Sure, there’s nothing like a relaxing, restorative yoga flow to chill you out from a stressful day. But would you ever trade that in for a heated yoga class?
Hot yoga is done in a room that’s heated to anywhere between 85 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit—and if you think that sounds high, well, you’re right. But with the increase in temperature comes an increase in the benefits of hot yoga. Here are a few of the upsides you’ll enjoy from sweating (and we mean really sweating) on your mat.
Not only is the temperature up in a hot yoga class, but the humidity is rising as well and can be between 40 and 60 percent in the studio. And while that heat and moisture might have you discreetly sniffing your armpits to make sure your deodorant is working (hey, we’ve all done it), the plus side is that your muscles can expand and contract to greater limits. So if you’re working on getting your forehead to the ground in full pigeon, a hot yoga class might help you get those extra few inches. But be careful not too bend *too* far; sometimes, the heat can cause you to overdo the stretch a little bit, so be mindful of your body’s limits.
Dewy, Glowing Skin
You might be worried that sweating a ton will clog your pores, but it’s actually the opposite. A healthy dose of sweat will clear out your pores, cleansing them and releasing any buildup.
Plus, whenever you flow on your mat, you’re raising your heart rate and increasing circulation to your skin’s surface. Translation: you will GLOW. Adding heat to your workout increases circulation more than doing the same workout in a non-heated room. So go ahead, turn that temperature up(dog).
Burn More Calories
Of course, any type of movement and physical activity is good for your overall health, but one of the biggest benefits of hot yoga is an increased caloric burn when compared to a non-heated yoga class. The hot room makes even a simple Warrior II pose feel tougher, which cranks up your heart rate.
But remember, starting hot yoga might be a little bit of a shock to your body. Drink plenty of water before, during and after class, and always take breaks when you feel like you need them. And as a sign of goodwill towards the other yogis in class, we recommend opting for a sweat-activated deodorant that can stand up to the highest heat.
Increase Your Mindfulness
In regular workout classes, it’s easy to zone out and think about what you’re going to have for dinner after class. But in hot yoga, the intense temperature forces you to focus on your breath and stay present in each movement. Hot yoga classes lean into that built-in mindfulness, and instructors remind you to focus on your breath more than in regular classes, making hot yoga a great choice if you’re in the mood for some self-care time.
A Greater Sense of Accomplishment
Picture this: the instructor calls you up from your final savasana, and as you wipe down your mat and roll up your (drenched) towel, you feel every single muscle in your body hang heavy and loose. You’re totally exhausted—but you did it. That feeling of accomplishment and euphoria will carry through to the rest of your day, putting you in that can-do mindset and setting you up for success in whatever the day throws at you.
Hot yoga is tough, no doubt about it. But with the right mindset and a little preparation (and a LOT of deodorant, TBH), you’ll flow hard and enjoy all the benefits of hot yoga.
Ready to try hot yoga? Don't forget to apply sweat-activated deodorant beforehand.
Written by Kristen Geil