The benefits of Hot Yoga

2016Feb8_Yoga_AYou’ve likely heard of hot yoga. And if you’re like any sane individual, the idea of performing yoga in a room heated to 105 degrees may not sound all that appealing. So why do people do it? Well, there are quite a few benefits to this relatively new yoga practice. Here are a few of them that inspire people everyday to give hot yoga a try.

Add a healthy glow to your skin

Regardless of whether or not you’re exercising, if you’re in a room heated to 105 degrees you’re definitely going to sweat in a matter of minutes. And when you add exercise to the equation, your body’s flood gates will open even more. While the idea of this may sound nauseating, it can produce benefits for your skin. Essentially, the heat opens up your pores, and in the process eliminates impurities from both your body and skin. What’s more, the moisture of the humidity maintains the skin’s hydration level, and in turn gives it a natural glow.

Forget that it’s winter

In this gloomy month of February with short days and frigid temperatures, it can be exceedingly difficult to forget that it’s winter outside. All this can lead to seasonal depression, and a lack of motivation to do anything else but veg out on the couch. When you step into a hot yoga class, the cold temperatures outside are quickly forgotten about. Suddenly it’s as if you’re in some exotic location, sweating you bum off in hundred degree temperatures. While hot yoga may not be quite as enjoyable as soaking up some rays on a tropical island, it can certainly temporarily help you forget that it’s the coldest month of the year.

Intensify your concentration

And speaking of forgetting February, hot yoga also boosts your concentration in other positive ways. If you’ve practiced yoga before, you already know the amount of concentration it requires to get your pose right and focus on your breathing. When you add hundred degree temps into the mix, you’re forced to up your focus even more. Suddenly, all the thoughts whirling through your mind about your job, bills or family drama, disappear. Instead, the intensity of the heat and yoga pushes you to bring your undivided attention into the classroom, to your body and breath. After a few sessions, this added concentration will carry into your life outside of the studio, and you’ll become more present in your daily life.

Hot yoga high

Last but certainly not least…if you’ve ever talked with someone who’s done hot yoga, you may have heard of the hot yoga high. After class, when the temperatures dramatically change and your body relaxes, you may suddenly find yourself feeling elated. Like all vigorous exercise, hot yoga causes your body to produce endorphins. But the heat also produces a number of other effects that create the hot yoga high. Fresh blood circulates throughout your body as your heart rate elevates. Add to that all the sweat and impurities you just flushed out of your system, and it’s no wonder that hot yoga practitioners often feel a sense of euphoria after class.

Want to learn more about the different kinds of yoga and their benefits? Call us today. We have a number of classes that can help improve your mind, body and spirit.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Choosing the right yoga mat for your practice

Yoga_Nov27_AWhen it comes to yoga mats, there are so many options out there that it can be extremely confusing to select the one that suits your needs. But the style of yoga you practice will help you determine the qualities you’re looking for in a mat. Here, we provide you with some basic information and recommendations to help you select your yoga mat, no matter what style you practice.

Basic classes

For yoga newbies, there’s no need to invest a large amount of money in a $100 mat. Most beginner classes are gently paced to help you grasp the foundation of basic postures, alignment, and breathing techniques. Chances are, you won’t be twisting your body into extreme poses or jumping all over the place. That’s why it makes sense to purchase a less expensive mat if you’re taking basic classes.

The ideal mat would be one with good traction, comfort, and stability. You’ll want something that is soft and able to cushion your bones and joints, in order to avoid any unexpected injuries from the practice.

Flow classes

Flow classes are a rigorous practice that involve active engagement on your mat. You’ll be performing challenging postures that require you to push in one direction with your hands and the other direction with your feet. The practice can be so intense that it’s possible your palms will sweat a lot.

Since you’ll constantly be moving into poses and sweating a lot, your mat needs to have great traction and provide good grip in order to prevent you from slipping or hurting yourself.

Restorative classes

During restorative yoga classes, you’ll focus on performing passive, floor-based moves for extended periods of time. The purpose of restorative yoga is to exercise your connective tissues, joints, and bones by holding a seated posture for up to 20 minutes at a time.

For this style, look for a thick mat with a lot of cushioning, because you’ll be sitting or lying on the floor for a very long time. For the best experience, we recommend mats that are at least 5mm thick or even more.

Heated classes

In hot yoga classes, temperatures can range between 98 and 105 degrees. The studio will be blazing hot and you will sweat profusely. This means you’re at risk of slipping on your mat and injuring yourself. Most people try to sop up the sweat with a towel, but that’s not going to cut it unless you have a suitable mat in the first place.

Invest in a mat that provides non-slip grip and good traction, coupled with good sweat absorption material. This keeps your mat sweat-free, allowing you to survive through demanding poses without slipping.

Having a stable and comfortable mat is absolutely vital if you want to practice yoga safely – you wouldn’t want your mat to shift underneath when you’re trying to perform a headstand or other complex pose.

Looking to take up yoga? Get in touch with our expert instructors today and learn more about the classes we offer.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

Preparing for your first hot yoga class

Yoga_Oct5_AHot yoga is an intense practice that takes place in a heated room where temperatures range between 98 to 105 degrees. Before you feel overwhelmed by the heat, it’s worth knowing that this type of yoga provides various health benefits including toxin removal, weight loss, and stress relief. While hot yoga is open to practitioners of all levels, it pays to do some research and prepare yourself beforehand. We have some tips to help you get started.

Hydrate yourself

During hot yoga classes, you’ll sweat more than you’ve ever sweated in your life, which is why your body needs more fluid than it would for other types of exercise. Make sure you’re well-hydrated throughout the day leading up to your practice. Just don’t guzzle it or you’ll twist and stretch into poses with a belly full of water which will make you feel very dizzy and uncomfortable.

Bring your towel

You probably know that a mat is mandatory for most yoga classes, but in hot classes you’ll sweat so much that it’ll be near impossible to perform postures without a towel laid over your mat. Consider investing in a special hot yoga towel made from microfiber – they are thicker and more absorbent than other types of towels. Also, it helps to bring a hand towel to mop your sweaty brow and hands to make the poses more manageable.

Don’t eat before class

The intensity of the heat coupled with demanding postures will have you feeling nauseous within the first few minutes of your first hot yoga class. Not eating for two or three hours before class can greatly reduce the feeling of nausea. If you find it hard to control your cravings, keep it simple and munch on a very light snack like fruits or crackers.

Wear the right clothing

There’s no need to buy expensive outfits to impress the people you’re in class with. You’ll be drenched in sweat, and we recommend tight-fitting clothes such as leggings, tight shirts and tank tops for optimum results. Some prefer longer leggings for a better grip when performing certain poses, while others would rather wear as little as possible to keep themselves cool. There’s no fixed formula when choosing your yoga wear, but keep in mind that supportive and breathable clothing is key.

Be prepared to stay in the room

The one challenge you must overcome on your first hot yoga class is resisting the urge to leave the hot room. It will take time for your body to acclimate to the heat so try not to rush to the exit when you feel like you’ve had enough. Instead, allow your body to cool down by spending a few moments to lie down on the floor or taking a short break with a child’s pose – you can join the rest of the class again when you’re ready.

Your first few classes may seem strange or feel uncomfortable, but it’s all part of the new experience. When your body adapts to working out in the heat, you’ll leave the class feeling fantastic and full of energy every time!

Want to learn how hot yoga can improve your health and wellbeing? Get in touch with our yoga instructors today and see how we can help.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

The difference between Bikram and hot yoga

164_A_YogaYou may have heard of both Bikram and hot yoga: students pile into a heated studio where they sweat while moving through different yoga poses. What you may not know, however, is that these two types of yoga are actually not the same thing. While every Bikram class technically falls into the hot yoga category, not every hot yoga class qualifies as Bikram. If you’re interested in giving either of these practices a try, here are some of the key differences to know and what you can expect in your first class.

Bikram yoga defined

Founded by Bikram Choudhury, this type of yoga is a bona fide brand that has been copyrighted by its founder. Because of this, Bikram yoga follows a very strict set of guidelines. First off, every instructor must actually be certified to teach the class – meaning, a studio or teacher can’t advertise their class as Bikram unless the instructor has gone through the Bikram training program.

In addition to certified teachers, there are number of strict circumstances that must be met in order to qualify as a Bikram class. Here are three key requirements:

  1. The studio must be heated to 105 degrees with a 40% humidity level
  2. Classes must be 90 minutes long
  3. The same 26 postures, repeated twice, are done in the same sequence each class

In addition to these key requirements, the general atmosphere of a Bikram class can also feel very militant and disciplined. Both speaking and interaction with other class members is frowned upon. And you will rarely, if ever, hear a laugh in a Bikram class. You are expected to follow the postures, and little else.

Hot yoga

hot yoga classes are a lot more lenient than Bikram in both atmosphere and structure. To start, the temperature of a hot yoga room can be set anywhere between 80-105 degrees. And as for postures, they can vary from class to class depending on the teacher.

Also, talking and interacting with classmates is allowed in hot yoga classes, and you may even have a playful teacher who cracks a joke or two. And one last thing you may find in a hot yoga session that is strictly forbidden during a Bikram class – music. It may not be played during every session, but don’t be surprised if you yoga out to some tunes.

Want to learn more about hot or Bikram yoga? Have questions about other types of yoga like Hatha and Vinyasa? Check out our class schedule today, or call us to talk with one of our experts.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.