Hot Yoga in the Comfort of Your Home
The practice of yoga has dated back to well over 5,000 years ago… One of the most popular styles of yoga that has recently come to the forefront of fitness is called hot yoga.
What exactly is hot yoga?
In the simplest of terms, hot yoga is a type of yoga performed in hot, humid conditions.
You might be thinking, “Wait… If it needs hot and humid conditions, how can I do this at home? I can’t create an indoor climate.“
You can’t? We’ll see about that. Keep reading …
Before learning hot yoga, it’s important to understand its foundation. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and meditation. It is known to incorporate a series of movements (called poses) that increase in difficulty throughout a session.
Yoga also incorporates some of the main principles of fitness, those being:
•Balance: Utilizing differing positions to activate stabilizer muscles, you will learn to maintain balance for an extended period of time.
•Breathing: You will discover proper breathing techniques to simultaneously relax the mind and hone physical skills.
•Flexibility: Throughout the process of changing and maintaining poses during a session, you will stretch most of the muscle groups and increase flexibility.
•Strength: By using different muscle groups to lift, balance, stretch and maintain poses, yoga offers a slow and controlled way of using your own body as a form of resistance training.
Hot Yoga 101
As previously mentioned, hot yoga is yoga with heat. But how hot? Hot yoga features a specific set of 26 poses, and it is performed in temperatures that are usually kept at around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bikram Choudhury, the founder of hot yoga, has said that he designed this style in order to mimic the hot climate of yoga’s place of origin in India.
The benefits of hot yoga differ from traditional versions of yoga because of the element of increased temperatures. These benefits include:
- Cardio: The cardio aspect can be comparable to running for an extended period of time. Due to the increased temperature and constant pace, you can burn more than 1,000 calories in 90 minutes.
- Deeper Breathing: While breathing is an essential element of all yoga styles, hot yoga makes deep, slow breathing absolutely vital due to the increased humidity.
- Detox: By causing the body to sweat more profusely, hot yoga is known to be an excellent way to rid the body of unhealthy toxins.
- Increased Flexibility: Higher temperatures allow the body to naturally and safely become more limber by slowly stretching muscles and tendons during poses.
Hot yoga is typically performed in a licensed studio that is capable of providing the necessary features in a safe and spacious setting. If you do not have the time or money to seek out or travel to a studio, fear not.
Instead, you can use our guided approach to creating a hot yoga space in the comfort of your own home.
Put Your Own Sizzling Space Together
It isn’t an easy feat to find a room in a normal home that suits being upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, but for the sake of setting up your DIY hot yoga studio, it is quite doable.
Start out by picking a room that best suits high temperatures. If there is enough space to perform a session, a bathroom is ideal.
First, turn the shower nozzle all the way to “hot” and run the steaming hot water with the door closed to increase the temperature of the room. If that doesn’t completely do the trick, there are certain bathroom-friendly space heaters you can use. Together, the combination should get the room to the right temperature and humidity safely.
Please note: A space heater should never be left unattended, and you should never mix water with electricity. Be sure to keep the space heater in a dry area of the room. Also, use extra precaution when shutting off the hot water in the shower as to not burn yourself.
Introducing Yourself to the Workout
Now, that you have the space, you need the know-how.
During an at-home hot yoga session, there are a few resources that can be utilized to learn the practice’s 26-pose routine. The easiest resource would be books, such as Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class. You can also get movies for beginners or watch online tutorials available on sites, like YouTube.
Remember that during the workout, excessive sweating and dehydration can occur without proper precautions. It is crucial to maintain hydration throughout the process. Slow and patient movements will also help curb excessive sweating.
Tips and Tricks for Hot Yoga
In order to optimize your workout, utilize these tips:
- Do not eat two to three hours before beginning the session
- Drink water before, during and after the session
- Use a mirror during the session to ensure proper form
- Wear loose or flexible clothing like harem pants that does not limit movement
Of course, the most important tip is knowing your own body.
While millions of people enjoy the many benefits of hot yoga around the world, it is not for everyone.
Be sure to understand the limits of your body and not push yourself too much to ensure a beneficial experience.
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