This is a contributed post about hot yoga by Phil Tucker with extremefitnessresults.com
Yoga’s popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Any given town now will have a handful of studios, with major cities boasting a dozen or more places to practice. From massive gyms offering their customers group classes to boutique studios offering personalized instruction, the options of locale are almost as varied as the number of different styles. Today, you can find a tailor made class just for you, but often we don’t know exactly what we want. One of the newest trends to take off is hot yoga, where the studio is heated to 95 degrees. Is this for you? What should you expect? In today’s post we take a look, and see if you should give this intense kind of yoga a try.
Quick note: hot yoga is different from Bikram, in that the first is heated to ‘only’ 95, while Bikram is taken to the next level and practiced at 105 degrees. I would advice you try a hot yoga class first before diving in a Bikram session, if only to prepare yourself for what’s coming.
What To Expect From Hot Yoga
So what should you expect from a hot yoga class? About ninety minutes of regular flow, but with an added element of intensity. The actual class itself should not be different from a regular class, but the addition of heat will make you supremely aware of your body and your breathing. Your mind will find it harder to drift, and you will find yourself grounded in your practice as you fight to remain composed.
This level of intensity is what makes it appropriate for some, and not others. If you are at the beginning of your practice and new to yoga, it might make a 90 minute class overwhelming. It is easy to become dizzy and out of breath in a hot yoga class if you’re not used to this level of exertion, so be prepared to take it easy and do a lot of Child Poses if you decide to try it early on in your yoga journey.
However, for more experienced practitioners, this level of grounding in your body can really help you break through plateaus. You will bring a whole new level of focus to your breath work, will find yourself supremely aware of your entire body, and this will translate itself into a more conscious practice.
Is Hot Yoga For You?
Is hot yoga for everybody? Yes. Anybody can do a class if they check their ego at the door, take a large water bottle, and are prepared to rest frequently. However, I believe the ones that will benefit the most are those who are ready to take their practice to the next level, and who will consequently benefit from hot yoga’s physical intensity.