HOT YOGA is something we've all heard of, but if we haven't yet experienced the hot stuff and the accompanying sweatiness (you'll get used to it, don't worry), chances are we'll be a little confused as to what's involved, and we'll no doubt have mixed it up with Bikram yoga at one point or another. Do they differ? And how does hot yoga differ from room temperature yoga? Is it something yoga newbies can try? For those whose interest has been piqued, or maybe those who've feared the idea of something seemingly intense, here we break down all the barriers of hot yoga, versing you in all you need to know ahead of your first (second or third) class, as well as clearing up any 'what it is/what it is not' confusion. A brand new addition under the hugely popular YOGA DUBLIN umbrella, a new studio in Rathmines will be opening soon!!
First thing's first. What is this 'hot yoga' we speak of?
Well, put simply, it's just yoga in a heated room. Shocking.
Gotcha. And how long does a HOT YOGA class last?
HOT YOGA by YOGA DUBLIN's classes are all going to be one hour long. And for those who like a bit of flexibility (oh yes, that's a yoga pun right there), we've got two types of classes - either a strong and dynamic flowing class or a slower flow, designed to allow you to go deeper and deeper into a selected series of postures. The majority of hot yoga classes elsewhere would be 90 minutes but we're different; for us, 90 minutes is a tad too long.
Delightful. Here's something we should really be aware of. How should we prepare beforehand and how should we recover afterwards, assuming we've survived?
Save these pointers, print them off and stick 'em on your fridge.
Before a HOT YOGA class:
- Hydrate - drink a lot of water throughout the day; you're going to sweat A LOT so your body will need more fluids than it normally would in a different type of exercise class.
- Watch what you eat - we recommend that you allow 2 hours between eating a light snack or 4 hours between eating a heavy meal and taking a hot yoga class.
- Have an open mind, strip away any expectations you carry of yourself. That one's important.
- Doing hot yoga requires a bit of adjustment; take a few moments after class to re-connect before rejoining the hustle bustle of the city. You'll be hella zen.
- Hydration after class is just as important. The water you consumed before class was most likely was sweated out during class, but think of all those cleared toxins!
- Laundry - Sweating so much requires doing laundry more frequently so either invest in a good washer/dryer, find a local laundromat or be very very nice to your mammy.
Or... we could always just buy MORE yoga gear. Is there anyone who should avoid hot yoga?
It really is for anyone and everyone; we encourage everyone to give it a try! But maybe not for those who've got an irrational aversion to sweating perfusely.
Hopefully they'll have stopped reading by now. So in terms of what we're doing in this hot room, how does it differentiate from other styles of yoga?
No yoga class is ever really the same (except for Bikram yoga where the same 26 postures are practiced in the same sequence at every class). Each yoga class is unique to the teacher and their style of teaching (and sometimes their mood that day). A good teacher makes all the difference! The difference with hot yoga is the heat - the heat allows your muscles to warm up quicker allowing you to get deeper into poses - getting a bigger stretch. The added heat makes it more challenging.
Exactly how hot are we talking?
Not as hot as Bikram which is 40°C but hot enough to make you sweat (typically over 30°C).
So is it normal to feel faint at first? Is there anything else we should expect?
Expect to sweat. Expect to have fun!
Everyone handles heat differently, it does take some people longer to adjust to the higher temperatures; it wouldn't be that normal to feel faint but that's not to say it never happens. The key is to listen to your body, always. If the heat's too much and you feel faint or lightheaded take time out in child's pose/balasana (remember, that's what it's there for) or leave the room, drink some water until you feel okay enough to join in again. Water is key! Lastly, don't feel compelled to do what the rest of the class is doing.
Is it possible to ease in gently?
Almost everything is hard the first time but after a bit of practice you'll really start to notice your improvement. Stay inspired by small shifts you see in classes and in the end you'll benefit from big results.
And that brings us nicely on to results. What are the benefits of hot yoga?
We could write a list as long as we could hold child's pose but here are a few:
- Builds strength and endurance
- Enhances physical performance
- Increases flexibility
- Improves posture and strengthens the back
- Strengthens your heart
- Creates longer leaner muscles
- Speeds up metabolism and curbs your cravings for unhealthy foods
- Enhances your balance
- Strengthens your mind
- Heals/ prevents injury/ chronic pain
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves mental clarity
- Helps you sleep deeply
- Expands your lung capacity and breathing control
- Gives you more energy
- Confidence booster
- Enhanced skin tone
Can you try hot yoga if you haven't really done much of any yoga before?
Absolutely. Hot Yoga is open to all levels of ability - those completely new to yoga and those who have been practicing for years. Do what you can and don't push yourself beyond your limits ... the trick is to listen to your body. It's not a competition. What is important is that you develop a practice that is safe, sustainable and feels good your body.
Where do we sign up?
Open date to be announced shortly....