When my friend first stumbled into a hot yoga class nearly 10 years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, I had done yoga before, but from what I understood, this was a far more intense version of the Eastern practice. The way I understood it, the instructor was to pre-heat the room to somewhere between 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Other than the temperature in the room, I wondered, what could possibly be different? I was about to find out.
We entered power yoga center in MA on a Saturday morning, signed in, and prepared to enter the hot yoga studio. I can still remember the sensation of walking into this overheated room. Imagine that you immediately go from room-temperature to suddenly sitting in a large room-sized sauna. I learned that there is a science to getting the temperature and humidity just right for maximum health and flexibility benefits. I could literally smell the heat, it nearly took my breath away. I suddenly knew this was going to be an amazing experience. I set down my mat, took the first pose, and then worked through a challenging 90 minutes of a flowing series of yoga positions. I felt many different sensations coursing through my body, and when the class was over and I walked outside, I took a deep breath in, exhaled just as deeply, and felt the sense that I had just accomplished something great, and could do anything I set my mind to.
Hot yoga provides many benefits that you may or may not be aware of. First and foremost, exercising your muscles in such a heated environment truly does wonders for your flexibility. It’s as if the temperature itself acts as an elixir designed to loosen up your joints. Your body will start to respond by opening up almost immediately in response to the heat. It is a very pleasant sensation. Your body’s tissues will start to soften and your nervous system will start to relax. One of the most obvious benefits of hot yoga is simply one of cleansing- by performing these exercises in a heated room, your body will begin to sweat out various toxins. By performing hot yoga on a regular basis, as often as your body feels comfortable, you may start to see weight and inch loss in a relatively short period of time. This is due in part to your increased metabolism, which is also a beneficial result of hot yoga!
I don’t believe that there is a system in our bodies that hot yoga does *not* affect in one way or another. From improving T-cell function and therefore strengthening one’s immune system, to a natural cleansing of the digestive system, there are countless benefits to participating. In addition to the physical benefits, hot yoga also provides us with a strengthening of our willpower, self-control, and determination. This psychological effect will carry through to every other aspect of our lives in a very positive and motivating way.
Hot Vinyasa Yoga is one of the most comprehensive exercises one can do to fully awaken their body’s potential and energize the spirit. One key thing to keep in mind is that while hot yoga can be performed by individuals at all skill and health/fitness levels, one should always consult with a physician prior to starting this or any other rigorous fitness regimen. Beginners are encouraged to participate, even if this it is their first foray into the world of yoga. But the most important thing is to LISTEN to what your body is telling you. If you are starting to feel lightheaded or otherwise not able to perform to your full potential during hot yoga, re-hydrate, perform the exercises at a lower intensity, or simply rest. Once you feel better, work slowly back into the routine at your own pace. It is imperative that participants in a hot yoga class be sufficiently hydrated before class; and you are always encouraged to take a rehydrating water break whenever you feel it to be necessary. In no time at all, you will be glad that you persevered and made hot yoga a crucial part of not only your fitness routine and regimen, but also a part of your lifelong commitment to treat your body well.
Rob Argiro was suffering from many different injuries when he stumbled across a yoga studio in Panama City Panama. From that day forth; it was on! He began traveling to many different studios and learning from many different yogis and yoginis around the globe. Yoga has brought him true peace and harmony. It is his wish to spend his life sharing yoga with others. He found the healing effects of yoga to change his life, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
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