The diverse culture and traditions of India make it incredible in the world. Yoga is also an amazing practice of Indian culture. It originated in Northern India during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization.
Indian yoga which is also known as traditional yoga varies from western yoga. In Indian culture, yoga is not restricted to asanas or breathing practices, but it is more than that. It is spiritual and divine practice.
Yoga reaches the Western part of the world through Indian monks and disciples. But the first person who introduced yoga to western land was Swami Vivekananda. The importance of yoga for the body and mind is not new to anyone, as everyone knows the health benefits of yoga.
But very few know about the benefits of hot yoga, and some are still unaware of hot yoga.
But no need to worry if you have first time heard about this hot yoga, this article is going to be a complete guide for you regarding hot yoga. In Western countries, it became more popular.
Let’s see the 15 amazing benefits of hot yoga that will fascinate you. And no doubt you will switch to hot yoga from normal yoga after reading them.
What is Hot Yoga?
Everyone knows that yoga is not only good for the body but also for the mind. Practicing yoga daily will energize you and gives positive energy to your body. It will also help in maintaining body weight. Yoga involves various yoga poses called asanas and breathing exercises.
Hot yoga is just like regular yoga but the thing which makes it different is that it is performed in a hot room or heated environment. The traditional yoga class doesn’t have a higher temperature than the normal room temperature. The temperature of hot yoga studios ranges between 27 to 38 degrees Celsius. Each session runs for 90 minutes.
One kind of hot yoga is Bikram yoga, invented by Bikram Choudhary. Bikram yoga mainly consists of 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises. The sequence of doing these yoga poses may vary and depend on the yoga instructor as well.
Things To Keep in mind Before Practicing Hot Yoga
These few tips are going to be helpful for beginners to gain the full benefits of hot yoga.
Avoid cotton clothes. Prefer lightweight and moisture-wicking fabric to wear in each session.
2. A Yoga Mat Towel
A yoga mat towel is essential to prevent a slippery experience while yoga practice.
3. Drink Water a Lot
Drink enough water to avoid dehydration during yoga practice.
4. Do as Per Your Limit
Don’t try to do all poses at once in the beginning.
No matter what kind of yoga you do, your body always feels amazing and fresh after a yoga session. So, always try to do yoga daily for a healthy lifestyle. But after reading about these benefits of hot yoga, you will be switching to hot yoga.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
Along with the benefits of hot yoga, people also like the environment of a hot yoga class. Sometimes the environment and surroundings give the motivation to do things in a better way.
Let’s see what the amazing benefits of hot yoga are:
1. Quick Way to Burn Calories
Burning calories is the main motto of every physical exercise. For that purpose, hot yoga is the best and quick way. According to many yoga instructors, it is clear that Bikram yoga helps in burning more calories in comparison to traditional yoga.
This has to be proven through an article published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in 2002 that a hot temperature or heated room promotes the burning of more calories.
Generally, you can burn around 180-460 calories through normal yoga poses. But a study by Colorado State University, suggests that men can burn around 460 calories and women can burn 330 calories per hot yoga session.
2. Good for Weight Loss
Hot yoga is considered to be a healthy way to maintain body weight. And also good for weight loss. Although you can’t observe results in a few days as you get after heavy exercises. But here you will get sustained and healthy weight loss results.
Many health experts also claimed the importance of Bikram yoga for healthy weight loss. Even it is proven by a study that hot yoga offers amazing yoga styles that help in weight loss.
If you want to lose weight then don’t depend only on yoga, also focus on your eating habit. Because bad eating habits harm your health, and you can’t see the health benefits of Bikram yoga. Take only a healthy diet during hot yoga practice.
3. Clean your Body
Removal of waste or toxins from the body is very essential. And sweating is one way to eliminate toxins from the body. Hot yoga makes your body sweat more than normal yoga.
In this way, it helps in the removal of toxins and waste products and cleans your body. Many people prefer it just for the detoxification of their bodies.
4. Strengthen Your Body Muscles
For muscle strengthening, it is very important to do an intense workout and sweat a lot. But it is not easy for everyone to do an intense workout, so for them, Bikram yoga is the best option.
All the postures and yoga pose in Bikram yoga are designed in such a way that they work on strengthening of muscles of different parts of the body. To strengthen the thigh and calves muscles, the tree poses and standing bow poses are the best.
The warm environment of a hot yoga class makes yoga poses easier and also enhances the ease of muscle stretching than at a normal room temperature.
5. Helpful for Back pain
One of the health benefits of hot yoga is back pain relief. Daily working on a computer or laptop and doing fewer physical activities increase the issue of back pain. Most people even don’t sit in the correct posture, which is also the reason for the back pain issue.
A report released by Health Policy Institute on ‘Chronic Back Pain’, claims that back pain become the sixth most costly condition in the US.
According to the Statista survey, 39% of American adults have back pain problems. In this list of benefits of hot yoga, back pain relief is considered to be essential for sedentary lifestyle people.
6. Nourishes Skin
Everyone knows that yoga helps to gain a healthy body and mind, but very few know the benefits of yoga, especially hot yoga. Out of all the benefits of hot yoga, this one will attract the most women to hot yoga classes.
Practicing yoga in a hot room will result in more sweating, which means more waste material moves out of the body. The heated environment also improves blood flow, hence more nutrient and oxygen reaches skin cells.
This nutrient nourishes the skin cells and makes your skin healthy and glowing. It also reduces wrinkles and skin aging signs. Many women experienced a change in their skin after hot yoga sessions. A very recent Japanese study proves that hot yoga improves skin texture, elasticity, and moisture.
7. Effective in Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density and mass. This increases the risk of fractures. To avoid such situations, it is very important to keep bones healthy and strong. Hot yoga workouts not only strengthen your bone but also increase your bone density.
Hot yoga is considered to be effective in the prevention of Osteoporosis, this has been proven by a study. It has been observed that bone mineral density increases in premenopausal women after regular yoga classes of Bikram yoga.
8. Improves Lung Capacity
Breathing is an important and necessary process of human life, and for that, you need to have healthy and strong lungs. Breathing practice help to improve lung capacity and flexibility.
As a result, the lungs can hold a large amount of oxygen. Hot yoga with deep breathing practice becomes very effective for lung capacity. This is completely true that hot yoga improves lung capacity. Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga mentioned in his book, that Bikram yoga helps in increasing lung capacity.
Each yoga posture is done only when you do them with the correct breathing technique. Proper inhalation and exhalation are very necessary.
9. Reduces Stress
Stress becomes a part of life, no one can stay away from it. When it reaches a high level, it will become a mental health issue. Hence, it is not good to ignore it. The Global Workplace 2021 Report shows that stress level is high among workers in the USA and Canada. A hot yoga class is the best way to reduce stress levels.
Through research, it has been proved that Bikram yoga is a very effective way to reduce stress. Research on 51 people has been made to check the effectiveness of Bikram yoga on perceived stress. And this has been done with the help of the Perceived stress scale, which showed a decrease in stress levels after each hot yoga class.
10. Act as an Anti-Depressant
Yoga become more popular in the West and various new forms have also been practiced. Bikram yoga is one of the forms of hatha yoga highly popular in the USA. People use to do hot yoga to gain relief from their depression.
A study is done by Alliant University in San Francisco on 52 women that showed the benefits of hot yoga in depression. The level of depression seems to be lower in those women who attended the hot yoga session.
Various other studies have been done in this area that showed that depression can be controlled and treated by practicing hot yoga regularly.
11. Increases Heart Rate
Heart rate completely depends on blood circulation. A heart pumps not only blood to the different organs of the body but also nutrients and oxygen. The hot environment of a hot yoga studio plays a great role in increasing the heart rate. That is why it is considered to be a best practice to do for your cardiovascular health.
It is also helpful to boost metabolism. In many people, it has been observed that regular practice of hot yoga will improve cholesterol levels.
12. Regulates Blood Glucose Level
Any kind of imbalance in the blood glucose level results in diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, around 37.3 million people in America are suffering from diabetes.
Each posture of Bikram yoga works on a particular organ and gland. In this way, regular practice of hot yoga balances hormone levels as well. It is also effective to stimulate the pancreas for the secretion of insulin, which is essential for maintaining blood glucose levels. Hence, it is clear that hot yoga has an important role to regulate blood glucose levels.
13. Enhances Concentration Level
Each hot yoga session consists of breathing activities that will ultimately enhance concentration levels. The main focus of Bikram yoga is to build focus and discipline. Doing yoga poses and holding them for a longer duration requires a lot of focus and strength. Doing every pose or asana in the correct order with focus will improve concentration level and also give mindfulness.
14. Promotes Flexibility
Yoga asanas are amazing for flexible muscles. One of the best yoga poses is the Bow pose or Dhanurasana, which covers core muscles and improves muscle flexibility. Through yoga postures and stretching, you can increase the flexibility of your muscles.
When you do all the stretching in a hot yoga studio, you will feel the effectiveness and easiness in your muscles. Various studies claim that doing hot yoga will improve muscle flexibility more quickly.
15. Improves Sleep Quality
The quality of your sleep depends on how relaxed you are. If you feel uneasy and stressed, then you can’t get better sleep. To improve sleep quality, yoga is very effective in that. Yoga helps a lot in better sleep quality, as a result, people do some yoga poses or asanas before bedtime.
Well, it is good for your sleep quality. but it is not okay with hot yoga. It is practiced in a hot and humid environment which is not good to do before bed. This will increase the chances of heatstroke. Although Bikram yoga helps to improve sleep quality. But you will get its benefits only when you do it at right time. So, avoid doing it at night.
Who Needs to Avoid Hot Yoga Practice?
- Pregnant women are suggested to avoid it.
- People who are more sensitive to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- People suffering from low blood pressure conditions.
- People who can’t sit for long in a heated space.
- Heart patients also need to avoid it.
- If you have any kind of muscle injury or damage.
The most important thing is not to do it just for physical fitness like exercise. Do it for physical and mental health. And always do it with the help of trained yoga teachers or instructors to gain more benefits from hot yoga.