Yoga in a super-hot room? You must be crazy. Why practice yoga in a hot room? I get this question all the time. And I’ve found there are almost as many answers as there are questioners.
Some people just like to sweat (and trust me in this hot yoga will make you sweat). But for other people, the idea of having your clothes dripping off of you may seem, well ... gross. I say don’t knock it until you try it a few times. If you haven’t tried it, then you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot (except for an hour and maybe a pound or two of sweat).
Here are a few more reasons to give hot yoga a try:
Reason One: Baby, it’s cold outside.
It’s winter in Minnesota, people. Cold is an inevitable truth of our great state. For at least 6 months a year, the hot yoga heat should feel pretty good and let you shed your down jacket, relax and drop your shivering shoulders from your ears.
Reason Two: It’ll do your heart good.
Practicing yoga in a hot room is a great way to add cardio to your workout without the high impact on joints that activities like running can cause. Cardio boosts your lung capacity, makes your heart stronger, burns calories, and increases circulation. As if this weren’t enough, the heat loosens up your muscles, allowing you to greatly improve flexibility.
Reason Three: Beats the heck out of dieting.
Many people find hot yoga improves their eating habits. They see a general improvement in diet as their bodies start to crave healthier foods—sometimes without even realizing it. It just makes sense. A banana and a spoonful of peanut butter is going to sit much better than a fast food hamburger when you head into a hot yoga session. And you’ll end up drinking more water to hydrate for class and to rehydrate after class. The more water the better.
Reason Four: The Few. The Proud.
The Hot Yogis. Hot yoga is mentally challenging. It’s not always easy. Some days are darned hard. But when you finish an hour of hot yoga, the feeling is amazing. Hot yoga challenges you to shut down that voice in your head—the one saying “You can’t do that. This is too hard. Stop.” Eventually, this ability to quiet the negative chatter will manifest itself elsewhere in your hectic world. The intense focus slows the chatter in your mind. You leave class feeling less preoccupied and more present. The pressure eases a bit. That deadline at work or that baby who won’t go to sleep become easier to manage.
These are just a few of the benefits hot yoga has brought to my life. While I’m sure that you’ll feel some of the same things too. That said, there’s only one way to know what hot yoga can truly do for you. Try it.
Brigitte Koepke is the Co-Founder and Lead Instructor at Fusion Yoga, located at Diffley and Lexington in Eagan.
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