Benefits of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga, when practiced correctly, has a long list of health and wellness benefits — so don’t be intimidated by a hot room and a lot of sweat!
Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible and making your body burn some major calories. This in turn makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs.
“Hot yoga is amazing for weight loss, as you sweat like a fiend. Like other yogas, it will build muscle tone [but will also] improve the lymphatic system and flush out toxins. It’s amazing for developing equanimity in the face of adversity and obstacles,” says Mandy Ingber, fitness expert and author of Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover.
But it’s important to stay safe! Here are some tips to keep in mind when testing the hot yoga waters.
1. Stay hydrated
Ingber recommends drinking 2 to 3 liters throughout the day. You will undoubtedly sweat more during these types of classes than in most other forms of exercise, so it’s very easy to become dehydrated. It is extremely important that you drink plenty of water before, during and after your practice.
2. To eat or not to eat?
It is important to avoid eating too much or too little before participating in a hot yoga class, which can be a tricky task to master. Nayeli suggests avoiding heavy foods, but encourages light snacks before yoga classes to properly fuel your body.
3. Listen to your body
It is important not to overexert during hot yoga classes. The warm temperatures and practice of poses can make your body feel looser and more flexible than normal, which can make it easier to pull a muscle. Be mindful of your body and try not to overstretch or push yourself too far when first starting out.
4. Check with your doctor
If you have any injuries or health concerns, such as diabetes, cardiovascular or respiratory disease, or a history of heat-related illness, make sure to get your doctor’s OK before practicing hot yoga.