Hot yoga also known as Bikram yoga is highly popular in North America. Bikram Chowdhry, of Indian origin has introduced hot yoga concept by modifying the original yoga with unique postures that are performed in a hot room of 37 degree Celsius. According to this 66 year old man, a person performing hot yoga for an hour in controlled temperature can easily burn his/her calories. This special kind of yoga postures would help in detoxifying the body and relieving the stress within you. Hot yoga is effective for treating several chronic problems like arthritis, knee injuries and backache.
In USA there is huge demand for hot yoga and people are finding it difficult to get their names enrolled in nearby a studio that conducts hot yoga. Here the teacher would not talk with you explaining about the moves. But they would rather walk through the moving postures and the conversation between you and the teacher are limited and they seriously follow the same script throughout the country. And be prepared for the sweaty smell that stinks.
Handling The Heat :
For the first few minutes inside the hot yoga classroom in winter months, you would feel comfortable with the temperature (37-38 degrees). But you need to remain there for 90 minutes stretching and contracting your body. You will soon start uncomfortable and you may be tempted to run out of the room. But trainers at Bikram yoga classes would advise you to sit down and concentrate on the asana. According to them, this is the only way to drive away the discomfort feeling. You will be asked to breath only through the nose and simply closing your mouth. And finally you will get adapted to the overpowering heat.
Stay Hydrated :
Teachers at hot yoga classes would ask you to drink enough water daily. It is good to drink at least 8-9 glasses of water splitting it evenly through the day. You are allowed to drink water during the class hours but remember that drinking too much of water may upset your stomach. It is quite common for many of the beginners to feel dehydrated during the first few minutes of the session, but you can make good by doing certain postures.
Plan Your Lunch :
Avoid eating two hours before your class starts. You cannot do yoga with full stomach. You will be contracting and expanding repeatedly to maximum extent and you may not do that with filled up stomach. So you can finish off your lunch at least 2 hours before the class. However you can eat a banana or half-an apple 15 minutes before class to boost up your energy. Again uncomfortable feeling differs on each person. People with flatulence and acidity cannot go with full stomach. Level of digestion power and acidity varies from one person to the other. Once the class is over you can always eat and drink something.
Be On Time :
It goes without saying that you should be in the classroom well in time and cannot give any excuse. You have to get dressed and settle down on the mat and get used to prevailing heat in the room.
Comfortable Dressing :
Wear light clothing that absorbs the sweat. You can wear shorts and sports bra. You can always choose the dress in which you can be comfortable. If you have any doubts, you can discuss this issue with your teacher after the classes.
Don’t Be Over Enthusiastic :
Do not force yourself. The postures of stretching and contracting can be done only on certain level if you are a beginner. Don’t push your muscles which can induce pain. It is enough if you try something in the first few days and slowly you can make progress in the posture. There is nothing wrong in having discomfort but you should not feel the pain while doing yoga.
Do Not Wipe The Sweat :
You need not have to worry about the pouring sweat due to heat. The defense mechanism of your body pushes the chemicals to secrete more and more sweat attempting to cool the body. Hence do not bother about the natural response of your body. You may not find time to do yoga if you keep on wiping the sweat from your face and body.
Bikram’s hot yoga is considered to purify your body by detoxifying the unwanted chemicals. Your body would release toxins automatically in the heat and extended posture. Hot yoga helps very much in flushing the toxins from the body. By pouring out sweat, you are not only losing water, but also important ions like sodium, potassium and ammonia. So, you need to be careful when you started feeling dizzy due to dehydration.
Weight Loss :
Hot yoga would lead to loss of weight. Here you are losing more of water ions from the body just by staying inside a hot room. Sweat begins to pour out automatically helping in weight loss.
Play Safe :
Though the instructors might tell you to stay inside the room, still you have to decide whether you can tolerate the heat and stay hydrated. They would divert your attention to focus on the posture instead of pounding heat. But if you are feeling really bad, walk out to take a break.
Improved Metabolism :
As one goes on doing certain posture in hot atmosphere, the body’s metabolism gets shoot up and you burn more calories. It also elevates the heart rate which in turn forces your system to work harder than before. Hot yoga is for people who wish to do intense workout to gain strength and flexibility of muscles.
Cures Asthma :
Hot yoga emphasizes the student to work in a hot room and obviously this clears off the mucus and phlegm in your lungs. You would be able to breathe more easily than before. Overall breathing condition is improved in hot yoga. Further it enhances your mental concentration also.
A Word Of Caution :
- It is alright if you are eager to join hot yoga. But consider several factors like your age, health condition and get concurrence from your doctor before paying money.
- You should not stretch beyond the limit and don’t exert yourself in doing yoga. This can cause ligament injury.
- And if you cannot tolerate the heat inside, walk out of the room.
- Women who are planning to get pregnant and pregnant women should not do hot yoga.
- People with chronic problems in joints, heart and diabetes should consult their doctor before joining the class.
- Hot yoga is not another kind of exercise, but is really intense workout done in a hot room.