Hot yoga is a trend sweeping across the United States, but what is it? How do you get involved? If you’re looking to heal your body or mind as you improve your strength and flexibility, taking hot yoga classes might be the perfect activity for you.
What is hot yoga?
Hot yoga is a form of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. It blends traditional yoga techniques with a heated, humid environment built to stimulate sweat. Bikram hot yoga classes are heated to a temperature of 35 to 42 degrees Celsius, or nearly 105 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are sick or sensitive to heating conditions, this style of yoga might not be right for you. To truly engage in Bikram hot yoga, the instructors must be Bikram trained before they are able to teach others and incorporate their own methodologies into the class. Typically, local hot yoga classes will go through 26 asanas.
How does hot yoga benefit me?
Bikram hot yoga is great for weight loss. In fact, in a controlled 48-week study, hot yoga participants lost more subcutaneous fat than the stretching group and were able to retain the weight loss after the program ended. This style of yoga improves flexibility, strength, cardiovascular health, and balance. Additionally, some studies show that raising your core body temperature can subdue symptoms of depression. Bikram has also been shown to really ease symptoms of arthritis, back pain, asthma and so much more.
While true Bikram hot yoga classes are led by those who are Bikram certified, many others have modified their teachings using this hot yoga as a guide for their practice.
Where can I get started?
Look for hot yoga deals in your area and don’t be afraid to visit a local hot yoga studio if you have any questions. Before you go to your first lesson, however, be sure to drink a lot of water the day before. Bring a bottle of water with you to retain your fluids and remember to rest frequently and go at your own pace when you take your first hot yoga class.