In recent years, hot yoga has become more and more popular in the fitness world for those wishing to try something new. Individuals can find themselves in rooms up to 100°F stretching and holding poses they didn’t know they could perform.
While the first practices of hot yoga date back to the 40’s, hot yoga has only recently become extremely popular. Anyone can benefit from yoga, but there is something about hot yoga that intrigues so many people. There are some that would have never considered yoga but are attending a hot yoga session with their friends.
But how does hot yoga differ from regular yoga? And more importantly, what benefits does it provide?
What Is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga simply refers to yoga that is performed in a hot room (duh). But there are several types of hot yoga, with bikram and vinyasa being the main two.
Bikram yoga was created in the 1970s by Bikram Choudhury. In each 90 minute class, students perform a series of 26 postures twice. The classes are fairly intense, and the room is heated to 105°F with 40% humidity. Bikram yoga is probably the most well-known variation of hot yoga.
Vinyasa yoga, on the other hand, is only about an hour long, and there isn’t a specific set of poses. The room is heated to low-mid 90s. Because of these features, Vinyasa yoga is the preference of many, especially beginners.
There are other types of hot yoga that range on the spectrum of difficulty. Baptiste power yoga, and other types of power yoga keep the body moving throughout the class, which gets the heart up and is more aerobic. Then there is hot yoga that doesn’t move the body much, such as yin or restorative yoga.
Compared to hot yoga, regular yoga is performed in room temperature and there are a large variety of types.
Does Hot Yoga Burn Calories
Any time you get your body moving, you will burn calories. So of course when you move more you burn more calories. That means yoga classes that have you moving around more provide a much better calorie burn and thus weight loss benefit.
That means you do burn calories during hot yoga. However, the added benefit of being in a heated room is that it speeds up your heart rate just being in there. The more your heart has to work the more calories you burn.
On average, women burn about 350 calories in one session of Bikram yoga, meaning it can create enough of a calorie deficit to promote weight loss.
Other Benefits of Hot Yoga
There are many other benefits of hot yoga besides working up a sweat and burning calories.
The other benefit of the heat is that it makes your muscles more pliable. Because your muscles are able to move much easier, individuals can increase their range of motion more than they normally would be able to.
Breathing in the hot air can actually help you breathe better. Over time, the breathing exercise will train your lungs. This means retaining more air, providing more precious oxygen to the body.
Get a Challenge
In order to keep your body cool, your heart pumps blood to your skin. Your heart pumps much harder just doing this, so this makes for a much harder yoga session.
The hot air can also help individuals focus, providing the perfect stress-relief. For those looking to get some extra relaxation and focus, hot yoga would be perfect.