The trends in the sports world come and go, but Yoga is probably the only one that has lasted so long in time. Original from India, it has been practiced for almost 5000 years. Nowadays, Yoga has evolved, developing new ways and forms to practice it, leaving its original way, the Hatha Yoga, behind and focusing on other ramifications.
Hot Yoga, also known as Bikram Yoga due to its creator, Bikram Choudhury, is a new way of Yoga that is increasing its popularity each day that passes. Is an adaptation of the Hatha Yoga techniques that became popular in the 70s. This practice refers to a series of exercises under hot and humid conditions.
All Bikram Yoga classes are imparted by certified Bikram masters. To obtain the certification, they have to do an intensive workout approved by Bikram Choudhury himself for 9 weeks. Also, the trainers have to recite the Bikram dialogue while he is sitting in front of them in every workout session.
All Hot Yoga classes follow the same routine. These consist in the same sequence of 26 moves of traditional Yoga, including two breathing exercises. The classes are 90 minutes long. Hot Yoga is practiced in a warm room with a temperature of 40.6 oC and with a humidity of 40%. The heat range can be modified according to each individual, existing Hot Yoga classes imparted under just 37 oC.
The purposes of the hot environment are varied. These depend on the trainer or the specific practitioner. Some people say that one of the purposes of the warm and humid conditions is to imitate the Indian weather, where Yoga was invented.
The truth is that the warm environment helps to prevent injuries while doing the moves. It also helps your muscles to expand and contract beyond their limits, increasing your flexibility. High temperatures are able to warm up the muscles, allowing you to work out all the structures of your body. These conditions also increase the mobility of the muscles and tendons, improving its flexibility during and after the Yoga session. The high temperatures could have therapeutic benefits for existent injuries too.
The external heat helps to detoxify your body through the sweat. The increase of the temperature allows the skin cells to have more blood circulation around them, increasing the elimination of toxins through the skin.
Joe Rogan, long time UFC Commentator, Taekwondo & BJJ Black-belt, and Host of the #1 Podcast- Joe Rogan Experience posted on Instagram recently, "Out of all the exercises I do, yoga is the one where after I am done I always think I goota to do more of this shit. 90 minutes of hot yoga does more than workout my body, it purges my mind of stupid thoughts"
Many people think practicing Hot Yoga offers more benefits for your heart than the traditional one due to a process called vasodilation, but this is not true. A study made by scientists from the Texas State University in San Marcos revealed that practicing Yoga without heat has the same benefits than the one with it.
You need to have in mind that in these classes you will sweat a lot and that it is not recommended to dry your sweat with a towel during it, because using a towel will close your pores, interrupting the process of detoxification. If you dry your sweat, your skin has to do all the work to produce it again. Do not feel shame if you sweat a lot. Remember, everyone in the room will be sweating as much as you, or even more.You need to know some things before going to a Bikram Yoga class for the first time. First of all, you need to hydrate yourself pretty well the day before. Is convenient to drink at least 10 glasses of water. After the class, you must avoid eating too much. Also, you have to make sure to recover all the lost minerals drinking a fortified drink like Gatorade or coconut water.
Hot Yoga is contraindicated for people with heart problems and for pregnant women because all the physical effort and the warm climate could be too much for them to handle. Is always a good idea to ask your doctor before taking the class.
Nowadays, there are many types of Hot Yoga classes with a variety of temperature and other components. For example, Moksha Yoga, which was created in Toronto, adds different environmental components to its Hot Yoga classes. You just need to find which one fits you the most and which temperature you are capable of handling.