Hot yoga, often referred to as Bikram yoga, burst onto the mainstream workout scene about 50 years ago and has only increased in popularity over the years. Who could have imagined back then that it would be done in the convenience of your own portable Hot Yoga Dome?
The heated environment is sure to kick up the intensity of your yoga routine and comes with the added benefits of faster weight loss and clearer skin. When done safely, there are many benefits to be gained from practicing hot yoga. Here are just nine of them:
1.Faster weight loss.
Because you are sweating more in the heat, caloric burn increases significantly, and that may lead to greater fat burn and more weight loss. In some cases, hot yoga practitioners have reported burning up to 450 calories in a 90-minute hot session, as opposed to 180 calories burned in a non-heated 90-minute yoga session.
2. Enhanced flexibility.
As with any workout, it’s important to warm up your muscles before getting started. The heated environment of hot yoga helps increase flexibility and range of motion in common problem areas such as the low back, shoulders and hamstrings.
3. Radiant skin.
Your skin is going to love your hot yoga routine. Benefits of regular hot yoga includes reduced cellulite, improved circulation and an overall healthy glow. Combining a skincare routine with your hot yoga practice can help you achieve softer, more youthful looking skin.
4. Stronger immune system.
Our bodies are comprised of a complex network of systems. When it comes to immune system health, yoga can help promote a healthy lymphatic system, which is essential to circulation, detoxification and disease-fighting antibodies. Supported inversion positions can help reduce swelling and remove excess fluid from around major organs, while self-myofascial release (SMR) or fascia stretching and massage can recirculate disease-fighting lymphocytes and strengthening the diaphragm through breathing exercises helps remove toxins from the body. People who do hot yoga tend to have fewer colds and increased energy. Considering that the heat helps loosens muscles and the profuse sweating helps cleanse your body of toxins, there very well could be a connection.
5. Mental strength.
Hot yoga promotes and cultivates a steady and strong mind along with emotional stability. It helps to build your emotional and physical health at the same time, which can ease depression and reduce stress and anxiety. That leads to a sense of happiness, peace and well-being. Yoga also helps to promote mindfulness, which is the practice of being fully present and self-aware of your physical, emotional and mental state in that exact moment. When your body temperature increases during hot yoga, you become more attuned to your body’s response to the increased heat, therefore causing increased awareness to “beat the heat.”
Your heart responds to increased demand, much like other muscles and organs. When you are practicing hot yoga, you are using your muscles and sweating while your heart is working harder. That helps to build your heart muscle. Your body’s ability to regulate its body temperature and process the heat for caloric burn becomes more efficient, which leads to your heart being stronger and healthier. Also, preliminary studies have suggested that when approved by a doctor, hot yoga could reduce high blood pressure and stress without the use of medication, which can ultimately help reduce the risk of hypertension and heart disease.
7. Reduced blood glucose levels.
8. Alleviate arthritis and reduce risk of osteoporosis.
Studies also suggest that participation in low-impact, weight-bearing exercise like hot yoga may contribute to increased bone mineral density (BMD) in premenopausal women. The elevated temperature in hot yoga can also help loosen stiff joints due to arthritis. Of the 26 poses in Bikram, none includes downward-dog or plank poses, optimal for those with arthritis in their wrists or hands. A routine yoga practice can also contribute to better posture, improved balance, greater strength, range of motion and coordination, and lower anxiety, which can mitigate against falls and fractures.
9.Reduce chronic pain.
Since yoga is a low-impact activity, it may be an ideal choice if you suffer from chronic pain. The heat and humidity in hot yoga allows your body to engage in deeper stretches and the specific Bikram poses will help decompress your spine and strengthen muscles. With a regular practice, Bikram yoga can help stabilize your spine, improve blood flow, and send essential nutrients to the discs cushioning your spinal cord.
If you are new to hot yoga -- or if someone else who is using your Hot Yoga Dome is -- there are a few important things to remember: Listen to your body and go at your own pace. We all have different levels of flexibility and longtime yoga enthusiasts are going to be more pliable than a beginner. Hot yoga is a lifetime activity so don’t push yourself too hard at the beginning. It’s just you and your Hot Yoga Dome, at your own safe pace.