Hot yoga: Is it actually good for you?

Fitness

Things you probably already know about hot yoga: it’s sweaty, it’s intense and my god it makes you thirsty. So is this hot yoga lark any good for us anyway? We quiz Hotpod Yoga co-founder Nick Higgins…

Is hot yoga better than regular yoga?

The first thing to clarify is the differences in temperature of hot yoga. At Hotpod Yoga our pods are heated to a relaxing 37 degrees (not to mention packed full of relaxing essential oils), which allows your muscles to warm and lengthen, providing a deeper, more relieving stretch – great for preventing injuries (and less extreme than some other versions). Whilst the personal preferences of the student should also come into consideration, heat is a great stressor of the body, meaning we accustom the body to stress so we become more resilient to the everyday stressors that affect us. At a cellular level hot yoga helps the cells get rid of waste materials that are not needed, which is called autophagy.

Can hot yoga help you lose weight?

Hot yoga is a great addition to any healthy, balanced lifestyle and practicing regularly will help improve both your mental and physical wellbeing. You are of course exerting yourself in a Hotpod Yoga class (whilst protecting joints and limbs) which naturally in turn burns fat. Our classes have similar effect to other cardio workouts in that they help to burn calories in turn helping with weight loss.

What about dehydration?

Come hydrated, and in class small sips of water every now and then. After class hydration is key, so a continual sips of water regularly but also ensuring the right salts are replaced in the body to help with recovery. These can be accessed through eating good fruits and vegetables, a little Himalayan salts, juices, and coconut water. There are plenty of other options out there too, but it is very important to take on water as well as the electrolytes.

Can it cause you to overstretch?

Hot yoga allows for a deeper, more fulfilling stretch due to the heat and humidity of the room – but with our highly-trained teachers guiding you throughout, you won’t be allowed to overstretch. It’s also important that students listen to their body throughout the class – don’t push yourself to the point of injury. In our Hotpod Yoga classes we encourage our students to pause and rest whenever they feel the need. It’s one of the qualities that allows us to bring together students of all levels to practice under one roof.

Who can’t practice hot yoga?

Diabetics and people with blood pressure issues can practice, but they just need to be aware and also ask their doctors if they are okay to practice. Pregnant women shouldn’t practice.

What are your tips to practice hot yoga safely?

1. Acclimatise your body and mind to the heat of the pod before trying to push yourself too hard. The pods are hot so listen to your body and don’t try and do anything you are not ready to do.

2. Drink lots of water! This is imperative as the pods do get very warm and you need to stay hydrated throughout and afterwards.

3. Go a few times to get used to it. Take a towel to cover your mat so you don’t slip. Breathe smoothly and steadily throughout so that you are calm and maintain energy. Know that everything the first time is always challenging but you will feel incredible after your first class – and everything becomes easy after a few classes.

By Sam

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