Hot Yoga: Health Benefits
When the yogis in the studio, ma
Drop it like it's hot (yoga)!
LOL. Was that too extra?
Moving on. So, unless you've been living under a rock or, more likely, in a bunker, we've all heard of yoga. Yet hot yoga is unfamiliar to many of us, and we can guess that it's yoga... and I guess it's... like… hot? Unless this is some kind of soccer/football wordplay going on, you can realistically assume it's some form of yoga with high temperatures.
What really is hot yoga, and why should I lock myself in a hot, humid room full of 30 other sweaty people?
The short answer is the health benefits and the feeling of accomplishment after your session. Cue in the endorphin rush. All jokes aside, there are significant health benefits to yoga; meanwhile, hot yoga likes to take it that steamy step further.
Hot yoga is a broad term that actually describes many different styles and flows of yoga depending on the studio and instructor. However, they all have in common that the classes take place in a room where the temperature is turned up between 86 and 105 degrees.
Hot classes range from following a set sequence of poses every time, to more playful, flowy classes that switch it up. Hot yoga is becoming incredibly popular worldwide due to its many health benefits and adaptable classes for instructors to make it their own.
Hot yoga and 26+2, are often used as the same term to describe hot yoga, but they're not exactlyyyyyy the same thing. Hot yoga was actually derived from Bikram yoga (now referred to as 26+2), but it has evolved into a more inclusive experience for all yogis.
Bikram yoga, developed by a yogi named Bikram Choudhury, has specific heat and humidity standards and is 26 poses with two breathwork sequences performed in the same order in every class. The room's temperature is heated to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. Many of these studios have re-branded by calling their sequences 26+2 and adding a few tweaks after allegations of abuse came to light about the former guru. Yeah, we saw the documentary too. Since we're practicing authenticity these days (shoutout to our therapists), we can't just ignore the elephant in the room.
Be sure to ask your yoga teacher if it is 26+2 yoga or power yoga! You may wanna pump up the tracks to Odesza or Bad Bunny or listen so intently to the silence, that you can hear sweat drip on your mat. Finding the perfect class for you will make you wish you got into hot yoga sooner!
What are the benefits of Hot Yoga?
The early bird gets the worm, bb! Morning yoga is our personal fav so we’re a little biased. It stimulates your brain, tackles morning stiffness, and puts you in a better mood in general. It also releases dopamine and endorphins AKA your happy hormones! This leads to an overall productive start to your day.
Flexibility: The warmer room makes it easier for your body to stretch! The steamy temperatures will allow you to move deeper into stretches. You won't have to warm up your muscles like in a regular yoga class. When your muscles are heated, they stretch easier and are less likely to experience injury.
Detoxing: The high heat that causes you to sweat helps release toxins from your body. The amount of water you need before and after hot yoga also helps flush out toxins as you will sweat it out faster. Along with hot yoga being a cardiovascular exercise and the fact that you drink lots of water can help boost your metabolism.
Encourages Intuitive Eating: Getting that sweat on (and out) in the mornings or evenings helps to intuitive eating for your body. Yes, we binge sometimes while watching Bridgerton or crying over a rom-com. It’s just like that. But we do know that it is also important to pick a fresh, healthy meal too to honor our bodies and hot yoga can help you make peace with food. While there's nothing wrong with a good ol’ double cheeseburger, listen to your body after your workout and trust your wisdom to know which nutrients it needs.
Healthy Heart: Exercising in the heat increases your heart rate and makes your body work harder. Therefore, a hot yoga class may be more strenuous than a similar class at a lower temperature. In addition, the extra heat and humidity make the yoga poses more challenging for your heart, resulting in a stronger heart with greater oxygen flow. You will definitely want to consult with your doctor or physician before trying hot yoga if you have any heart conditions.
Breathing: Hot yoga instructors must be adequately trained to teach you essential breathing techniques to make it through the class. Due to the heat, you have to adapt quickly to proper breathing techniques. The breathing exercises will help increase your lung capacity and help you breathe better and deeper. The increased heat makes it harder to breathe but actually makes you learn proper breathing techniques to keep up with the challenge. Proper breathing techniques allow you to take as much oxygen in as you can manage. This results in being in better heart shape and allowing your muscles to get proper oxygen, working harder for longer.
There are so many more health and healing benefits to hot yoga! We can't contain our excitement! If you've tried it, you know how amazing it feels once you leave the studio and you've shown up for yourself. You can reward yourself with replenishment meals and delicious smoothies (our latest craving is the berry/almond butter smoothie). You also have a clearer mind and a deeper sleep. The only thing is that your laundry may double its load, but it's worth it! To treat yourself for your next yoga class, try out our S41 towels. Not only will everyone be asking where you got the cutest towels on the block from, but you will never want to be without one for your hot yoga sessions. Slay! 💫