People today are well aware of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. They understand that they need a fit and healthy body to live a better life. A healthy body improves mental health, promotes happiness and makes us more productive in our daily regimes.
As part of the daily fitness regime, people look towards exercising and other physical activities to shed those extra pounds and maintain their body shape. However, losing the excess and stubborn weight can end up being a bit of a challenge.
Even with regular exercise and change in diet, some people find it extremely hard to cut down on the excessive fat. A lot of people try very hard and follow strict exercise regimes, but get fed up after a while when they do not see any considerable improvements or results.
Yoga is an effective form of exercise that can help in cutting down stubborn fat. It is a bit harder to do than your regular exercises, but certainly provides more flexibility to the body and stretches the muscles to the limit due to its wider range of motion. This can help in cutting down fat.
Hot Yoga is a type of Yoga that is even more challenging and targets your body fat. It primarily aims at quickly reducing the stiff body. If you are wondering what exactly is Hot Yoga, where did it originate, where does its name come from, how it is different from regular Yoga and does it have any additional benefits?
Let's discuss these questions and try to understand Hot Yoga better and also conclude whether Hot Yoga can help you lose weight as quickly as it is claimed.
What is Hot Yoga and How is it Different from Yoga?
Hot Yoga refers to doing yoga in a room in which the temperature is set to be between 80 to 100 Fahrenheit. It is more or less similar to regular Yoga and includes the same poses as well. Even the benefits from Hot Yoga are mostly similar to regular yoga, i.e. improved mental health, flexibility, increase in strength, etc.
The only major difference between both types of yoga is that regular yoga might be done in an open space or a normal room. But Hot Yoga can only be done in a room where the temperature is adjustable. The purpose of the added heat is to make the conditions more challenging and yield better results.
Hot Yoga is sometimes also confused with Bikram Yoga, so much so that people even use their names interchangeably. However, these two are different from each other. Bikram Yoga, named after its founder Yogi Bikram Choudhury, has stricter rules than Hot Yoga. It requires the room temperature to be strictly set at 105 F and 40 percent humidity to be maintained. It consists of 26 specified poses and is done in a quiet place.
Hot Yoga meanwhile is much more flexible. The room temperature is still increased, but it can be maintained if you like it. You are allowed to do any pose of your choice, light music is played in the room, and interaction amongst all participants is promoted.
Where does the name Hot Yoga come from?
The initial traces of Hot Yoga were initiated in Japan, as early as the 1960s. The founder of Bikram Yoga, Bikram Choudhury used to teach yoga in Japan and was very inspired by people using saunas there. It was this inspiration that motivated him to experiment with heaters in his yoga room.
Bikram Yoga became extremely popular in the 1970s. Later on, it became more flexibly adopted across the world and is today widely known as Hot Yoga. Although Bikram Yoga is still preached and practiced with its specific rules, those who are looking for flexibility and modern approach opt for Hot Yoga. Some people even insist that the hot temperatures are sought to replicate the general heat and humidity in India, the land where yoga was created.
How does Hot Yoga help in losing weight?
Hot Yoga is aimed at increasing the body’s flexibility to easily do the yoga poses, and in turn burn calories to aid in the weight loss process. Most of us do the traditional warm-up before starting any form of physical activity or exercise. It is done because heated muscles are more flexible and less prone to any injury.
Hot Yoga uses the same theory, and the heat in the atmosphere warms up your muscles, making it easier to stretch. The difficult looking Yoga poses become much easier to do with the heat and is great especially for the beginners. The increased stretchability and a wider range of motion help in burning out stubborn fat as well.
It has been observed that a person weighing somewhere around 160 pounds generally loses up to 183 calories doing yoga for an hour. However, when the heat is added, then the loss in calorie rises by multiple folds. A recent study found out that a one and a half-hour session of Hot Yoga can result in a loss of up to 460 calories for men and 330 calories for women.
This mammoth increase in the number of calories lost upon the addition of heat to the yoga sessions is a clear and stark reminder of the fact that Hot Yoga is one of the best methods of losing weight. However, that’s not it, and Hot Yoga has multiple other benefits as well. Here are a few of them.
What are the other benefits of Hot Yoga?
1. Helps to reduce stress/depression and improve mental health
Yoga is one of the best and natural ways to deal with stress. It is not just a random claim but is scientifically backed as well. A recent study conducted in 2018 has concluded that adults who indulged in doing Yoga had significantly reduced stress levels as compared to when they started.
Apart from this, the Americal Psychology Association has also highlighted Hot Yoga as one of the best techniques for fighting with depression and improving mental health. Its positive impact also helps people to significantly improve their overall health, and as such, live a better quality life going ahead.
2. Helps in reducing blood sugar levels
Hot Yoga is a blessing for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Although any type of exercise or physical activity can help in reducing sugar levels in the blood, Hot Yoga generally has a better impact due to the extreme atmosphere and difficult routines.
It improves the tolerance of glucose in the blood, and that further helps in keeping diabetes in check and allowing patients to have a healthy and quality life.
3. Helps in cleansing and nourishing the skin
Due to the high temperature and difficult postures involving high flexibility, you experience intense sweating while doing Hot Yoga. This is the motive of the program as well, and besides aiding in calorie burn, sweating also allows for improved blood circulation.
This improved circulation brings in additional oxygen as well as nutrient-rich blood to the cell of the skin. This further nourishes the skin from the inside and also assists in reducing the harmful toxins that accumulate to cause skin problems.
4. Boosts your cardiovascular health
It has been observed in a study that one session of hot yoga makes your heart pump at the same rate as it would after a brisk walk at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour. This extra challenging workout improves the functioning of muscles, heart, and lungs.
It also has a considerably good impact on your metabolism, and all this combined improves your cardiovascular health and protects you from cholesterol-related heart diseases.
What are the Risks and Precautions needed for Hot Yoga?
Although Hot Yoga has a lot of advantages, it involves some risks as well. You need to be extra careful and take precautions wherever needed to avoid any untoward incident. Mentioned below are some of the possible risks associated with Hot Yoga, and some of the precautions you could take to avoid these risks.
Risk – Dehydration
Due to the high temperature and humid atmosphere, dehydration is very common for those who indulge in practicing Hot Yoga. The body loses a lot of water in the form of excessive sweat, and that can result in dehydration pretty quickly.
The best precaution to prevent yourself from dehydration is to consume water in small amounts before and during the session. You can drink alkaline water since it gets absorbed quickly and recharges your energy levels faster than regular water. You can buy a DYLN Bottle and carry it along to your Hot Yoga sessions. The bottle has a VitaBead Diffuser at its base that converts regular water into alkaline water. By increasing its pH level. This way you can consume alkaline water whenever you need it.
Risk – Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Another potential risk with hot yoga is that people with pre-existing medical conditions might aggravate their issue if they are not careful. People suffering from issues such as heart disease, respiratory problems, history of fainting, and arterial abnormalities need to be consciously aware of the difficult conditions of Hot Yoga.
If your conditions are severe, then you should avoid hot yoga and indulge in activities that won’t aggravate your condition. However, if you feel that your condition is manageable, you should discuss it with your doctor first and do Hot Yoga as instructed.
Risk – Dizziness, Nausea
Dizziness and nausea are again very common risks associated with hot yoga. The reason for this again is the intensely hot and humid conditions. Even the healthiest people can suffer from this while doing hot yoga.
The best precaution against dizziness and nausea is whenever you start feeling dizzy or nauseous, immediately stop the session and go out in an open space with fresh air. Use your DYLN Bottle to drink alkaline water and recharge your energy. Rest in a cooler environment until you start feeling better.
Risk – Heat Intolerance
Heat Intolerance is another risk that is commonly associated with hot yoga. As we discussed above, the temperature in hot yoga can range from 80-105 degrees Fahrenheit, and it could be too much to tolerate for some people.
If you have faced heat intolerance issues in the past or face it for the first time in a session, do not continue. It will do your body more harm than good. So the best option for you will be to stay safe and continue doing regular yoga at normal room temperature.
Yoga is an ancient practice that is followed by millions of people across the globe. It is renowned for improving both the physical health as well as mental health. But if you want to do Yoga for weight loss, then hot yoga might be the best fit for you.
Done in hot and humid conditions, Hot Yoga ensures that the stubborn fat is targeted and a lot of calories are burnt in every session, which eventually increases the weight loss rate. Besides, it also brings you many more benefits including mental health improvement like regular Yoga.
True, Hot Yoga might not be for everyone as it has multiple potential risks for various segments of people, however, if your body allows it and you can step up a notch from regular Yoga, then enroll yourself for a Hot Yoga session now and lose weight rapidly.