If you haven't already heard of it, hot yoga involves performing traditional yoga movements and routines with the additional feature of a hot (and sometimes humid) room. Founded by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, hot yoga is now practised in cities all over the world, generally in rooms between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius.
Here at PROMiXX HQ, we want to have a quick run through some of the benefits of hot yoga.
It is claimed to be help increase flexibility, offer a metabolism boost and faster weight-loss, as well as a body detox. However, there has been much debate in the fitness community over how much of this is actually true.
Let's break it down.
In the colder winter months, sometimes it can take longer for the body to warm up before exercise. The heated room in hot yoga speeds up the process of warming up by loosening the muscles. While this can be a time-saving method, there are some drawbacks to the increased level of flexibility felt in your muscles.
We all know that over-stretching can lead to injury and extreme soreness in the days following a workout of any kind.
Some doctors claim that overstretching during hot yoga could even cause injury to tendons and ligaments. This is due to the avascular nature of these structures in comparison to the muscles, which can stretch further due to their plentiful blood supply.
When done correctly though, research suggests that hot yoga can indeed improve your flexibility.
The idea that sweating more can detox the body is a common misconception. Sweat is not your 'fat crying'.
One way in which hot yoga does promote detoxification is the increase in water consumption required to counteract the increased sweating. As your body loses water, you become thirsty in order to avoid dehydration. The hot rooms in which this specialist yoga class take place greatly increase water loss, so too increasing the amount of water which needs to be consumed in order to prevent dehydration.
As long as hot yoga participants ensure that they replace lost water, it is possible that this type of exercise can indirectly boost the metabolism by promoting increased water consumption, subsequently leading to weight loss.
Tips for new participants
There’s no doubt that this unique fitness trend is intriguing, as well as having a reputation for being intense. If you find yourself interested in participating in a hot yoga class, take some time to read through our tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Do your research
One of the best ways to ensure that you find exactly what you want in your new hot yoga class is to research classes and instructors near you. Once you find a class that you like, read online reviews to get opinions from people that have actually experienced the class first hand.
Get a professional opinion
If you have health conditions which may be affected by taking part in hot yoga, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, ensure that you speak to your doctor before you attend. This will allow you to get specific, personal advice which will provide you with warning signs and ways to recognise when something is going wrong.
Know your body
No one knows what your body can do apart from you. There us no need to push yourself further than what you find comfortable. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded during a hot yoga class, lie down and drink plenty of water. It’s okay to take it slow in order to do what is best for your body.
Does hot yoga appeal to you? Connect with us on social media and give us your opinions on this growing fitness trend.