Better living through nature
People seeking fitness as the new year rolls on may turn to a workout performed under swelteringly humid conditions that is the latest exercise trend. “Hot yoga” classes, or classes performed in a room heated to 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity, are gaining members quickly. So, should you jump on this blazing bandwagon? Read on to find out!
It’s true that hot yoga isn’t for everyone. Physical activity in high temperatures can be costly for people with certain health problems. For example, if you are especially sensitive to heat, have ever suffered from heat stroke, or if you become dizzy or dehydrated quickly, you should definitely consult with your doctor before attending a hot yoga session.
Hot yoga is a challenging, fun way to keep your body flexible and burn calories.
Photo by lululemon athletica/Courtesy Flickr
However, hot yoga can be a great way to burn some serious calories. Each class is 90 minutes of non-stop moving and stretching. The routine of each class is the same; yoga instructors take students through 26 poses with a breathing exercise at the beginning and end of each class. Between the vigorous activity and the heat, the average attendee burns between 500 and 1,250 calories.
Hot yoga can also increase your flexibility dramatically. The temperatures help soften your joints and muscles, leaving your body feeling loose and able to bend into each pose. As you sweat, your body flushes out toxins and waste products from all the glands and organs in your body.
Research has shown that people who frequent yoga classes often report improved mood and sense of well-being. They are better able to handle stress, have a reduced heart rate and blood pressure, and even report increased lung capacity. Research suggests yoga can help improve conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia and can lead to a better, more physically fit, life.
If you are thinking about going to your first “hot yoga” session, here are a few actions to take before your class:
• Nominate a friend to come along with you for moral support
• Familiarize yourself with the 26 poses
• Make sure you have shorts and a tank top that you can move around in
• Drink plenty of water before class; do not drink caffeinated beverages
• Do not eat in the two to three hours before class
For more information about all types of yoga and health benefits, visit “The Benefits of Yoga: Transform Your Mind, Body and Spirit.”