I will be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a hot yoga-addict. My passion for the practice comes from a love of rejuvenating exercise and an appreciation of inner calmness. If you’re in the mood for an invigorating new practice, then hot yoga just may be for you. Alas, the top five reasons hot yoga is so hot.
1. Hot yoga is great workout!
Hot yoga is hard! Not only does each pose offer a significant strength challenge, but these poses are also done in quick succession, or flows, without recovery time, presenting a significant cardiovascular challenge. You will sweat A LOT. Your muscles will tremble. You will breathe heavily. Get ready for a workout that will rock your world.
2. Every class is different
You may have heard about how important variety can be to a healthy workout plan. Most experts agree, it’s important to surprise your muscles, because allowing them to get used to a specific routine will limit fitness results. Someone who has chosen hot yoga as his main form of exercise will NEVER have this problem. Each and every session of the mat will challenge you in some new way. No two classes are ever the same. If you’re not ready to commit to a regular yoga practice, taking a class from time to time is a great way to add variety into your pre-established fitness regimen.
3. Yoga is detoxifying
The feeling I get after an hour or more sweating it out on my mat is one of the purest, freest states of being I have ever experienced. My body feels lighter and less burdened. I am cleansed, physically and mentally. The deep stretches and twists of yoga – not the mention the sweat of a heated room – offer detoxification to the body, along with a great release of tension and stress. It’s addictive.
4. It promotes “mental toughness”
Yoga is very mental. Yoga teaches reliance on breath for strength and focus. It prompts yogis to breathe through trembling muscles and self-doubt and wandering minds, promoting inner clarity that can be very calming and peaceful (especially at the end of a difficult class). We rely on our breath even more in difficult hot yoga classes. Along with the almost therapeutic guidance of experienced teacher, this allows us to strengthen our focus and mental prowess, as well as our bodies.
5. Yoga reduces stress
Yoga is vital to my stress maintenance. The huge release of physically energy is a large reason for this. On a deeper lever, yoga’s focus on the present moment provides advice for stress management. Teachers constantly remind practitioners to “be here”, to focus on the current moment and let go of everything else. As you can imagine, this is very applicable in the real world, especially when dealing with stress. Yoga has taught me to handle my busy life more efficiently, productively and gracefully.