>Hot Hot Heat

>A friend’s blog encouraged me to try hot yoga, something I always meant to give a shot but never got around to. A little over a month ago I finally went to my first class, and left with a new high that I didn’t get from regular (non-hot) yoga.

I was skeptical at first, having heard and read negative and cynical professional opinions about hot yoga. There are some good points: You shouldn’t practice hot yoga if you have hypertension (high blood pressure), strained muscles (to keep from furthering the injury or pushing yourself more than you should), if you’re dehydrated, if you’re pregnant, etc. All things considered, I can’t get enough.

The benefits of practicing hot yoga?

  • Your cardiovascular system gets a thorough workout.
  • Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and allow for greater flexibility with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and allow for greater flexibility with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury.
  • Sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin – which is the body’s largest eliminating organ.
  • Just as when your body raises its temperature to fight infection, the raised temperature in the room will assist in improving T-cell function and the proper functioning of your immune system.
  • Your body burns fat more effectively, fat may be redistributed and burned as energy during the class.

(Thanks to the Bikram yoga -founder of hot yoga in America- website for the facts.)

Yes, I still practice in the privacy of my home with no space heaters or humidifiers, and love my practice all the same. But there’s something about practicing yoga in a 90 degree room, sweating more than I knew I could, pushing myself to my edge, staying focused on my breath rather than the heat…I absolutely love it.

If you try hot yoga for yourself, remember to give yourself about a week to acclamate to the heat. Always take a towel with you, and clean your mat after each class to ward off germs and bacteria. Stay hydrated! Water is so important to your body, especially when practicing hot yoga.

I’d be willing to bet the professionals who don’t condone hot yoga have never tried it for themselves.

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