Yoga has been in existence for over 5000 years now. However, in recent years it has become more than just exaggerated postures to strengthen and tighten muscles. Yoga is now available in more than 10 types including Bikram and Kundalini yoga. Hot yoga is one of these types and it has become exceedingly popular in western countries. It is mostly carried out in a room heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40percent humidity. This can get pretty unpleasant especially for beginners, sweating profusely and gasping for air. So what are these benefits that are worth so much torture?
The intense sweating during the session ensures all toxins from the body are removed. This leaves the kidney with less work and also ensures your skin is clean and smooth.
Yoga poses are naturally very hard to master. The heat in hot yoga classes warms up the body and increase blood flow to the limbs making you more flexible. Even beginners are able to bend in ways they would not naturally. Muscles and tissues are softened and able to stretch more safely thus preventing injuries and after pains.
Being able to bend and stretch in different postures ensures you tone up the body, build strength and prevent injuries. It also heals any old injuries and reduce all kinds of body pains. Hot yoga is known to relieve back pain and symptoms of arthritis.
Yoga being a mindfulness exercise aims at enhancing concentration and focus. The heat works as a distraction in this case. If one is able to carry on with the routine despite the extreme heat and humidity, their focus grows. Hot yoga trains someone to focus on what you are doing despite tremendous distractions and this flows over to the daily life.
5. Weight loss
While yoga in itself is good for cardiovascular activity, the heat in hot yoga increases this. The heart rate is heightened and therefore the body burns more calories faster. The heat is also able to breakdown glucose and fatty acids helping you lose weight. The combination of yoga postures and heat will increase metabolism and burn fat better and faster. A 90minute session burns approximately 1000 calories which is the same as running a mile.
6. Heals cardiovascular diseases
The amount of discipline and effort that goes into hot yoga is able to reduce diabetes and high blood pressure. This will in turn reduce the chances of heart diseases and stroke. As metabolism and heart rate increase, more glucose and fats are broken down. This will lower blood sugar and calories.
7. Reduce stress and depression
Even as hot yoga helps people focus better, it also gets rid of depression. This practice makes the brain relax and focus on the body instead of your feelings. A stress relieving hormone is also produced when exercising, making sure you are no longer stressed. The breathing exercises also allow enough air into the brain inducing a calming, relaxed effect.
Exercise alone is a good anti-aging strategy. However yoga takes this to a whole new level through long intricate postures that tone the muscles and keep you flexible. Hot yoga also detoxifies the skin and gets rid of excess oil, toxins and infections leaving a youthful bright skin. It also gives great cardio making the heart healthy and strong and this shows off physically.
9. Balanced emotions
Yoga focuses on being aware of what is around and not within-understanding why we have certain habits and learning to control them. This self-awareness ensures we are able to control our emotions no matter the circumstances. Hot yoga also trains the brain to focus on what you choose and ignore all else. Regular practice of hot yoga will lead to less mood swings, better decision making and overall happiness.
10. Improves breathing
Hot yoga combines the breathing exercises with heat and humidity. This opens up the airways and allows air in the brain and lungs. It’s great for people who have asthma, bronchitis and sleep apnea. Learning how to breathe properly is also good for the overall health and concentration.
Hot yoga repeats the same poses every time so one is able to measure their development. It requires one to drink a lot of water and go into a more nutritious diet full of minerals and antioxidants. It’s the best type of yoga because of the many benefits and reduced chances of injuries.