Last time, we talked about the benefits of core power yoga. Today, we are going to go talk about the benefits and practice of Bikram (hot) yoga!
As we all know there are many different types of yoga and one of them is the very popular Bikram yoga, often referred to as hot yoga. You may recall we touched briefly on this type of yoga once before. Typically hot yoga is characterized by a series of yoga poses which is done in a room heated to a constant temperature of between 95 and100 degrees fahrenheit.
Because of the intense heat, this type of yoga not only builds strength and endurance, it also helps cleanse your body of unwanted toxins, which are expelled in your sweat. Another benefit of hot yoga is that because your body is kept warm it remains more flexible and your muscles are at less risk for injury.
As with other types of yoga, the benefits of hot yoga are amazingly effective. When it comes to improving your flexibility, it increases the lubrication of your joints, tendons and ligaments. It also massages multiple organs, all while detoxifying your entire body and toning multiple muscle groups at the same time.
How Cool is That!
Scientists believe that yoga works so well because it strikes a balance between your nervous and endocrine system, which both have an impact on the overall health of your body. The main benefit for most people who practice yoga is mental peace, clarity, increased concentration and an overall feeling of well-being.
Hot yoga holds other benefits as well including:
Because this type of yoga is practiced in hot temperatures, it causes your pulse rate to rise which in turn causes your body to work harder helping you to burn off unwanted fat and calories.
As I mentioned above, because your muscles are much warmer when performing exercises during a hot yoga class so they become much more flexible. Even though you may be performing more difficult poses your risk of injury is reduced because your muscles have become more flexible.
Another great benefit of hot yoga is that it can help to improve your immune system. It does this by raising your body’s core temperature. As your body temperature increases so does the amount of white blood cells being produced which helps boost your immune system, produce more antibodies, and kill off unwanted viruses and bacteria.
When it comes to the practice of hot yoga there are certain accessories that you may want to invest in. There are specially made mats, towels and clothing that allows your skin to breathe. These are all meant to be used especially for this type of yoga and are designed to help prevent slipping as well as absorb excess moisture.
During your hot yoga sessions, make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after class so that you do not become dehydrated and so that your skin will produce more sweat. Before taking a hot yoga session, you should refrain from eating at least two hours before the class starts to help prevent nausea.
Hot yoga isn’t for everyone, as a matter of fact very few people take to it immediately. It can often take 2 to 3 classes before you begin to truly enjoy the experience. When you take a hot yoga class be prepared to sweat a lot, be extremely thirsty during most of the class and to experience muscle pain in a new way.
Beginners will often become lightheaded and experience dizziness until they get used to the extreme temperatures. However, it’s amazing benefits can make the experience well worth the effort.
Next week, we will be talking about how the practice of yoga can help you beat insomnia once and for all!
To another issue of Why Yoga Matters,