Most people are pretty open when it comes to trying new exercise, but the idea of sitting in a room with at least 20 other people for 90 minutes in the sweltering heat doesn’t sound like a fun time.
Once you get used to it however, hot yoga can provide a whole bunch of benefits to your health. Hot yoga has become so popular as of late, so what is the hype all about?
Is Hot Yoga Safe?
One of the more obvious questions that first comes to mind when considering hot yoga is, is it safe?
The American Council on Exercise researched the heart rate and core temperatures of those who were in a yoga class for a period of 90 minutes. The average session is about this duration of time and is conducted in a room heated to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit, at about 35% humidity.
If you take one of these classes you better not be worried about getting sweaty beach you will be soaked after one of these workouts. This actually comes to be something you enjoy after awhile because of the feeling of relief and a cleansing feeling similar to how you feel after a long swim.
Not only is hot yoga safe, it can provide a whole bunch of health benefits as well. Yoga has been associated with lower levels of stress, better cardiovascular endurance, improved balance, increased flexibility and increase strength.
In addition to those health benefits, one of the biggest ones yoga brings to the table is the ability to lose weight and drop huge body fat. Yoga requires a tremendous amount of physical endurance to perform the stretches and being in the hot room while doing so, which can help boost metabolic activity as well.
What Should I Do As a Beginner?
Remember that the number one thing here is to listen to the signals your body is giving you. Everyone’s body is different and you may not be able to go at the same pace as your friend or workout partner so go at your own pace.
Also, try to find a class that is more geared towards beginners, most classes will not allow you to leave and come back once it is in session, so if you need to take a break this could be a problem. Make sure the yogi is understanding ahead of time.
When you first start out try to find a class that keeps their room temperature lower than what most do at 105, plenty of them exist out there and it can help you get started. Practicing in a room that is slightly cooler will make you less prone to feeling lightheaded or dizzy, so if that is an issue seek out one of these gyms.
Another thing to consider when you first get started is to keep hydrated. Yoga classes put a heavy emphasis on not breaking you concentration or being interrupted once you begin, however it is better to stop and take a break to drink than it is to risk passing out or a trip to the hospital.
You should also be hydrating yourself prior to going to yoga in preparation for all of that water you’re going to lose through sweat.
Make sure you are replenishing your nutrient reserves after your yoga class as well. You are going to be sweating for almost an hour and a half straight and are going to be losing more than just water.
Eat or drink something that has a lot of electrolytes after a session like apple juice, coconut water or a banana.
Last and certainly not least make sure you are listening to your body. If you start cramping up or feel really light headed it is too late and you are already experiencing the symptoms of dehydration. You may need to take a break or hold off on practicing yoga as frequently as you are.
Talk to Your Doctor If You Aren’t Sure
If you aren’t sure if you are healthy enough to do hot yoga, talk to your doctor first. Hot yoga can be stressful on your body, so if you have other health issues related to your heart like high blood pressure you may want to try an alternative form of yoga.