“If you can imagine yourself on a tropical island with no breeze, you will start to get the picture”. -Meredith Dault
Hot yoga was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. I had always wanted to check it out but managed to convince myself that my cardio and weight regime at the gym was far better than yoga. Because of my ignorance towards yoga, I felt both uneasy and excited to give it a try.
Long story short, I did give hot yoga a try and really liked it. Aside from the fact that I almost died of heat stroke after an hour and a half in a 41 degree room, I felt surprisingly energetic and rejuvenated afer leaving the class. Because I enjoyed it so much, I was eager to purchase a few passes to go again. It was only after i bought these passes that i wondered, “is hot yoga even healthy for you?” My curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to look into some of the health benefits (and not-so-beneficial aspects) of hot yoga.
Aside from the fact that Meredith Dault, writer of Best Health magazine, described feeling like “a melting glacier trying to resist global warming” in a Moksha hot yoga class, she does go on to speak about the wonders of hot yoga.
Both Dault and many others rave about detoxification and how heavy sweating flushes toxins from the skin (they aren’t kidding when they say you sweat a TON). Although sweating may be the obvious benefit, hot yoga also allows muscles to stretch deeper into postures, strengthens the immune system and increases cardiovascular capabilities–to name a few. Additionally, hot yoga, or any type of yoga for that matter, can work wonders for the mind. If you are stressed, or just need to get your mind off things, yoga is definitely for you. I found it nearly impossible to think about anything other than my breathing and holding a particular pose.
Although I also (inevitably) came across some negative and cautionary words about hot yoga, I would encourage everyone to try it at least once. If you are seriously thinking about trying it, I would recommend that you find a place that offers 1-hour classes. Yes, I felt amazing after my hour and a half class, but I think as a first-timer, an hour would have been plenty.
First time hot yoga-ers, don’t forget a towel, your short shorts and your water. Oh, and Namaste!