*Image courtesy of www.bikramyogarichardson.com
When it comes to relaxing, one of my favorite ways to calm myself down and ease stress is by doing yoga. For hundreds of years, yoga has been used by different cultures to relax both the muscles and the mind. However, for fitness gurus the one downside of yoga is that it isn’t much of a workout. Doing a downward dog for 30 minutes isn’t exactly physically strenuous. Recently though, this has all changed with the expanding popularity of hot yoga – a type of yoga that not only relaxes the body and mind, but also burns calories.
Officially called “Bikram yoga,” hot yoga is a 90 minute program that consists of 26 different postures, all of which require well-controlled and forceful muscle contractions. The catch? This 90 minutes of yoga is spent in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40 percent.
*Image courtesy of www.dreamatico.com
If you aren’t a fan of sweating, hot yoga is definitely not for you, but the sweltering heat does have its many benefits.
- First off, heavy sweating is said to help flush out toxins from the skin, which helps detoxify the body.
- The intense heat relaxes the muscles and allows you to go more deeply and safely into the yoga positions.
- The intense heat causes your heart rate to elevate, which makes your body work harder and gives you a better workout.
- The heat also helps your body relax, helps improve your breathing, and forces you to focus your mind, which can give you a better overall yoga experience.
Sounds fantastic right? Even though hot yoga has its numerous benefits it also carries risks, including severe dehydration. It is recommended that if you are attending hot yoga, you drink A LOT of water throughout the day in anticipation (at least 2 liters). In addition, afterwards you should drink a fortified beverage such as Gatorade to replenish lost electrolytes.
Many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna swear by hot yoga and its benefits, and if you can embrace the sweat, you can too. It’s basically like doing yoga on a very humid tropical island, right?
*image courtesy of blog.spafinder.com
Check out this website to see where I got a lot of my information and to learn more about the benefits of hot yoga.
Happy Relaxing Everyone!