On the surface, it may seem that practicing yoga in a 100 degree environment will always yield the same environment. However, nothing could be further from the truth and when you step into an infrared hot yoga studio you will immediately notice it’s a far cry from the stuffy forced-air heated studio.
Yahoo Health editor Molly Shea recently explored infrared yoga in her article “3 New Yoga Trends: How do they stack up?”
See what she had to say below
I’ve suffered through my fair share of stifling hot yoga classes, the kind that leave you exhausted and a little dizzy from the combination of sweat and stale air. So I was pretty excited to try NYC-based Y7 studio’s infrared yoga, which promised a new kind of heat that warms objects, rather than the air, by using sun-mimicking technology. It’s still hot yoga, but instead of using radiators or space-heaters, the studio is decked out with full-spectrum infrared heaters. I checked the class out on an early Sunday morning (after a late Saturday night, if you catch my drift…), and before the class was even halfway through, I was twisting and balancing like a gymnast. By the end of the class, my headache and general blurriness had faded.
According to Y7 co-founder Mason Levy, those benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Proponents claim infrared heat treatment (the same kind Jennifer Aniston likes in her sauna) can help the body burn more calories, reduce stress by lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, relieve muscle pain, and improve skin tone. While there isn’t a lot of research to back up most of these purported claims, Idid come out of the class feeling calmer.
The coolest part, though, was that while I certainly felt heated and bendy as I flowed through various Vinyasa poses, I was never drenched with salty sweat in the same way I am after a normal heated session. Rather, when I toweled off after class, I found more of a dewy, slightly oily film on my face and body, which Levy attributes to infrared’s style of heating: “It heats objects, rather than the room, so there’s no air blowing on you,” Levy explains. “It’s not a stifling heat.”
Infrared heating is available in a handful of yoga studios in LA, and Y7′s Flatiron location is currently the only New York City studio with full-spectrum infrared heating. Not in either city and want to give it a try? Stretching it out in an infrared sauna might yield a similar experience, but isn’t nearly as safe as taking an actual infrared class. That said, you likely won’t have to wait that long to try it out for yourself — those in the know say it’s expected to be the next big thing in yoga.