Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, you may want to change up your yoga routine by trying hot yoga. The first thing to know about hot yoga is that it is not the same as Bikram yoga. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, when in fact, there are some differences.
First, hot yoga studios can vary in humidity and are generally heated anywhere between 80-100 degrees. Bikram yoga rooms must follow a certain protocol and must be heated to 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. There are also other differences but many people focus on the temperature when it comes to hot yoga, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’re ready to turn up the heat and try hot yoga, check out these four benefits that won’t make you mind the major sweat factor.
When you turn up the heat while exercising you also increase your flexibility over time. Think about it. Any time you do other types of exercises you always stretch at the end because your muscles are warm. When you’re doing hot yoga, your muscles are warm which is great for flexibility.
May Lower Blood Pressure
One study found a link between spending long periods of time in a sauna and a reduced risk of hypertension. This is what has led some to believe that doing hot yoga can have the same benefits since both activities will raise your body temperature. Lower blood pressure also puts a person at a lower risk of heart disease so that may be a great perk of practicing hot yoga too!
Prevents Back Pain
When you move through the poses in a hot yoga class, your muscles start to relax and stretch. This helps to not only prevent back pain but also treats any back pain you might already have. The next time you experience that discomfort, give a hot yoga class a try instead of taking pain relievers that can cause more harm than good.
Boosts the Immune System
Exercise helps to increase the flow of the lymphatic system which helps to boost the immune system. Any physical activity can help to flush bacteria out of the lungs which can reduce your risk of getting sick. If you’ve spent time with any yogis, you may notice that they rarely get sick, and they tend to bounce back quicker when they do! Give hot yoga a shot to keep colds and flu symptoms at bay.
If you’re going to try hot yoga for the first time, make sure to drink and bring plenty of water with you to stay hydrated. Doing so will help you avoid getting dizzy or nauseous, as well as muscle cramps. If you don’t drink enough water, you could experience these symptoms which would prevent you from reaping all the great benefits hot yoga has to offer. Staying hydrated will make all the difference!