Top 5 Hot yoga benefits
1. Breathing. Conscious smooth and even breathing calms the mind, especially with focus on exhale. Managing our breath helps us manage how we respond to external and internal stimuli. Learning how to breathe correctly in yoga class supports and strengthens the core, as well as calming the mind. In the heat we especially cannot focus on anything apart from our practice.
2. Health benefits of Heat. The heated room helps the muscles and tissues relax, helping us safely increase our healthy, functional range of movement. The heart pumps more vigorously, the blood vessels dilate increasing the blood supply to all body parts, promoting the healing of damaged tissues. Another possible benefit is the activation of heat shock proteins which strengthen healthy cells by protecting cells against stress and injuries, and improving immunity.
3. Postural. When yoga asana (posture) and pranayama (breathing exercises for energy management) are well-designed in a logical and progressive order, change happens. The Original Hot Yoga sequence is a particularly well-balanced, shoulder and wrist-friendly sequence with powerful breathing exercises. Not only do we strengthen and tone muscle and tissue, including our heart muscle, breathing apparatus and internal organs, this effort in turn affects our nervous system and minds in a powerful and uplifting way.
4. Sweat benefits. When you sweat, dynorphins are released in an attempt to cool down, and you become more receptive to positive input. Sounds good! On another level, don’t overlook the psychological effects of the heat and the sweat which is experienced symbolically as a purifying and cleansing ritual.
5. Meditation in motion. Connecting with sensation, focusing on and moving with the breath, balancing engagement with relaxation and observing your practice, in the present moment without judgement makes your yoga practice mindfulness in motion.
(Copyright Hot Yoga Eindhoven 2016/ updated 2020)