Most people have, at some point in their lives, heard of yoga and by default hot yoga. More and more yoga studios these days are also heated, to the point where it’s become hard to find one without. But what is this craze, and, should we be jumping onto our yoga mats to join in this hot movement? Within this article, we’re going to be looking into some of the health impacts, the myths and ultimately whether hot yoga is really that good for you.
What is it?
Hot yoga claims that it does a world of good for you, with subsequent benefits including; letting your muscles warm up (allowing you to achieve that deeper stretch) and helping your body detoxify by removing any toxins. Hot yoga stems from Bikram yoga. Which typically consists of about 26 different positions in a room which reaches about 100 degrees. So, naturally, this presents a very intense practice of demanding proportions.
Too hot to handle?
If the likes of a 100-degree room didn’t put you off, then before partaking in this form of exercise it is important to note that the class lasts for about 90-minutes. What’s more, you also produce your own heat during any form of exercise. Not only does this intensify the humidity in the room, but can also lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. It should be noted that if you start to feel dizzy or nauseous at any point during hot yoga, you should remove yourself from the room.
You will sweat
You will sweat, even your sweat will be sweating – so bring a towel, or two! In response to heat, your body perspires in an attempt to cool itself down; however, this can be difficult if you’re in a humid room surrounded by similarly sweaty and exhausted people. This, as a result, can lead to an uproar in your bodies internal temperature. Extreme sweating can also lead to dehydration, among other things which, yet again, can result in a feeling of dizziness and a nauseous sensation.
Unfortunately, there are a few myths linked with hot yoga. For instance, it helps you to sweat out some toxins; however, most of what you’re sweating is just water, and you’re actually only losing water weight. Another myth is that by being in the extreme heat, it helps with your bodies flexibility. While the heat certainly does warm up your muscles and improve your circulation, it’s also easy to hurt yourself. Hot yoga alone will not improve your flexibility; like most things you have to work at it in order to reap the subsequent benefits.
Another myth is that it is for everyone. However, if you have high blood pressure or heart problems, or if you’re pregnant and in your second or third trimester, then hot yoga is probably not for you. Though, if you wanted to go, seek out your GP first.
If you’re ready for that hot and humid room, and being surrounded by other equally sweaty yoga-enthusiasts while you form a small puddle beneath you – then do it. While the circumstances may be gruelling, and you may feel a little out of your depth in the first few classes, it does get easier. What’s more, if you love yoga then this certainly seems like the natural next step. While there may be a few myths circulating around this new trend, the only way to truly find out if this hot trend is good for you, or really just a hot mess, is to go.