Hot yoga like Bikram is practiced in a studio heated to around 105 degrees, which sounds great for those cold Winter months, but when the temperatures rise, who wants to be stuck indoors without the A/C? Sweating it out in a heated studio with dozens of similarly glistening strangers may sound like the exact opposite of what you'd want to do.
But, practicing hot yoga during the Summer months can help acclimate you to the season's heat, and even arm you with proper coping tools when things get too unbearable (just close your eyes and breathe like you're in the studio, or try a kneeling or seated pose that lowers your head to help lower your heart rate). Also, without the large difference between the temps outside and inside the studio, you'll be able to warm up faster once you get to class.
No matter what the season, some people can't imagine sweating it out in a hot room for so long, least of all when the weather outside is perfect for a dip in the pool. It's important to remember that proper fueling and hydration are especially important when just walking outside in the stifling heat makes you fatigued (try eating something two to three hours before class and drinking at least four liters of water the day of class to help prevent feeling dizzy or nauseous).
Has the Summer weather got you in the mood for hot yoga? Read on to learn all about it!
- Why do it? There are many benefits to taking a hot yoga class. The higher temperature not only helps loosen your muscles to give you more flexibility, a 60-minute class can equal serious calorie burn (around 500 calories for a 150-pound woman). However, don't sign up for a hot yoga class with visions of melting away the pounds in the same way you would with a cardio workout; many times, it's water weight that's shed, which you'll gain back as soon as you rehydrate). But Bikram is amazing for toning all the areas of your body.
- What to wear: Tight fitting, moisture-wicking clothes are your friends in a hot, sweat-inducing yoga studio. In fact, you may want to wear pants instead of shorts to a hot yoga class, even when the outside temps heat up, because pants will help absorb sweat and keep you from slipping out of certain positions.
- What to bring: There's nothing worse than trying to focus on a pose only to keep slipping because of all the sweat dripping off your body. If you decide that hot yoga is right for you, invest in a slipless towel that you can lay over your mat while you practice. And don't forget your water bottle!
Do you practice hot yoga during the Summer?