Top 5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Hot Yoga
Hot yoga exercises are to be done under artificially created hot and humid conditions. The reason behind the higher temperature is to recreate the same conditions as that in India where yoga was born. Hot yoga is also known as “Bikram yoga” as it was invented by Indian yoga guru Bikram Choudhary.
Bikram yoga is performed in a room with the temperature maintained around 40.6 degrees Celsius. There is a total of 26 postural and two breathing exercises performed. However, there are many variations of hot yoga as every teacher likes to modify the exercises as per their personal experience.
Health Benefits of Hot Yoga
After the process of metabolism, our body releases a lot of unwanted waste in the form of toxins. Sometimes these toxins remain inside the body and can cause a lot of health issues. This is why there is a need for toxic cleansing either by consuming certain healthy juices or performing a strenuous but effective form of exercise like hot yoga or “Bikram Yoga”.
When you perform yoga stretches in a room with slightly higher temperature (105-degree Fahrenheit), you sweat more than usual and it helps your body to effortlessly expel the toxins and chemical elements; which are no longer needed by it. This entire process leads to detoxification or toxic cleansing.
After a ninety minute session of hot yoga, you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Putting your body through this vigorous exercise helps you understand your body better. In addition, the heat makes your body comfortable to warm temperatures; this is useful if you are habituated to a colder climate.
2. Increased Focus
Being able to focus and concentrate better is one of the biggest benefits of hot yoga. People who have problems with focusing on one task until completion can hugely benefit from subscribing to hot yoga sessions. This is probably the toughest concentration exercise you will ever do but the pay-off is amazing. Ability to focus is important because being a “dabbler” or a “scatter-brain” is not very useful or appealing.
The postures performed in hot yoga are not different than that in regular yoga but they are arranged differently; most often the session begins with the physical postures and ends with a couple of deep breathing exercises. This cycle of postural and breathing exercises are repeated for 4-5 times until complete exhaustion.
As you become proficient with this routine, you become a focused and determined person who can withstand any resistance to finish the task at hand. The principles of focus and hard work you learn in hot yoga translates in your personal and professional life. In conclusion, this section demonstrates that the benefits of hot yoga are not limited to making you feel good and healthy but it also increases your mental capacity.
3. Flexible Body
Increased flexibility and strength is another one of the major benefits of hot yoga. If you are one of those people who spend hours sitting on a chair then hot yoga is a perfect way to release all that tension and stress caused by being sedentary for that long.
A rigid and stubborn body can lead to all sorts of muscle injuries. Conditioning exercises like hot yoga help prevent these injuries and also speed up their healing process. Likewise, there are fewer chances of muscle strain or tear when the muscles are moving freely and the joints are well lubricated.
A 90-minute session of hot yoga once a week can help to achieve the level of flexibility that your body needs. Some of my favorite poses for a good stretch are downward facing dog, child’s pose and seated forward bend. Of course, these names are Americanized as their original names are difficult to pronounce.
4. No more Shallow Breathing
In hot yoga, postural exercises are performed in sync with rhythmic breathing. Needless to say that without maintaining proper breath, you won’t get the complete benefits of hot yoga. For instance, most of the power yoga moves performed in Bikram yoga need you to inhale as you move towards the ground and exhale as you move away from it. With practice, the lungs and diaphragm region gets stronger and you start to breathe deeply without putting any additional effort to do so.
For beginners, it is very important to follow instructions given by the yoga teacher or the physio. Some of the moves are very stringent and need you to inhale, exhale and hold breath at particular instances.
In 2016, approximately 8.3 percent of children in United States suffered from Asthma. And the number is growing since. Hot yoga or Bikram yoga is a scientifically proven method of dealing with such respiratory diseases. Moreover, it is a natural way of curing asthma; no more carrying steroid-laced inhalers to stop asthma attacks.
5. Respite from Chronic Pain
Some injuries like plantar fasciitis or hip flexor strain can cause a life-long chronic pain which doesn’t go away no matter what you do. In these situations, most physiotherapists recommend painkillers or steroid injections to counter the pain occurring in a specific region of the body.
Changing your diet and taking a physical therapy session are two of the most natural ways to deal with chronic pain. Hot yoga is clinically proven to reduce chronic pain caused by injuries and accidents. Recent research suggests that hot yoga practitioners have more grey matter in the regions of the brain responsible for dealing with chronic pain. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also confirmed that taking hot yoga sessions will have an opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain.
Hot yoga not only detoxifies and strengthens your body but can also be a good social workout session. Humans are social creatures. By exercising with like-minded people, you are more likely to continue doing it as it becomes an enjoyable activity. Furthermore, hot yoga is safe for people of all ages. So, there are no adverse effects on practicing it one or twice a week.