Hot Yoga is nothing but yoga performed under hot and humid conditions. The temperature for this kind of practice generally ranges between 90℉ and 105℉ and varies from studio to studio. Probing a little into its history, this form of yoga was first started by a person named Bikram Chaudhary. He started a practice consisting of 26 yoga poses in a room heated to 104 df and 40% humidity. Today, we have many studios offering their own versions of hot yoga.
(P.S.- A lot of people use the terms ‘hot yoga’ and ‘Bikram yoga’ interchangeably, but they are not the same. Bikram yoga is one of the types of hot yoga)
What to wear for hot yoga?
It is a good idea to wear tight-fitting leggings and a tank top or a sports bra for the workout. Avoid loose tops that tend to fall down during inverted poses like the downward dog. Also, stick to moisture-wicking fabrics to help you stay drier. A lot of people believe in wearing booty shorts for the hot yoga session, but I completely disagree. When I tried wearing them once, my legs constantly kept slipping due to the sweaty skin. It was one of my worst workout experiences. Another thing to avoid is 100% cotton fabrics. They absorb sweat and get pretty heavy by the end of your practice.
Use a bandana or a headband, if you tend to sweat a lot. It will absorb the sweat and prevent it from reaching your eyes.
What gear to carry for a hot yoga session?
- A non-slip yoga mat– Hot yoga leads to a lot of perspiration, and thereby increases the possibility of slipping during the practice. A good quality yoga mat, with a rough texture, gives a good grip throughout the class. I prefer using a jute mat for hot yoga. It is organically rough and eco-friendly. Buy one for yourself here.
- A towel to place on your mat if you’re slipping a lot – Another hack to avoid slippage, is placing a non-skid towel on your mat. It will take care of the excessive sweating and give you a good grip.
- A bottle of water– You are going to lose a lot of water during the practice. Hydrate yourself well before and during the session.
- A change of clothes– Irrespective of taking bath at the studio or home, you will need to change before you leave from your class; unless you want to go home dripping all the way from top to bottom.
Benefits of hot yoga
- You burn more calories due to a raised heart rate and increased metabolism.
- Improved bone density- A scientific study conducted in 2014, claims that people, especially women, who practiced hot yoga for 5 years had improved bone density and were less prone to menopausal osteoporosis.
- Improved skin health– Heat tends to improve blood circulation to the skin, nourishing it with all the oxygen and nutrients; making it glow from within.
- Increased flexibility- With better blood circulation, muscles are well-oxygenated, improving its tone and flexibility.
Safety Tips For Hot yoga:
- Hot yoga is not for everybody– If you’re intolerant to heat, or suffer from some pre-existing systemic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure problems, heart abnormalities or other similar conditions, it is a good idea to check with a health professional if you’re eligible for this activity.
- It is widely agreed that pregnant women should opt for normal yoga over hot yoga for safety reasons.
- Be prepared for some stink when you practice intense yoga in a room with 20 people sweating like a pig. You will eventually get used to it, but for first-timers, this is going to be an added challenge.
Have you tried out hot yoga? If yes, do let us know about your experience in the comment section below. Also, check out your choice of hot yoga accessories here.