BENEFITS OF THE HEAT:
Yoga was developed in India, a country that sustains relatively high temperatures year-round. In order to mimic that intended environment adequate external heat can be viewed as essential. The heated room initially serves to prevent injury until the practitioners learn to generate their own internal heat and gradually come to welcome the warm environment as a tool for enhancing flexibility and deepening an awareness of breath. Beyond the physical implications (as further described below), environmental heat acts as a powerful and tangible psychological force that compels students of all levels to overcome attachment to external distractions. This enhances the practice of meditation, considered the primary vehicle for self-realization in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
BURN FAT EFFECTIVELY/INCREASE METABOLISM:
Your heart rate will increase when activity is done in the heat which creates increased cardiovascular activity and quite simply will cause you to burn more calories quicker. Additionally, the heat increases metabolism levels and speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids. This helps to tone your body and lose weight. The result is the body will increase the ability to burn fat and increase metabolism.
Practicing yoga in a heated room stimulates the lymphatic system responsible for flushing out toxins from your system. This rids your body of harmful substances and makes it healthier. The hot and humid room makes your body sweat, which promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin, the body’s largest organ. Your capillaries will dilate in the heat oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands and organs and helping in the removal of waste products.
We have noticed that your daily intake of water often increases dramatically when you begin taking classes at Hot 8 Yoga and this will have a healthy flushing and cleansing effect on your body.
SAFE AND EASY STRETCHING AND OPENING MUSCULOSKELETAL STRUCTURES:
While the core temperature of your body may rise no more than a mere 0.5 degree during the course of one of our hot yoga classes, the superficial soft tissue structures, including the fascia, ligaments, muscles and tendons will warm up quickly and allow you to move further, more comfortably and more safely in all directions than while exercising in a cooler environment. The heat produces a fluid-like stretch allowing for greater range of movement. Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and will help you to go deeper into a yoga pose as the body becomes more flexible with less chance of injury. Moreover, the tendons and ligaments are lubricated, thereby increasing your strength, making you tougher and less prone to injury.
IMPROVED SPINAL INTEGRITY AND NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTION:
By moving the body and thus the spine into all ranges of motion, the student actively opens the vertebrae of the spinal column and strengthens the supportive muscle groups around the spinal column.
This ensures minimal spinal dysfunction that may result in nerve interference on the pathways between the brain and the body. A healthy spine allows you to enjoy optimal health and well-being. Your nervous system function is greatly improved by opening the joints of the spinal column and messages are carried more efficiently to and from your brain.
DEEPER PERFUSION OF BLOOD INTO TISSUES AND ORGANS:
The heat thins down the blood and allows it to perfuse deeply into body tissues and organs to facilitate healing. Stretching your muscles in the heat stimulates blood flow to different parts of the body, thereby encouraging circulation of blood and improving the functioning of the circulatory system. Increased blood flow also increases oxygen and nutrient content to different body parts thus invigorating various organs and systems.
MENTAL FOCUS AND DISCIPLINE:
While the practice may appear to be just physical activity, it is also a form of waking meditation. The hot environment demands a sharpening of your mental focus, concentration and determination during class.
Students notice an absence of distracting thoughts, during the class, as they concentrate on their breath, the posture, their image in the mirror and the guidance of the teacher.
Through the discipline to the practice of yoga comes the freedom of the mind. When one develops concentration it leads to meditation. Meditation still the modifications of the mind. Yoga Sutra 1.2 Yogash chittah vritti nirodhah- Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. One will notice from this practice less reactivity in our daily lives and the ability to be still in action, responding to life’s challenges with clarity.
RAPID HEALING FROM INJURY AND DISEASE:
There are certainly tremendous restorative benefits from the practice of any style of yoga, as the student combines conscious breathing with particular movements that stretch, strengthen and stimulate all body systems. The heated environment achieves these positive changes quickly in your body and mind and beautifully compliments any other style of yoga or exercise that you may perform.
The body raises its temperature while fighting an infection. Similarly, the raised temperature improves T-cell function, assists your immune system and reduces the chances of infection.