The term Hot yoga refers to different type of styles of yoga in heated conditions. Hot yoga take place in a warm and heated place or studios for a more intense & powerful workout. Like traditional or old type of yoga, hot yoga has a so many health benefits like it’s good for mental health, flexibility, physical health and overall wellness.
Main purpose of the hot yoga in hot temperature and humidity was to replicate the hot temperature, where traditional & old style of yoga originated possibly. The hot yoga poses & postures may or may not be demanding physically.
So, this article by iveals.com will discusses hot yoga, its benefits, safety & risks in detail.
What is hot yoga actually?
Many people use the word “Bikram” & “hot” interchangeably. However, all the Bikram is hot but not all type of hot yoga is Bikram.
Hot yoga is more powerful & intense type of yoga which is performed in a room heated above normal temperature of a room. Temperature of the room can differ & vary between the 80–100°F (26.6–37.7°C).
However, Bikram yoga practiced in a room at 105°F (40.5°C) with humidity 40%. 26 poses include in it and also has a sequence of 2 breathing exercises.
Many yoga centers or studios now a days call it a hot yoga studio & removed the title Bikram because the founder received bad press.
It uses the actual concept of exertion & heat to release toxins of the body by sweat. Hot yoga is less impact of heat & humidity. The asanas, postures & sequence can differ in types and classes. It depends on the preparations of yoga instructor.
People who trained & practice in other styles can also follow this. However, teachers trained in Bikram can only give training of Bikram yoga.
Other types of Hot Yoga
Bikram is one of the yoga styles that is using hot yoga. Other types of hot yoga include:
- Vinyasa yoga
- Modo yoga / Moksha yoga
- CorePower yoga
- Hot yoga barre
- Forrest yoga
- Hot Yin yoga
- Hot Fusion yoga
- Hot Power yoga
Also, there are other variations in temperature, and some people may like or prefer warm type of yoga. It can take place in a room with gently-heated and have temperature between 80–85°F (26.6.–29.4°C).
Benefits of hot yoga
Benefits of hot yoga are given below which explains that what is it actually. Also, some are similar to the traditional or old yoga.
Heat dilates & open blood vessels which improves flow of blood to the muscles. The warmness of moist in this hot yoga can loosens & “warms up” your muscles. It is similar to how stretching & active warm-up work.
A study found that sauna yoga at temperature of 122°F (50°C) caused significant effects & improvements in flexibility of healthy & older adults. Also, it can cause mild improvements in balance and strength.
Many movements found in different types of hot yoga are stretches. Active stretching increases & improve strengthens and flexibility of the muscles.
Many postures of hot yoga are meant to build strength. You can hold a posture for at least 60 seconds to get the muscle strength. Examples of yoga poses include:
- High Plank
- Side Plank
In this we use weight of the body as a resistance form as we hold posture. In hot yoga you can target lower and upper strength of the body, it depends on the pose. A study shows that Bikram yoga can enhance the strength of lower body, upper & lower range of body & range of motion. Also, it improves balance in adults.
Hot Yoga Strengthens bones
A study suggests that hot yoga & Bikram can preserve & increase bone mineral density in premenopausal women. That makes this exercise an effective measure to stop osteoporosis.
Burns more calories with Hot Yoga
In hot yoga workout, heat, intense exercise and the prolonged time that you hold the pose can help you to burn extra calories than in traditional type of old yoga.
In general, yoga, can help to reduce the levels of stress. It can reduce anxiety and stress. Also, it can improve perceived stress, self-efficacy & health-related quality of life.
Supports cardiovascular health
In hot yoga, high temperature & heat can make it more powerful & intense than old traditional yoga. This exercise makes the muscles, heart and lungs work harder & improve metabolism.
Hot Yoga Improves Quality of skin
Sweating & heat can improve flow of blood which helps to deliver nutrients & vitamins to the skin cells. It is also found in a study that this hot yoga workout activates sirtuin genes family by enhancing & improving circulation of blood, that can counteract & lessen the symptoms & signs of aging.
Improves mental health
Yoga can be considered an effective way to improve & relax mental health. Also, this type of hot yoga exercise & workout is a good way to reduce symptoms of depression.
Risks & safety Concerns
Generally, hot yoga is safe. However, like any other type of exercise, there are some safety issues & concerns to consider with this hot yoga.
The muscles of the body can loosen too much, which can cause injury & overstretching, especially in the ligaments parts and tendons.
Also, hot yoga can cause illnesses related to heat. You should check with doctor before doing this type of yoga if you have following issues or conditions:
- cardiovascular / heart conditions like heart disease & prior stroke
- intolerance to heat
- heat stroke history
Moreover, it can cause excessive sweating that sweating can lead to dehydration. You should drink more water or electrolytes before this yoga, during and after the workout of hot yoga.
Sometimes environments or conditions can make you to fainting if you exercise in a hot room. You should proceed with caution when you try to do this exercise of hot yoga:
- abnormalities of arteries
- history of fainting
- anorexia nervosa
- low blood sugar
- low blood pressure
Pregnant women should talk with their doctor before starting hot yoga. Hot yoga might be safe for pregnant women who has uncomplicated pregnancies but a proper care must be taken.
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What to Consider for hot yoga:
If you want to try it then you should consider the following points:
You should select moisture-wicking & lightweight fabrics over the made of cotton clothing. moisture will be absorbed by cotton which makes clothes grow heavier & it will be harder to move.
Special socks & gloves can add grip when you do yoga because sweat can make things more slippery. Placing a towel, the mat it can help to absorb the extra sweat.
There are different methods to heat a studio. Many of the modern type studios use infrared heating, that heats up people and the environment of the room instead of air. Many others use forced-air heating or baseboards for workout & to heat the atmosphere or air in the studio.
Type of class:
Its classes can differ in length, style and temperature of the room. It is advised to beginners that first try yoga studios that offers yoga classes at a low level of temperature before trying hot yoga with more intensely.
If you want to try it at home, then you can invest in infrared heaters for home or humidifiers & space heaters. It is very important to select a small room to regulate & adjust the heat better.
Also, you can find local classes of it. You can check online directories like the studio directory from the Original Association.
Regular yoga vs Hot yoga
The main difference between this & regular and hot yoga in terms of doing is the heat & temperature. Old / regular yoga practiced at the room temperature while the hot yoga can be done on above the normal temperature of room. Hot yoga is more intense.
Hot yoga vs. Pilates
Pilates & Hot yoga are workouts that has low impact & use body weight as resistance. Both type of yoga focus on proper breathing & have the same goals and purpose in mind.
It offers a wide range of health benefits. It has no adverse outcomes when we practiced it for long term. However, more research & studies are required to determine & check the effects of hot yoga especially on the kidneys.
Hot yoga is a famous type & variation of traditional old yoga. If you enjoy traditional old yoga, then you can explore and add more intensity to the fitness routine by trying this.
However, it is not good or suitable / possible for everyone. Proper care must be taken for individuals who has some health conditions & they should consult doctors before trying out this hot yoga workout.