All you need to know about Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga and its benefits

Hot yoga is not a new pose of yoga, but a new technique of performing the usual yoga poses. They call it hot yoga because you practice it as it in a hot, windowless room. It is like practicing various poses of yoga at a place that is hot, and has no wind blowing. The hot yoga studios maintain 37°C temperature of a room wherein they make students practice yoga until they bathe in the pool of their sweat.

Locust pose

Hot yoga is not a new pose of yoga, but a new technique of performing the usual yoga poses. They call it hot yoga because you practice it as it in a hot, windowless room. It is like practicing various poses of yoga at a place that is hot, and has no wind blowing. The hot yoga studios maintain 37°C temperature of a room wherein they make students practice yoga until they bathe in the pool of their sweat.

Hot yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga, which has captured the hearts of many Hollywood celebrities and even the royalties of our world. It is a great way to keep fit and tone the entire body within a short span of time. Most hot yoga lovers practice the Bikram Yoga style invented by Bikram Choudhury. It became popular in the US during the 70s and utilized ever since for achieving toned and shapely body. Hot and humid conditions are recommended so that the body sweats and burns calories faster.

It is not easy to get accustomed to hot yoga. The heat and sweating may seem unbearable and embarrassing in the beginning but soon one realizes its benefits. Within 5-10 minutes of starting the hot yoga session one starts sweating. The more you sweat the more calories you are burning. The stored body fats will burn and soon you will see a major reduction in your weight.

The principle:

Its theory rests on helping your body in sweating out toxins and at the same time helping you to use your elevated body heat in achieving deeper poses. Hot yoga helps in facilitating stretching, removing toxins, increasing range of motions and promoting weight loss.

Practicing yoga inside a heated room augments your metabolism and pulse rate, enabling your blood vessels in becoming more flexible, thereby making your body cut down some major calories.

The process in turn makes the circulation of blood easier and improving flow of blood to the limbs. Below are a couple of effective tips that will help you to stay comfortable and safe during your hot yoga classes. These include:

Styles of Hot Yoga

Yogi girl doing preparations for yoga asana King Pigeon Pose

Ranging from Bikram yoga and Moksha yoga, hot yoga has all styles depending upon the place its studios are located and the availability of trainers. In most of the hot yoga studios nestled across the globe, you get to see an eco-friendly tint, i.e. they bring into use energy-efficient heating of the room, eco-friendly floors and matting, and all. Usually the hot yoga sessions consist of 26 different yoga postures and two breathing exercises which are designed to revitalize your health and enhance your concentration level.

The following poses are practiced in Hot Yoga:

  1. Deep breathing in standing pose (Pranayama)
  2. Half-moon pose (Ardha-Chandrasana)
  3. Hands-to-feet pose (Padahastashana)
  4. Awkward pose (Utkatasana)
  5. Eagle Pose (Garurasana)
  6. Head to knee standing pose (Dandayamana Janusirasana)
  7. Standing Bow pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana)
  8. Balancing pose (Tuladandasana)
  9. Standing separate leg-stretching pose ( Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottasana)
  10. Triangle Pose (Trikanasana)
  11. Standing separate Leg Head to Knee Pose (Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janusirasana)
  12. Tree pose (Tadasana)
  13. Toe Stand (Padangustasana)
  14. Corpse pose (Savasana)
  15. Wind releasing pose (Pavanmuktasana)
  16. Cobra pose ( Bhujangasana)
  17. Locust pose (Salabhasana)
  18. Full Locust pose (Purna Salabhasana)
  19. Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
  20. Fixed form pose (Supta Vajrasana)
  21. Half Tortoise pose ( Ardha Kurmasana)
  22. Camel Pose (Ushtrasana)
  23. Rabbit pose (Sasangasana)
  24. Head to knee pose & Stretching pose ( Janusirasana & Paschimottasana)
  25. Spine-twisting pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
  26. Blowing in firm pose (Kapalbhati in Vajrasana)

5 Benefits of Hot Yoga: 

  1. Detoxification:

Hot yoga is all about making your body sweat a lot,

Hot yoga has a plethora of health benefits to offer but the one health benefit that is making hot yoga popular with every passing day is detoxification. It is one thing is for hot yoga does to your body for sure even if it does not benefit you in any other sense. Hot yoga is all about making your body sweat a lot, and sweating is directly related to the flushing out of toxins from the body.

  1. Increases body flexibility: 

If losing weight is at the top of your priority list, then there is nothing better than regular sessions of hot yoga. The temperature of the room is kept high, so that the blood is circulates through the body and there is no injury due to muscle cramps.

The muscles get cramped easily in a cold state, but when they are warmed up; there are fewer chances of injury and cramps. A great benefit of hot yoga is that it can make you flexible. To cope with a fast lifestyle you need to be flexible and fit. Hot yoga gives your fitness levels a big boost.

You do not need to spend much time on warming up your body before doing hot yoga because the hot room conditions automatically transfer your body into a state that is ideal for different yoga poses and postures.

  1. Intense workout:

Intense workout

Yet another benefit of doing hot yoga is that the heated room condition elevates heart rate, which makes bodywork harder. Therefore, hot yoga seems to be an ideal alternative for people who desire to do intense workouts but their lack of strength and stamina does not really allow them to.

  1. Increases lung capacity:

Breathing exercises of hot yoga trains your lungs to inhale more air. Deeper the breaths during yoga poses more are the chances of expanding lung capacity. More oxygen enters your lungs and spreads to different parts of the body.

  1. Beats stress:

stress

Doing yoga in air-conditioned room may be comfortable but the heated ambience in hot yoga has an added benefit. It helps more in focused breathing and deep breathing is the key to release stress.

Tips for practicing hot yoga 

Check your vitals:

check with your physician

Prior to starting yoga, always check with your physician. If you are suffering from any health issues, it is vital to get your physician’s permission. Decide beforehand as to whether hot yoga is right for you. It is unsafe for children, pregnant women and those aged above 60 (devoid of regular yoga practice) as well as those who have diabetes, susceptible to dizzy spells or any issues with low or high blood pressure. In such cases, it is best to choose some other form of yoga.

Skip hot yoga if you have:

  • Heart ailments
  • Issues with dehydration
  • Heat intolerance
  • A history of heat related ailments like heat stroke

Keep your body hydrated

Hot yoga is a practice that makes your body sweat profusely, as much as you would hardly ever sweat in any other form of exercise. Therefore, keeping your body sufficiently hydrated is the key to a successful and a beneficial hot yoga practice. You must drink plenty of water before practice, some of it in between, and a good deal after your practice also.

Pace yourself:

take breaks in between

Begin the yoga slowly and as per your needs take breaks in between particularly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy during the exercises.

Over exerting yourself makes no point

Pushing yourself a bit to do hot yoga efficiently is good but over exerting yourself while doing it is no good. While practice you might feel excess of stretch in a particular muscle and if you will continue stretching it, you can easily suffer a muscle pull. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you listen to your body mindfully while practicing hot yoga.

To eat or not

To eat or not

There are some eating rules as well you are supposed to consider if you want to practice hot yoga. You have to maintain a balance of diet, as in do not go empty stomach or with and overly filled stomach to a hot yoga class. The best solution is to avoid heavy foods and have light food before going for your yoga class. Experts recommend taking a light meal, at least 1 hour prior to the training, especially if you feel uncomfortable to consume fluids at that time.

Consider your body requirements:

Your body will indicate how much you are capable to push it, thus pay close attention to these signs. Ensure that you uphold regular breathing and derive pleasure of the hot yoga practice.

Dressing cool:

wear sports bra and shorts during hot yoga practice

It is advisable to wear bathing suit, sports bra and shorts during hot yoga practice. In fact, you need to wear minimal clothing while doing this yoga. You will definitely wish in stripping off your yoga clothes soaked in sweat, towel dry and then change back by putting on dry clothing prior to leaving the yoga studio.

Modern life comprises of stress and work load. You may have to travel widely or work for long hours to finish projects. A strong body is an asset. Hot yoga strengthens your body from the core and makes you capable of going through all sorts of strain and stress every day. Practicing hot yoga will also improve your immunity system. A better immunity system will keep you protected against germs and seasonal diseases.

Bikram Yoga benefits you should know of

Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Easily one of the most popular benefits that motivate many of its patrons, Bikram Yoga is very effective for weight loss. The burning of calories (around 500 -1000 calories) in this ‘hot yoga’ form helps in flushing out the unwanted fat and toxins, whereas the stretching sessions imbibe the tonal factor in our muscles. More importantly, it improves upon our metabolism and digestive system that also contributes to controlled eating habits.

Diabetes

Another popular reason to join in for Bikram Yoga session is because it works as a ‘natural’ counter to diabetes.  Some of the postures are good for keeping blood sugar levels low, which in turn keeps the diabetes symptoms in stringent check.

Arthritis

Arthritis

A complete Bikram yoga session consists of a multitude of flexing, stretching and twisting exercises that works upon nigh every kind of joint in our body. This frees up the persisting rigidness of the bones, while an extended session enhances upon the overall relief.

Back Pain

An indirect effect of the relief on bones and joints, Bikram Yoga is conducive to treating a myriad of ailments like back pain, headaches, stiff necks and even scoliosis. The backbends sessions are particularly beneficial in working out our spine, thus improving upon the nature and flexibility of our nervous system.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol

The aforementioned improved functionality of heart also results in a boosted blow flow throughout our body. The inherent flexibility of some poses furthermore clears and cleanses our various arteries. This in turn makes us active with reduced occurrence of cholesterol levels.

Breathing problems

The heat exercising helps in alleviation of our muscles and nerves. This directly results in improved functionality of heart and lungs, which makes our normal breathing easier and relaxed.

Psychological effects

Psychological effects

Bikram Yoga as a collective exercising regime that is extremely beneficial for our mental faculties. The results work upon a multitude of factors including the enhanced harmony between our nervous and endocrine systems, improved concentration and most importantly the inculcation of positive energy that poses as an effective anti-depressant.

Five do’s and don’ts of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga

 

However, while practicing or planning to practice this comparatively difficult yoga form, one needs to keep in mind certain do’s and don’ts of Bikram Yoga. These are somewhat similar to that of Hot Yoga but it is better to be aware of few additional points.

Do’s of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga

  1. For getting your body ready to exercise in a heated room, it’s but necessary to drink four liters of water a day. Moreover, carry a yoga mat, a large towel and water bottle with you to the yoga class.
  2. Since you need to do various stretching exercises, make sure to clad yourself as scantly as is possible. While men may wear shorts or bathing suit, women may wear exercise top and shorts or a swimsuit.
  3. Take shower after your yoga practice se
  4. ssion. Aside from washing the toxins away, it will help you normalize your body temperature.
  5. During the initial two months, make sure to do all exercises each day. Once you’ve mastered the tricks of Bikram Yoga, you may go for your own practice schedule; however, try not to be complacent and do your yoga regularly. A special time of the day, a regular practice area and an extra heater in your home is advisable.
  6. For perfectionists who don’t want to take chances, it’s good if they could buy Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class CD or cassette tape and follow the instructions carefully.

Don’ts of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga

  1. Don’t be scared if you feel disoriented or dizzy or extremely energetic during or after your first few classes. It’s a good sign indicating that you body has begun to shed impurities and toxins. Moreover, while you body releases toxins, you may experience some skin irritation as well. However, it is never that big an issue, so stay calm! Similarly, if you have trouble in sleeping, it shows that yoga is energizing your body and soul. Anyhow, during your practice session, make sure to breathe normally.
  2. Cut down on the consumption of caffeine drinks and processed foods since these affect your body’s ability to tolerate the heat.
  3. In some cases, Bikram Yoga practitioners lose their appetite or feel very hungry after the yoga session. A regular practice pattern will later put these concerns on a normal footing.
  4. Those suffering with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, degenerative disc disease, etc. should consult their doctors. It’s advised not to push hard in the first three days. Be watchful while doing forward bends or simply, don’t do them. Such people may continue doing backward bends as it will help them build strength in the spine.

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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