It seems like everyone is talking about Hot Yoga. Those that practice it regularly can’t stop raving about the benefits, and those that haven’t tried it are curious about the increasing number of hot yoga studios opening in their neighborhoods. We sent the Pilates And Yoga Fitness Editorial team to a class to find out everything you need to know about Hot Yoga.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga is a new style of yoga developed during the late 20th century by Bikram Choudhury called “Bikram Yoga.” Choudhury practiced different yoga techniques for six hours each day until developing a steady technique including 26 different poses to stretch one’s body and become aware of your own breathing. Bikram Yoga developed and shaped into many different styles of yoga practiced in hot, humid conditions.
In the Western world, Hot Yoga is practiced in a room that’s been heated to 98 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter to replicate the conditions in India.
What are the benefits of Hot Yoga?
Detoxification: heavy sweating is said to help flush toxins from the skin.
Increased Flexibility: the heat allows you to go a little more deeply and safely into the postures.
Workout: practicing yoga in a heated room elevates the heart rate, which makes the body work harder for a more intense workout.
Relaxation: working in heat helps the body relax, improves breathing and focuses the mind, which develops better mental concentration.
What are the different Hot Yoga styles?
Bikram Yoga is practiced at certified studios right around the world, is considered the original hot yoga style. Bikram classes follow a set sequence of 26 postures and focus on endurance and studios are heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and moistened to 40 percent humidity.
Moksha Yoga focuses on whole body strength and flexibility, beginning each class with a mind-centering relaxation pose. Moksha aims to integrate an environmental component to their hot yoga practice with studios that adhere to “green” principles incorporating things like energy-efficient heating and sustainable flooring.
Evolation Yoga is a rapidly expanding style that teaches Bikram’s original primary hot series full blast at 105 degrees. Evolation offers Flow, Ashtanga and Yin classes at temperatures ranging from 75 to 90 degrees. Evolation Yoga emphasizes lifestyle and inner work.
Baptiste Yoga is moderately hot, with studio temperatures set to the mid nineties. Baptiste Yoga emphasizes “a true immersion into your physical and mental self.” Baptiste’s Power Vinyasa Flow Yoga is a particularly vigorous form of yoga that connects breathing to movement, incorporating flexibility, strength, balance and mental focus in each session.
How can you prepare for Hot Yoga?
- Be well-hydrated before taking a hot yoga class. Drink litres of water and herbal tea throughout the day.
- Make sure you are well nourished for class, but do not eat a large and heavy meal before a class
- Remember that yoga is not competitive, and everyone should take a class at their own pace.
- Bring two towels
- Bring a refillable water bottle
- If you suffer from any health complications, consult a physician before practicing Hot Yoga