While yoga is an ancient Indian practice dating back thousands of years, its popularity in the West has seen an inexorable rise in recent years. It was estimated in 2016 that more than 37 million Americans practiced yoga.
While most yogis begin by practicing basic yoga or pilates, hot yoga's health benefits have more recently come to the fore. If you're interested in taking up hot yoga, you might be wondering how it is different from standard yoga? And what do you need to prepare for a hot yoga session?
Please keep reading for our essential guide to hot yoga for beginners.
What Is Hot Yoga?
A hot yoga session is similar to a standard yoga session but in a heated room. Hot yoga was originally developed to replicate the sweltering conditions of India, where all yoga ishot.
Many different styles and practices of yoga exist, and hot yoga is now following suit. More and more types of hot yoga classes are becoming available online, as well as in person. Some of the different kinds of hot yoga practice include Bikram and vinyasa. Bikram hot yoga consists of 26 different poses, while vinyasa hot yoga focuses on breathing and the flow of poses that correspond with breathing methods.
Hot yoga is generally more challenging than a typical yoga session, which is one of its many draws. The 105-degree Fahrenheit temperature and humidity that this brings enables a more strenuous workout.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Next, we'll run through the equipment you need to take part in a hot yoga class or for solo practice from the comfort of your home. There are several different ways that yoga studios heat their spaces, but one of the best ways is with infrared lights. This is because infrared provides an encompassing heat and effectively eliminates the body of oils and toxins instead of water.
It's easy to set up an infrared space in your own home, thanks to a home sauna or lights that attach to the wall or the back of a door. At Go Healthy Next, we have a range of equipment available to help you get started with hot yoga from home. Choose from our Sauna Fix lamps or tents if you already have your lights set up. Better yet, check out our bundle deals to get the full set-up at a reduced cost.
What Are the Benefits of Hot Yoga?
There are many advantages to hot yoga practice as opposed to yoga at a regular temperature. Some of its benefits are the same as regular yoga practice. This includes stress reduction and enabling greater flexibility.
However, the hotter temperature means your heart, lungs, and muscles get a harder workout. The high temperature means your muscles relax more easily and more quickly. A hot yoga session allows a greater range of movement and more flexibility across different muscle groups.
What's more, hot yoga burns more calories and gets your heart rate up higher, thus improving metabolism and respiration.
Finally, the increased temperature means things get rather sweaty during hot yoga. But this provides yet more benefits because the body can rid itself of toxins, and sweating helps nourish the skin.
Who Is Hot Yoga Good For?
Before getting started with hot yoga, it is worth considering who it is well-suited for. There are also specific groups of people who should not engage with hot yoga.
Anyone looking to improve their general level of fitness, increase their flexibility, or work on their breathing and relaxation should opt for hot yoga. Hot yoga is a great compliment to fitness routines that are centered around weight training or running.
There are a few groups of people, though, who should stick to yoga at regular temperatures. This includes pregnant women, people with heart disease, those who suffer from dehydration, or someone who recently had a stroke.
How Should You Prepare for Hot Yoga?
Next, let's look at hot yoga preparation and what to do before starting a session. The food and drink you consume before starting hot yoga are essential.
You need to make sure you are well-hydrated and drinking lots of water in the hours before you start hot yoga. It would be best if you also avoided heavy, processed meals. Equally, you do not want to start this strenuous exercise on an empty stomach, so try a nutritious snack such as a banana or a handful of nuts.
You also need to make sure you are wearing suitable clothing and that you've got all of the equipment you need. In addition to your infrared lights and at-home sauna, you'll also need a yoga mat.
In terms of apparel, the lighter your clothing, the better. If you're doing hot yoga from home, why not strip down to a sports bra (for women) and short shorts for optimum comfort.
What Are Some Tips for Hot Yoga Practice?
Finally, we've compiled a list of top tips for hot yoga sessions so you can get the most out of your practice. First, keep an apple or other light snack nearby in case your energy levels drop. Apples are a good choice because they contain natural sugars. You'll also need to keep plenty of water on hand to keep your hydration levels up.
It's also important to think about your post-workout routine. It can be dangerous to move to an area with an extreme temperature drop, such as going outside. Make sure your body has a chance to gradually acclimatize to cooler temperatures after finishing your hot yoga.
Now You Know How to Do Hot Yoga for Beginners
You're now ready to start practicing hot yoga and reaping the many benefits of this ancient art. When looking into hot yoga for beginners, it's essential to make sure you've got the right set-up and equipment to do it properly.
Be sure to check out our range of infrared lights and home saunas to start enjoying hot yoga from home!