Some Like It Hot: The Benefits of Hot Yoga

tiffanycampbellBy Tiffany Campbell
Yoga Instructor

 

“I don’t like to sweat” is the response from those who shun the idea of Hot Yoga. However, the benefits of hot yoga far out weight the concerns. Hot yoga increases muscle flexibility, repairs muscles, stimulates weight loss, and helps the heart work more efficiently. The heat is a wonderful form of therapy and has been since man created fire.

Sweat it Out
First and foremost sweating is good for the body. Your skin is one of your largest organs and sweating is one of the best ways to relieve toxins, which can be harmful and create problems within the body systems. Also, the body was designed to sweat. We have been so condition to the air conditioning that we eliminate one of our primary functions needed for not just healthy skin but also a healthy body and mind.

What’s hot?
Hot yoga is a form of yoga more formally known as Bikram Yoga after founder Bikram Choundrey. It is also one of the most popular forms of yoga. It is defined by 2 breathing techniques and 26 postures practiced in a room heated between 95-100 degrees in order to warm the body up from the inside out.

Why heat?
Heat is a great form of therapy. Even with today’s technology you will see in most major gyms a sauna, Jacuzzi, and steam rooms. There are hot patches you can place on your body that stay in place to offer direct heat to certain areas. It is no accident that where there is heat there is an opportunity to heal the body.

Our bodies maintain a certain heat level, which is regulated by the nervous system. In hot yoga we heat the body from the inside out and in turn increase our metabolic activity. When we are heated our body responds by increasing circulation. The heat is then transferred from each cell to the fluid between cells and delivered to the surface as sweat. This is called heat loss evaporation and is the body’s key to regulating internal heat.

How we benefit from this process is wonderful because the heat-loss process stimulates and cleanses on many levels. This passive form of exercise, sweating to cool the body down, strengthens the body’s systems. The increase in blood flow strengthens the heart allowing it to work more efficiently and when that happens you lower your blood pressure.

Hot Yoga detoxifies the body and offers other benefits. With increase in circulation the body’s vital organs and glands get to move toxins, including fat-soluble toxins, out more quickly for elimination. The heat stimulates fat loss by releasing these fat-soluble toxins. Your white blood cells production is increased which boosts your immune system. Heat also speeds up the healing of connective tissue injuries and increases your flexibility.

Heat Precautions
I have heard other yogis say they do not like the heat because of the possibility of severe dehydration. However, this concern arises because many of our students don’t properly hydrate for none heated classes. It is imperative that you keep the body hydrated for any form of exercise. However, if at anytime you feel overheated or dehydrated simply kneel down on the mat and drink some water. Attendees should never feel pressure to continue if overwhelmed. I say all the time in class that yoga is not a competition.

Let it Burn
Bikram and Hot yoga
The burn: 636 calories per hour
Same as: An hour of jogging

If you are interested in Hot Yoga join me @ Sweet Water Wellness Center every Thursday @ 6:15pm. You can find us online at www.sweetwaterwellness.com or email ilovemytemple@gmail.com

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One response to “Some Like It Hot: The Benefits of Hot Yoga

  1. Pingback: Some Like It Hot: The Benefits of Hot Yoga « The Leisure Living Blog | Buddaiss LOHAS : Life could be simpler !