Last night I tried hot yoga for the first time. After years of hearing patients talk about how good it makes them feel, I thought, I better try it for myself. I attended an 8pm class and I have to admit I was actually nervous the entire day. I had done yoga classes at Carpe Diem Fitness in the past but not in the heat. A room temperature fo 40 degrees had me sweating long before I entered the class. Once I opened the studio door it was like walking into a burning brick wall. I couldn’t breath and wanted to scream, but this yoga class required a no-talking environment. So after a quick internal pep talk I set up my mat and began sweating instantly. Not regular sweating, but buckets of sweat pouring down my forehead and into my mouth and ears. I’ve never experienced anything like it, but I just followed along and did what I could. At some point I felt a sudden amount of cooling, like someone just turned on the air conditioning. Now was I experiencing a heat stroke or was my body just starting to acclimatize, I initially wasn’t sure. As I continued to remain conscious I realized it was the latter. I was actually getting use to the heat! From that moment on the rest of the class was amazing. I felt loose, I felt strong and overall really relaxed. What a great workout! Im actually looking forward to going back next week.
Benefits of Hot Yoga:
1. It increases flexibility. The heat increases suppleness and elasticity of muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body.
2. It helps prevent injury. The heat aids in preventing injuries to these muscles and ligaments by increasing flexibility and suppleness in the body.
3. It helps you burn calories. The heat is the contributing factor to Bikram Yoga being a cardiovascular workout. The heat increases your body’s metabolism which accelerates the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids. This means it can help you lose weight if your diet is adjusted accordingly…
4. It helps detoxify your body. The heat helps dilate capillaries more effectively, oxygenating tissues, muscles, glands, organs and increasing the removal of waste products. The heat also leads the body to sweat which promotes further detoxification and exfoliation of the skin.
5. It challenges your mind. The last but often most important benefit of the heat is the challenge it brings to your mind. Not only does it improve the nervous system as messages are carried more efficiently to and from your brain, but it strengthens willpower, self control, concentration, and determination.
Whether you choose hot yoga or regular yoga, there are benefits for both. In fact I recommend it for a lot of patients. Our office works with Carpe Diem Fitness which offers weekly yoga classes including Hatha and Kandalini. For more information check out www.carpediemfitness.ca