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True Facts about Hot Yoga and Weight loss
Hot Yoga is a unique yoga experience that elevates Yoga practice to a new level. Before diving into it, especially if you are a Yoga beginner, it is important to learn some basics about this intriguing experience and the amazing benefits of Hot Yoga. How effective is Hot Yoga for weight loss?
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga is considered a vigorous type of exercise because is performed in a hot and humid environment. Hot yoga is basically Yoga performed in a hot room. It is based on the concept that Yoga classes at high temperatures enables better stretching – along with a number of other health benefits.
There are a variety of types of Yoga that can be done in the hot studio. From the slower pace of Yin Yoga, to Power Advanced Yoga Flows, there is not only one way to use the hot environment to practice Yoga.
It can be really challenging depending of the type of Yoga that the class entails. The hot temperature combined with how demanding the poses and Yoga flows are will raise your heart rate.
What is the ideal temperature for Hot Yoga
Most hot yoga studios aim for a temperature of around 40°C with a relative humidity of at least 40%. The humidity encourages healthy sweating as perspiration does not evaporate as quickly. You do feel sweaty and wet during the whole class. Look around and everybody else is looking he same!
What is the point of Hot Yoga?
I get asked very often how do enjoy Hot Yoga since the heat might feel unbearable and of course increases as you move along.
I was too, very skeptical before I tried it and my first experience was not pleasant. It was a small studio and I did feel like I was trapped in a sauna room.
After a few years, I gave it another try and this time the hot room was large and pretty, lights were dim and there were some fans making the air circulating a bit, ver slowly. Then I got hooked. The nice feeling of starting to exercise when your whole body is already warm is amazing.
It’s not for everyone. My guess is that is also a great escape from long winters if you leave in cold parts of the planet. I just love entering the hot Yoga studio when is -20C outside. However Hot Yoga has become very popular everywhere, even in warmer temperatures places.
Hot Yoga versus Regular Yoga
The only difference is the room temperature and the fact that for this reason any type of Yoga becomes more challenging. It’s a personal preference. If you’re curious just visit a Hot Yoga Studio near you and give it a try. Most Studios have packages for a month trial basis and a month is more than enough for you to check if it’s something for you.
Of course for Hot Yoga, you’ll need to bring your water and towel and even invest in Yoga outfit that allow for transpiration.
Another difference is that Hot Yoga takes more will power and mental discipline, which is what attracts many of its practitioners.
Hot Yoga Health Benefits
Researchers continue to study the pros and cons of hot yoga, including its effects on body fat and heart health.
Each 60- or 90-minute class will offer a series of postures that aim to contract and strengthen your muscles and raise your heart rate. The main general Hot Yoga benefits are:
- Blood vessels become more flexible making the body burn more calories
- Circulation becomes easier, increasing the blood flow to the limbs and forcing the lymphatic system to work harder to flush out toxins.
It seems the perfect environment to lose weight, flush out toxins and improve your flexibility.
But the essence of Hot Yoga, for many yoga enthusiasts, is the mental strength and focus required to endure the workout in the heat.
Your First Hot Yoga Practice
When you first start, especially in the winter, your body will welcome the hot environment and you might feel relaxed and comfortable. That doesn’t last long as your heart rate increases and you start to sweat profusely.
That’s when your mental focus has to prevail, concentrating on the movements and poses and forgetting the sweat dripping down. This is the part that makes Hot Yoga exciting and even addictive for many people.
It will become a challenge and you will leave the class feeling like you have accomplished a great work out.
The overall feeling of having sweat a lot and releasing toxins, combined with the adrenaline boost after the physical exertion, all contribute for a feel-good mood that will last you for the rest of that day.
This is why early morning hot yoga classes are so popular. You get out of the Hot Yoga Studio ready to conquer the world!
Related: Morning Yoga to start your Day
Photo Source: http://breatheyogastudio.com
Other Hot Yoga Benefits
1- Clarity of mind
After you become more familiar with the proper breathing technique, the movements will flow along with your breathing. This will improve blood circulation and the cardiovascular system, which are essential for better brain function.
It will not happen overnight but after the first class in the Hot Yoga Studio, you will start gradually noticing the differences.
2- You will breathe better
The high humidity inside the Hot Yoga room will help improve the mechanical efficiency of your lungs.
The increase oxygen levels in the blood, increase the elastic recoil of the lungs will prevent infection and aerate the whole lungs, invigorating your breathing experience not only during the Hot Yoga class.
This will be very evident especially if you suffer from any respiratory condition, like asthma or are recovering from a cold.
3- You will be less exposed to muscles injuries
Heat actually increases the blood flow into the muscles so they’re more pliable, chances of injury are lesser with warm muscles.
After my many injuries as a dancer, I am so glad that I can be safer in this hot environment, although I still have to be careful with my limitations.
Your Yoga teacher will also always guide you on modifying poses according to your necessities.
4- It will lower your body fat percentage
A recent study done by Texas State University showed that those who did hot yoga 3 times a week for 12 weeks had a higher reduction in body fat percentage compared to those who did yoga in regular room temperature 3 times a week for 12 weeks.
This significant change in body fat means that heat helps to increase metabolism, making hot yoga a more efficient method for fat loss compared to regular yoga.
Related: Yoga Morning to do in Bed
5- It will increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis
Dr. Loren Fishman, a physician, and advocate of integrative medicine conducted a Pilot study in 2010 and co-wrote a new book called “Yoga for Osteoporosis” proving that Yoga provides achievable control over bone health. According to him, “Yoga provides weight-bearing exercise with none of the dangers that lead to osteoarthritis.”
Yoga is an isometric exercise and activates one muscle group against another to generate forces far greater than gravity.
It is also weight bearing. Both of these types of activity have been proven to improve bone strength.
Unlike most forms of “weight-bearing” activity, Yoga does not damage cartilage or lead to osteoarthritis, another peril of aging.
Yoga stretches the muscles, increasing the range of motion that osteoarthritis otherwise inexorably narrows.
Related: Love Yoga Motivational Quotes?
6- Hot yoga will improve your physical and mental well-being
A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental
The results showed that these 50 women (overweight middle-aged and young women) had a remarkable improvement in every index after doing yoga systematically for one year by comparing their changes seen in body fat, physiological functions, and psychological self-evaluation.
Of course all the amazing benefits that Yoga can bring to your body will depend on how consistently and regurllaly you practice. Turning Yoga on a daily habit is an investment in your self-being, awareness and mental health.
7- Benefits of Hot Yoga for Your Skin
Your skin will look amazing!
Hot yoga classes usually have added humidity, sometimes up to 40%, so you’re basically working out in a steamy, subtropical environment. Many people love practicing Yoga outside in the summer for that reason. It is really amazing to practice outdoors enjoying the natural air and a nice view.
However mosquito bites and sun burn can happen and keeping your hot yoga indoors will have the same good effects and your skin will be protected.
Sweating does wonderful things for your skin. It detoxifies it, stimulates circulation, which feeds it with the nutrients it needs to stay firm and young.
It is important to hydrate your skin well after your Hot Yoga Practice. After a well deserved shower, nothing like moisturizing your skin with a top quality lotion.
Never, ever, go to your Hot Yoga practice with make-up on.
Mental Benefits of Hot Yoga VS Regular Yoga
The feeling after you step out of your Hot Yoga class is kind of gross. You’re sweaty and normally exhausted, catching your breath and thirsty. But 9 out of 10 times, mentally, you’re feeling amazing! It is a magical feeling.
Your brain feels mush, your pores feel like they’ve been blasted clean, your leggings are drenched, and your muscles are limber but relaxed.
All types of yoga can have this effect on you, but there’s something about hot yoga that just feels so good.
That said, research suggests that Hot Yoga isn’t necessarily better for you than unheated types of yoga. Both types of Yoga are equally beneficial. It is more a case of personal preference if you don’t have any health concerns about your heart rate going up. Regular Yoga offers amazing health benefits as well.
The ting is: simply spending time in a hot room can be enough to boost people’s mood and make your body relaxing deeper.
Lately I’ve been doing many Yin Yoga classes in the hot yoga room. Yin Yoga is a slow pace practice and the hot environment helps to stretch and relax your tissues, while calming the mind at the same time.
I think there is something that happens — if nothing else, psychologically — for some people when they go into a room, and they leave feeling like they have just done something that was very difficult. Stacy D. Hunter – PHD
How to Safely Start Hot Yoga
If you have any health issue it might be a good idea to check with your doctor if this is an activity for you.
Hot Yoga for beginners has to be in a slow pace class. Many studios offer Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga, where all levels are welcome.
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- If you sweat a lot, having a mat towel will make your practice more comfortable. They are not expensive and you can wash them after every class, no need to clean the mat all the time. I have 3 of them, to make easier to go to my classes twice a week.
- Another great idea is to wear a hot yoga headband. There is nothing more annoying than hair falling all over your face when you’re sweaty and out of breath!
- Avoid a big meal before your practice, a small banana, fruit, a good quality, organic protein cereal bar, or some nuts is enough, preferably 1 hour before the class.
- Listen to your body and take a rest any time you need. Go to child pose or just lie down, don’t push over your limits just because everybody around is doing so.
- If you are just starting, taking a shorter version of the class might be a good idea. Some studios offer Restorative Yoga and Hot Yin Yoga that are slower than a regular practice and a great way to get you started.
- Try to have a quiet time after the class, enjoy the feel-good sensation and allow your body to cool off normally if you can.
- Besides water, you are also losing other nutrients during the intense sweat that happens in the class, potassium, sodium, and electrolytes. Coconut water and a banana can help replace these nutrients. I buy coconut water in bulk and always drink a full glass of it. It feels so good after a hot yoga sweat to know that you’re feeding your body with good nutrients.
Photo Source: http://www.butterflylondon.com/girls-dont-glisten-or-glow-they-sweat/
Hot Yoga and Weight Loss
You can burn many calories in a Hot Yoga practice and it all depends on your fitness condition. Normally around 500 calories. However, the decision of taking Hot Yoga shouldn’t be only because of the
There are not many studies about Hot Yoga and Weight Loss although it is such a popular practice. The intense detox that occurs from the skin to muscles can’t be ignored.
Hot Yoga practice will increase flexibility, improve your immune system over time and calm you down.
You really need to enjoy Yoga as your preferred exercise to get the most benefits: improving your flexibility, mobility and body consciousness.
Yoga is a lifestyle that promotes physical and mental stimulation and some practices in Western society even lead to a spiritual component as well. Most of all, Yoga promotes the deep appreciation of being healthy and how we should honour our bodies every day. Here’s another great guide about Hot yoga.
What to wear for Hot Yoga
If you like to wear your fancy Lululemon attires for your Yoga classes, you’re in the right path. yes, they’re expensive and I am not trying to help them to sell their beautiful stuff. I am guilty of spending too much money buying their Yoga clothes. However the materials and fabrics they use are really ideal for Hot Yoga. The discomfort of being wet and dripping is hardly noticeable. In other words, you need to wear Yoga outfits that are good quality and allows your skin to breathe.
If you want more online Yoga videos for doing Yoga at home, check this out: online videos tested by me.
The downside of Hot Yoga
If you’re a Hot Yoga newbie, it’s very important to note that even if you have high tolerance to heat and had the best results in your last medical check up, your body will need time to adapt to work out in the hot studio. More than ever it’s very important to “listen to what your body is saying to you” during the flow and take it slow when you’re starting.
It is normal to get all pumped up and sweaty and purified but if your blood pressure drops, the sensation can easily sneak up on you and all of sudden you’re dizzy and nauseated.
Be careful, explore the Hot Yoga class going slow and even leaving the class if you don’t feel right.
Another downside is that injuries can happen if you push yourself too far. Due to the increased flexibility of the muscles and the warmer temperatures, it’s possible to overdo it and you will only notice it after the class.
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