It’s July. It’s 93 degrees, and the air is sticky and humid. All you want to do is stay cool and sip an iced coffee. Maybe it seems unthinkable to take a hot yoga class in this kind of weather. But you might be surprised to learn that practicing hot yoga in the summer months has tons of health benefits.
Let’s take a look at why it’s actually a good idea to practice hot yoga on hot days. But there is a caveat. If you have health conditions that make you vulnerable or sensitive to heat, or if you’re just concerned about how hot yoga could affect your health, we always encourage you to check with your doctor before practicing hot yoga.
What is hot yoga?
So what is hot yoga? Generally, it’s a yoga session in a room heated between 80° and 100°F. Typically, the room is made humid, as well. A hot yoga session can be long or short and consists of any number of poses.
Bikram yoga is a specific type of hot yoga developed by a yogi named Bikram Choudhury. The sessions are 90 minutes long and are performed in a room heated to 105°F and 40 percent humidity. Each session is the same, consisting of 26 yoga poses and two breathing exercises.
Some yoga studios will use “Bikram yoga” and “hot yoga” interchangeably, but they are different.
What are the benefits of hot yoga?
Whether hot yoga sounds appealing to you or not, it actually has a wide range of health benefits. According to healthline.com, hot yoga
- Helps improve your flexibility
- Helps you burn more calories
- Helps build bone density in the neck, hips, and lower back
- Help reduce stress
- Helps to ease depression
- Help provide a boost to your cardiovascular system
- Helps reduce your blood glucose levels
- And helps nourish your skin
Some practicing yogis also report feeling like they get a deeper stretch from a hot yoga class because their muscles are warmer. With that list of benefits, it’s no surprise so many people brave the heat of a hot yoga class.
But why would you want to practice hot yoga when it’s already hot outside?
Why should I practice hot yoga in the summertime?
To acclimate to hot weather
If you’re sensitive to the heat, or you just don’t like it, hot yoga can actually help acclimate you to the hot weather. Once you practice hot yoga consistently, you become used to the heat of the yoga studio, and the heat outside doesn’t feel so hot. Not only does your body acclimate to the heat, but the focus on breathing and centering yourself can also help you cope in hot weather.
To stay consistent
If you’ve been doing hot yoga regularly in the cooler months, don’t let a change in the weather disrupt your practice. Consistency and determination are major parts of your yoga practice. It’s about getting on the mat no matter what. Continuing your practice will help you develop discipline in your life on and off the mat.
To burn calories and detoxify your body
When you exercise, you burn calories. And when you turn the heat up and exercise, you burn even more calories. Who doesn’t want to burn more calories in the summer months? If you’re looking to get your body beach-ready or you just want to drop a few pounds, hot yoga can help you do that. But remember, diet plays a very important role in weight loss, so eating a poor diet and doing hot yoga won’t give you the results you want.
Speaking of eating a poor diet, hot yoga is great for detoxifying your body. When you’re holding a triangle pose in a hot yoga class, you can expect to see the sweat dripping onto your mat. Heavy sweating helps to rid your body of toxins. Just make sure you replace the bad with the good. Drink lots of water and get plenty of electrolytes like sodium, calcium, and potassium.
Where to find hot yoga classes
I bet you’re interested in checking out a hot yoga class for yourself. If so, we’ve got your hot yoga needs covered! You can check out all of our class offerings here, where you’ll find a variety of warm and hot yoga classes. You can also read more about two of our hot yoga offerings—Wake+Bake and Sweet Heat.
Wake+Bake is our morning hot yoga class for our early risers. Give this class a try, and see how it transforms the rest of your day! Sweet Release is for our students who love a nice deep stretch. We use infrared panels to heat the room, so you get a nice breathable heat that won’t make you feel like you’re gasping for air.
Wherever you practice hot yoga, always hydrate. In these classes, you lose a lot of water through sweat, so it’s super important to hydrate before and after class.
We hope to see you in a future class!