The fad of hot yoga has been around for quite some time, and since I’m not one to jump on bandwagons, I hadn’t tried hot yoga until last week. A friend asked if I wanted to go, and now I’m hooked.
For those of you who also eschew trends and have yet to try hot yoga – it is exactly as it sounds. The room temperature varies from class to class, but it is always HOT. The class I took was about 85 degrees, and if the room got too steamy, the instructor would turn the heat off for a bit.
What’s so great about intentionally doing anything in 85 to 95-degree heat? I will provide you with six reasons:
1. The sweat factor – If you feel like doing yoga poses in an incredibly hot room, you will want to sign up for hot yoga. You will sweat buckets during a hot yoga class – so it’s advisable to bring a small towel and a water bottle.
I had sweat draining from my face, running down my spine, etc. Sweating is a fabulous way to rid your body of toxins, which is why it goes with yoga so well. I don’t know about other people, but I always feel like I’ve gotten rid of at least a small amount of toxicity after practicing yoga.
2. Your muscles sing – My muscles have never felt as fluid and pliable as they did while doing hot yoga. Stretching was easier, and I was able to go deeper with less resistance than I ever had before.
3. It’s relaxing like being back in the womb – The heat and the low lighting made for such a relaxing atmosphere. It felt comforting and close. It was the perfect setting for me to relax and to fully focus on the yoga and on letting go of the things I couldn’t control.
4. Spiritual, whether you like it or not – Even if you aren’t a very spiritual being, working on your yoga practice can open you up to big feelings and intense thoughts. Working in a hot room on tough poses with a few other individuals for 90 minutes can sometimes help you release things that you didn’t know you were holding onto – whether that is tension or negative feelings.
5. Enjoyable with friends or alone – For my first hot yoga class, I went with a couple of friends. These are ladies I have only run with, and it was awesome to share something other than running with them. I’ve been to standard yoga classes years ago and was only moderately into them. Most of my yoga practice has been done by myself in my living room. This class was better because the instructor was so helpful and soothing, and the space was so welcoming. Would I go back by myself? Yes, yes, yes!
6. Improve your flexibility, strength, and mood – When the temperature in the room is near the temperature of your body, it becomes easier to stretch deep into sore or tight muscles. Our tendons are primed to elongate more when everything is warm and gooey. If you want to stretch further and loosen up more, hot yoga is a perfect choice. And all that sweat melts the bad mood and negative feelings straight from your body.
After a 15-mile training run this morning, I am more than ready to head back to my second hot yoga class tomorrow night. Can I manage to sweat out some of this pain from my legs? Probably. Even if I don’t, I will get rid of some grumpiness and have an amazing time with my running/yoga buddies.