! Performing hot yoga puts stress on specific bones resulting in an increase in bone density and can help in improving the bone mass of elderly people and even postmenopausal women.
A 2014 study on postmenopausal women, who attended hot yoga classes over 5 years found out that there was increased bone density in their neck, hip, and lower back region.
3. Helps People To Cope With Depression
Yoga therapy helps to increase the parasympathetic flow of the body, which is very essential to calm the body. Therefore, performing yoga, especially in a hot environment can help to get rid of depression as it relaxes you and frees you from mental tension.
Moreover, a 2017 review Trusted Source of 23 different studies that focused on yoga as a treatment for depression concluded that yoga is an effective way to reduce depressive symptoms.
4. Burns Calorie
One of the most important reasons why people do yoga is to burn adequate calories and get into proper shape. This hot yoga is very essential in that aspect as when yoga is done in a hot environment, you are for sure to sweat more. This phenomenon will not only help you to burn more calories but also will psychologically encourage you as you get the feeling that you are working out well.
According to researchers at Colorado State University, the calorie burn can be as high as 460 for men and 330 for women during a 90-minute hot yoga session.
5. Nourishes The Skin
Did you know yoga can help you to regain your youthful glow? Performing any form of yoga on regular basis will help to improve the blood circulation in the cutaneous region as well, which will help to supply more oxygen and nutrient, and also to get rid of all the harmful substances.
Additionally, practicing hot yoga will not only keep you in shape but also keep your skin fresh and bright from within.
How To Get Started and Begin Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga seems to add much fun to the word yoga but truly speaking hot yoga is basically the regular yoga and the only difference is that it is done in a hot environment, where the temperature of yoga studios is increased to about 28 to 30-degree celsius.
Firstly, you need to get acquainted with regular yoga and you also need to make sure that you can do exercises and yoga in hot temperatures and then start up on hot yoga.
Tips Before You Begin Your Hot Yoga Classes
- Put on thin and light fabric clothes which will not only make it easier for you to do some yoga but also will help to absorb the sweat
- Always take two towels with you. One to use for your face and body when you start sweating and the other to wipe up your yoga mat, as you might fall because of the slipper mat caused due to your sweating
- Take a large insulated water bottle with you, so when you are hot and thirsty, you can drink straight from the bottle
- Take enough rests because if you do yoga-like working out in the gym, you will not gain the mental peace and experience of yoga to fullest
Precaution To Be Taken During Hot Yoga – Safety Measures
Hot yoga is comparatively safe and can be done in any condition. However, some safety measures should be taken to prevent some predicaments that you might face later.
Hot yoga is sure to make you dehydrated as you will lose a lot of sweat and you will also be subjected to a high temperature; therefore, it is better to be adequately hydrated for the yoga
2. Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Level
Before registering for hot yoga do keep your pressure and glucose level in check. If you have a low blood pressure and sugar level, chances are you can feel very dizzy and have a high risk of collapsing during the session
If you are a pregnant lady trying to join the hot yoga class, I would suggest you seek medical advice first before joining in
4. Heat Intolerance
For those people who have zero tolerance to heat and those who get heat rashes while doing exercise in the hot environment, you’d better do yoga at normal room temperature.
5. Ones With An Underlying Medical Condition
If you have diabetes, anorexia nervosa, any underlying heart disease, and any other fainting disorders, you have more chances of passing out in a hot environment. Therefore, it is advisable to get a thorough medical checkup before starting hot yoga.
(Last Updated On: April 20, 2020)