WHY IS THE ROOM HEATED?
- The heat protects muscles while allowing for deeper stretching. The warmer your muscles are, the more malleable they are. Heat makes your muscles more supple, allowing you to work deeper while avoiding injury.
- Sweating is a great way to detox our bodies: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin. Toxins – harmful chemicals that can come from food or water or from chemicals used to grow or prepare food – are processed by organs like the liver and kidneys and then eliminated through sweat (amongst other things). Many of us discover that we feel clean and refreshed a few weeks into our hot yoga practice – some would even say we glow.
- The heat stimulates your heart rate for a better cardiovascular workout. Heat and humidity help increase your heart rate, giving you a nice cardiovascular workout during your yoga class. In fact, you’ll find that the asanas (or poses), combined with the heat, will elevate your heart and respiratory rates to your target level. But, since dehydration can also increase your heart rate, please make sure to hydrate before coming to class.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED TEMPERATURE FOR HOT YOGA?
The recommended temperature for traditional hot yoga is minimum 105 degrees Fahrenheit and about 40% humidity. Because Vinyasa and fusion classes naturally help you build more internal heat, the studio is heated to approximately 95 degrees Fahrenheit and about 40% humidity. The room is kept at those temperatures to:
- Keep the body from overheating (evaporation of sweat causes the body to cool)
- Protect the muscles to allow for deeper stretching
- Detoxify the body (opening pores to let toxins out)
- Thin the blood to clear the circulatory system
- Increase the heart rate for better cardiovascular workout
- Improve strength by putting muscle tissue in optimal state for reorganization
- Reorganize the lipids (fat) in the muscular structure
I’VE HEARD YOU CAN FEEL DIZZY OR NAUSEOUS DURING YOUR FIRST CLASS. IS THIS TRUE?
It’s not unusual to feel nauseous or dizzy during your first couple of classes, or to experience headaches and sleepiness after. If you do feel sick in class, don’t let it scare you, but do take care of yourself: Sit down, drink some water, and watch some poses. We all have rough days in the hot room. Often when we have a tough class, it’s because our bodies are getting rid of junk they don’t need, like toxins.
That nauseous feeling is also frequently related to dehydration. Most of us just do not drink enough water. Everyone is different, but most people should drink at least three to four liters a day. Being well hydrated prior to class will help eliminate dizziness and nausea. Replacing the electrolytes that are lost through sweating (such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium) can also be helpful in preventing headaches and feelings of dizziness and nausea in class. Coconut water and Ultima Replenisher are great ways to replenish your electrolytes and help keep your body hydrated.
Once you are drinking enough water, your body will tolerate the temperature better and you will actually enjoy the heat. It has been said that, “Practicing yoga in a heated room reveals to us our present condition, and inspires us take much better care of ourselves.” That is one of the amazing things about hot yoga: it really does make us want to be more thoughtful about what we put into our bodies and how we treat them.
WILL I LOSE WEIGHT?
Hot yoga helps you find the right weight for your body. It is a unique workout – it allows you to safely work your muscles to their maximum, which means you’ll see results quickly. You’ll watch yourself lose inches and develop muscle tone and strength that might never come from other forms of exercise. If there’s weight to lose, you’ll lose it here. But you’ll also come to realize that it’s just as important to feel healthy, happy, and self-confident as it is to be a certain size or number on a scale.
No matter what your level of fitness, you will find hot yoga very challenging. Each posture combines flexibility, strength, and balance to work your whole body from your bones to your skin. If you practice regularly and you work hard, you will get results.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS?
There are numerous benefits to hot yoga. It promotes weight loss, reduces stress, increases blood circulation, and improves strength and flexibility. Regular practice (at least three times a week) can reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases (e.g. arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders).
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO CLASS?
Women should wear fitted workout clothes, such as shorts or leggings and a sports bra or tank top. Men should wear shorts or bathing trunks. Since the room is heated, you will want to wear something that you feel comfortable sweating in. No bikini bathing suits or underwear please. Practice is done barefoot – please make sure your feet are clean!
WHAT IF I HAVEN’T EXERCISED IN A LONG TIME?
We do not have separate classes for beginners and advanced students because the classes are so accessible to different body types and fitness levels.
They emphasize strength and stability of the spine and legs and improved cardiovascular and respiratory fitness. No one will ever be turned away or made to feel uncomfortable about any physical limitations. We invite you to talk to instructors before and after class about any injuries or concerns you have about your body.
HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK SHOULD I PRACTICE?
Many yoga teachers recommend that their students practice 10 times a month to get the most benefits from hot yoga, but there’s no real hard and fast answer to this question. Like anything else, the more you practice, the more results you see and feel. Unlike many other forms of exercise, you can’t really overdo yoga; in other words, your body doesn’t need to take days off to recover. You can practice every day, or you can practice as much as you like.
One final note: While we always do careful research about any information we offer to students, this site is not designed to substitute for professional health care. If you have more questions, please be sure to consult with your own health care provider about your particular situation and to receive individual guidance specifically designed for you.