What is this hot yoga you’ve been hearing about and is it something you should try? And are hot yoga classes even being offered during the pandemic? Well, you are probably already familiar with yoga, the spiritual fitness craze that has inspired people everywhere to don their Lululemons while out and about, regardless of whether or not yoga was on the menu for that day, latte in hand. Okay, so maybe that’s a broad generalization, but you’ve probably seen the type — nothing wrong with that; those stretchy yoga pants are just so darn comfy and look more put-together than sweats!
So, what does this hot yoga have to offer that conventional yoga does not?
What is Hot Yoga?
First, let’s look at what hot yoga actually means. Unlike the comfortably moderate temperatures found in a typical yoga class, hot yoga turns up the heat – literally and figuratively! The temperature of a hot yoga class tends to range between a balmy 80 and 100°F. For some, this sounds nice and cozy, but just wait until you start moving your body … you’ll be breaking a sweat in no time! So why would someone want to roast themselves while in downward dog?
Hot Yoga = Happy Muscles
Think of it this way – when you get a massage, it’s done in a warm room and sometimes on a heated table. The purpose of this is to warm up your muscles so that they will be more relaxed and pliable. The massage therapist is able to get deeper into your muscles to help them release tension and improve your range of movement. The same holds true for your muscle when you’re working out.
It’s important to get your muscles warmed up to increase your flexibility and decrease your susceptibility to injury. If you find that your muscles are often too tight and it’s making some yoga postures too uncomfortable or completely inaccessible to you, you may want to look into a hot yoga class.
Hot Yoga Offers Impressive Calorie Burn
Of course, any type of physical movement burns calories and yoga is no exception. But, hot yoga really cranks up the burn, enabling you to blast through over 200 calories an hour. If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, calorically speaking, hot yoga will definitely get you the results you’re looking for.
Hot Yoga Can Lead to Increased Strength
If lifting weights is not your thing, you can still get the benefits of strength training through hot yoga. A 2008 study found that participants were able to significantly improve their leg strength by taking part in three weekly sessions. This is due to the intense muscle contractions that make up this sweaty yoga practice.
Hot Yoga is Beneficial to Your Overall Fitness
Hot yoga can be a great way to improve your overall fitness. The combination of high calorie burn and muscle strengthening may also help you lose fat. Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. It’s a win-win! Also, the practice has been found to have a calming effect, deeming it excellent for stress relief. And who doesn’t need some of that?
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Hot Yoga Classes
As with everything else in the world, the pandemic has affected how hot yoga classes will proceed. If you are hesitant to give this toasty form of yoga a try because you’re uncertain about new procedures in place, I’ll give you a rundown of some of the possible changes you may see so you’ll have an idea of what to expect.
To accommodate hot yoga classes, here are some of the changes yoga studios may be implementing:
- You may need to bring your own yoga mat and props. For sanitation reasons, your local studio may not allow rentals at this time.
- Class sizes will be limited according to what is currently allowed in your state. Yoga studios will need to allow enough space for social distancing.
- Depending on your state, you may need to wear a mask at all times, unless you are on your yoga mat.
- You may need to pre-register to take a class. This will help enforce the limited class size.
As long as you are feeling healthy and not exhibiting symptoms of illness, feel free to sign up for a hot yoga class and see what it’s all about. If you’re new to yoga, you can find an inexpensive yoga mat and props online or at your local discount store. This can help keep the costs down until you’re sure you’re ready to make a commitment to the practice. Once you’ve decided you love it, you can make the investment in a better mat. Trust me, once you have tried a high-quality yoga mat, you’ll never want to go back.
Find a Local Hot Yoga Class
Ready to give it a try? Check out this hot yoga directory curated by the Original Hot Yoga Association to find a class in your area. You can also do a search for “hot yoga near me” on Google. Be sure to check each studio’s website for the most current procedures in place.