Want more from your time on the mat? Sweat like you mean it with hot yoga and discover many health benefits.
What is hot yoga?
Often performed to music, hot yoga comes in two main guises – Slow Hot Flow (think floating traditional Hatha postures) and Power Flow (a vigorous practice with jumping transitions following Ashtanga lineage).
1. Weight loss
Lucinda Mills from One Hot Yoga says hot yoga’s weight loss merit relies on its capacity to hone self-awareness, balance and contentment, with a domino effect to a more balanced relationship with food and, consequently, healthier eating habits.
2. Muscle tone
Contrary to the belief that yoga is all about stretching, hot yoga involves a lot of strength work. As well as mobility work, hot yoga focuses on toning the core, triceps and legs. It promotes a long, lean physique.
3. Clearer skin
Mills attributes the glow and youthful skin common among yoga devotees to happiness and improved circulation. The circulatory effects not only improve skin tone, but can minimise cellulite, she says. Combining hot yoga with body brushing or skin scrubs can expedite the process.
4. Immunity boost
Detoxification is one of those words that doesn’t actually have a medical or scientific meaning, but resonates deeply with people. Immunity is a complex function of a healthy body. It is improved when there’s less stress on your heart and digestive systems – and yoga assists optimum function of both. It’s anecdotal, but our One Hot yogis often tell us they suffer fewer colds, have more energy and feel more emotionally robust than they did before starting out.
5. Nervous system recon
Proprioception falls into this category – your ability to know where your body is in space. As you spread your toes, electrons travel from your brain, through your central nervous system, to the tip of every toe. With time, the process becomes more efficient, but also the richer the detail becomes of your body’s map held in your brain.
6. Mental strength
Hot yoga cultivates steadiness of the mind, emotional stability and peacefulness. Each session concludes with savasana, a guided relaxation, to restore energy and offer the opportunity to experience the profound peacefulness for which yoga is famous. The idea of mind/body split is a misconception. Emotional stability is intricately bound with physical wellbeing. So, hot yoga works simultaneously on your mental and emotional habits while building the physiological architecture necessary for happiness.
7. Heart health
Like all muscles, the heart responds to demand. When you are dripping in sweat and your legs are burning and your chest is pounding, that’s building your heart muscle. Unlike a steam room, core temperature doesn’t increase. Instead, your body’s own thermoregulation becomes more efficient, further benefiting heart health.