Worries about obesity, overweight, fat and saggy abdomens are plaguing the minds of many. Being overweight will not only affect your look, but it will also bring many negative impacts on your health. Yoga has proven to be very effective for weight loss, especially the new trend in yoga: Hot yoga.
What is hot yoga?
Bikram yoga is also known as “hot yoga”. This type of yoga was created and made popular by the master of yoga – Bikram Choudhury. Bikram yoga consists of 26 poses practiced in 90 minutes in a room that is 35-40 degrees Celcius with 40 percent humidity. Bikram yoga consists of intermediate to advanced level exercise. Practitioners have to train in a very hot room to stimulate sweating. Working in a heated room also elevates the heart rate, which makes the body work harder. People who like hot yoga are very confident on the effect of this type of yoga on weight loss.
Hot yoga brings its own external heat source to heat up a room to around 40 degrees. But it’s important to mention that you produce your own internal heat when you exercise, and yes, you can consider yoga moderate exercise. Hot yoga uses static holds (and some flow), which means you are lengthening specific parts of the body depending on what pose you are in and then contracting other parts of the body to keep you stable, which means you are isometrically contracting the muscles that are keeping you stable. This contracting of muscle is similar to when you work out at a gym equipment, thus explained how yoga can tone the body.
Many people believe that the sweat and exercises help body detoxification. Body detoxification is the most noticeable benefits of hot yoga, but this yoga type also has an additional advantage in helping stretch muscles. When you are in a heated environment, your blood flow increases making you feel like you are more flexible than you really are. Warmer temperature also means that muscles will warm up faster, so you can practice yoga poses more at ease and try out more in-depth training than other types of yoga.
How to prepare for hot yoga
The key to enjoying hot yoga is to go in prepared. You have to be super aware of your own health.
Before going in the heated room, you should drink litres and litres of water throughout the day to prepare for the sweating about to happen. Try not to eat too much before doing hot yoga. You might want to wear clothing material with good sweat absorbency.
In addition to drink plenty of water before exercising, you should bring a water bottle to the gym to use when needed. You should bring your own yoga mat to ensure the best hygiene levels for yourself. In addition, many practitioners also use a towel on the yoga mat to absorb sweat and another to wipe the sweat.
After your yoga session, replenish lost minerals and electrolytes with a fortified drink, such as Gatorade, Emergen-C or coconut water, as sweating can reduce the amount of potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes in your body.
Is Bikram yoga suitable for everyone?
Unlike other types of yoga that most of people can practice, Bikram yoga is not suitable for pregnant women, since it can increase the temperature inside the body and affect the unborn baby. Those with heart problems should visit the doctor before beginning to practice a certain exercise, especially hot yoga.
If you are a beginner to yoga, your coach will advise you to stretch properly before trying out Bikram yoga. Due to the high temperature, excessive exercise is not advised as it can lead to a few complications. The temperature can lead to overheating, depending on tolerance and preferences of each person. You may lose water during exercise because sweating a lot, so you should drink plenty of water before and after exercise.
Recent research has shown that heavy sweating results in dehydration, decreased blood pressure, and increased heart rate. You may end up feeling weak, dizzy, and nauseated. If you ever have these symptoms you must get into an area of cooler temperatures to get the body back into homeostasis. If you don’t, it may lead to heat stroke that in most cases requires hospitalization.
For all of you athletes, keep yourself safe. Walk out if it’s too hot. Don’t surpass your sticking point. And lastly, do your homework. Find a yoga studio and instructor that are right for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.