The continual rise of yoga’s popularity is never more apparent than today. With stress levels at an all-time high globally, people need a form of respite to release and relieve unnecessary burden.

For generations, yoga has been helping people attain better health and life. It has also helped people to discover newfound strength, perseverance and positivity.

There are many forms of yoga but recently Hot Yoga has been generating substantial interest amongst new and seasoned practitioners alike. But what is hot yoga?

Difference between Yoga and Hot Yoga?

Essentially, there is not much difference between yoga and hot yoga except for one. Hot yoga sessions, as the name implies, are conducted in a controlled hot environment. The temperature is usually set between 38°C to 40°C with 55 to 65 percent humidity. For those familiar with Bikram Yoga, the same question arises — How does it differ?

Unlike Bikram Yoga, hot yoga is more akin to a flowing vinyasa practice closer to that of a dance. It is not based on Bikram’s 26-posture series. According to Mandy Ingber, fitness expert and author, “One of the benefits to many hot yoga classes is the routine is repetitive. When you are doing the same poses repeatedly, you can begin to see where you are today in relation to yesterday.”

It’s getting HOT in here

Hot yoga increases body metabolism which can lead to healthy weight loss. Heat encourages sweating and this helps to remove harmful toxins from the body. It also reduces the risk of injury. “Heat actually increases the blood flow into the muscles so they’re more pliable,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at the University of Auburn, Montgomery. She added that the chances of injury are lesser with warm muscles.

The benefits of Hot Yoga

  1. Clarity of mind

    Hot yoga promotes better joints flexibility and coupled with proper breathing improves blood circulation and cardiovascular system. These are certainly good and essential for better brain function as well and you’ll experience newfound clarity.

  2. Better weight management

    With better flexibility and improved cardio, practitioners of hot yoga are able to execute the poses better. This renewed confidence and capability will certainly put you on the path to better health and possibly achieve your dream physique as well. It’s important to remember that although you will burn off calories during hot yoga, sweating does not equate to weight loss; it’s water loss. How you refuel your body after each session and adopting a healthy eating habit is key in maintaining a healthy weight.

  3. You will breathe better

    It is a challenge to maintain proper breathing as you move from one pose to the next. But with constant practice, hot yoga will help to improve your breathing rhythm. Proper breathing is essential not only in yoga but in everything we do. It enables to think better and do what is needed efficiently. It also helps in recovery and injury prevention. With improved cardiovascular and breathing capabilities, you will soon begin to enjoy the benefits of hot yoga.

    Don’t sweat over sweating

    It’s natural to feel a little queasy when the subject of sweating is mentioned. But it’s good for you! When you sweat, you release toxins from the body. These include urea, potassium, and ammonia to name a few. Understand that sweating is good for you and important too. Apart from flushing out toxins, it also improves the lymphatic system. Embrace the sweat and the benefits that hot yoga can do for you.

    The Yoga effect

    For something that has been around for as long as time itself it seems and still practiced fervently today it must be really effective. That’s yoga for you.

    Aside from improved cardiovascular capability, yoga has also been shown to help reduce pain intensity amongst sufferers of chronic neck pain as reported in a German study. Practising yoga can also apparently improve bone density. According to Dr. Loren Fishman and based on his 2019 pilot study, “We did a bone mineral density (DEXA) scan, then we taught half of them the yoga, waited two years, and did another scan. Not only did these people not lose bone, they gained bone.”

    Menopause is something that most women will face and for some, considering its symptoms and side effects, is a life event that they wish they could avoid. Good news is yoga can help to alleviate its undesirable effects including hot flashes. Hormonal changes can cause issues but as yoga teaches one to be at peace oneself, this does help in overcoming challenges as such. The physical part of yoga where improvements can be felt to your body functions also comes in handy during trying times.

    Yoga equips with the necessary empowering tools and teaches us to understand ourselves better.

    Written for Lava Yoga Singapore and published on PS LOVE BLOG

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