Why the heat is on with hot yoga

Before you go to your gym and sign yourself up, we offer a summary of what it is, what it offers, and whether it's right for you.

Yoga has been a popular choice of exercise for so long it’s safe to say that it’s no longer a fad and here to stay. However, the yoga of popular choice is constantly changing, and right now the trend is currently shifting towards hot yoga. Before you go to your gym and sign yourself up, we offer a summary of what it is, what it offers, and whether it’s right for you.

What it is?

What it is? Shutterstock

Yoga is a series of poses that push you to be flexible, strong and focused and it offers many benefits, both mental and physical . Hot yoga takes that foundation and builds on it by turning up the heat – literally. Rooms are kept at a temperature between 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit as people work through their movements and sweat up a storm. There are different styles of hot yoga, and even though they differ in practice, theory and positions, the common thread is the heat.

What’s so great about it?

What””s so great about it?

Supporters of hot yoga say that turning up the heat causes you to sweat more, and this act of sweating helps the body to release toxins that get trapped in glands, organs, and muscles. The heat also makes your heart work harder and this helps you get more out of your session. One class can help you burn up to 1,000 calories, and the better news is that it stimulates your metabolism so you continue burning these calories after the class is over.

All of these benefits help the body’s ability to repair itself while making itself stronger at the same time. Old injuries are healed, new ones are prevented, and those with illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma experience a reduction in symptoms.

What’s not so great about it?

Shutterstock

There are challengers who don’t think bringing up the temperature does anything extra for you. You may sweat a lot more, but sweating doesn’t release toxins, that can only be done through urine and feces. They also argue that the heat actually slows your metabolism because you move slower as a natural reaction to the heat. Our metabolism is a result of our inner body temperature, not how hot it is outside our bodies. The best way to fire up your metabolism is to move, and you can do that in a room of any temperature.

Should you do it? Shutterstock

As with any new exercise routine , you should always check with your physician to make sure you’re in the all-clear and there are no health issues that might put you at risk. In the case of hot yoga , this is especially true for people who may have high blood pressure or respiratory or other medical conditions like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.

If you’re fit and ready to work up a sweat, there’s no harm in trying this yoga , particularly if you’ve done regular yoga in the past. If this is your first time, you may consider taking a class in a regular atmosphere to get a feel for the intensity it requires.

If you decide you’re ready for the next level, give hot yoga a try. You may like the way the heat pushes you to dig deep and work harder. And if you decide you can’t stand the heat, well, it’s not the kitchen but you can still get out of it.