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3 Big Benefits of Practicing Hot Yoga

By Genevieve Cunningham

There are a ton of different versions of yoga out there, and if you’re in the fitness world at all, you’ve probably heard of quite a few. Vinyasa, Hatha, and Yin are among the most popular. But one form of yoga that is catching steam (literally!) is Bikram, or hot yoga. This practice is performed in a sweltering room with high temps and high humidity. If that sounds a little crazy, you’re not alone. Many are a little intimidated by the practice, but as it turns out, hot yoga brings some big benefits to your health. If you’re interested in checking out this niche yoga, take a look at these great reasons to give it a try.

You’ll Really Sweat

Hot yoga is, well, hot! Really hot. Even though the moves are relatively slow and you won’t do much cardio, you will definitely sweat. It’s so hot and humid in the room, even minor movement will have you dripping from every pore. Your first visit will likely surprise you, as standing and posing might make you lightheaded. But this sweating is actually a good thing. It helps detox the body, burn fat, and move your body toward a better physique. Just make sure that you hydrate and take it slow until you get used to the temperature and humidity in the room.

You’ll Deepen Your Flexibility

The great thing about heat is that it makes your muscles more flexible. And what could be better for yoga than deep stretching? You may notice that the heat and humidity in the room allows you to stretch deeper than you ever have before. Your muscles and ligaments will be able to relax in the high temps, which then allows you to relax into each movement. Just be careful. Because the stretching will come so easily, there’s a heightened risk of injury. Push yourself, but not too hard or too quickly. Over time, you’ll find that the flexibility sticks around a bit even when you’re not in the midst of class.

You’ll Improve Your Breathing

Hot yoga forces you to learn to breathe. If you don’t use deep, slow breathing that corresponds with each move, you’ll probably pass out. The first few classes will probably send you into child’s pose for a quick rest multiple times throughout the class period. But don’t panic. Over time, your lungs will expand and you’ll get used to the breathing technique. After a few classes, you may make it all the way through without having to pause or catch your breath at all.

Hot yoga is a great exercise. It requires self-discipline, dedication, massive effort, and yet still allows you to relax and feel refreshed by the end. Go ahead and find a class and give it a try. You may find that it suits your needs perfectly and helps you get closer to your end goals for a fit body and better health.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pasadena, Calif.

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