As you probably know, yoga offers a variety of both physical and psychological health benefits. When you add heat to a yoga session, many of these benefits are multiplied and new ones are unveiled. Because of this, hot yoga is gaining popularity and we have helped outfit many yoga studios with heating solutions so that they can provide hot yoga classes. For more specific details on the benefits of yoga and hot yoga, check out this article, originally posted on SoHo Yoga’s website.
Benefits of the Heat?
- Heavy sweating flushes toxins from the skin. Static and dynamic yoga postures ring out the internal organs. The heat and yoga stimulate your lymphatic system which flushes out the toxins in your digestive system. With the glorious combination of these two things together you have a detox festival. Hooray!
- Heat increases circulation. In a heated room your body must work harder to cool itself, and return to normal temperature once the physical exertion has concluded. This means that your heart is pumping much harder than it would in a traditional yoga room. Elevation of heart rate is one of the key components to weight loss. Come in, feel the heat and the burn!
- Working in a heated room also allows you to work safely as your muscles have literally warmed up. This can also help increase one’s flexibility as each student is able to dive deeper into the yoga postures. When you are able to create space between the bones, connective tissue, joints, synovial fluid comes pouring into these spaces allowing increased mobility to the body. This is why many people with back injuries (or injuries in general) keep coming back for more. All we’re doing is creating space, this is what the body wants… space.
- As Yoga originated in India, a hot and humid environment, doing yoga in the heat pays homage to the roots of this magical practice. Clean heat also adds intensity to any exercise that you are doing.
Benefits of Yoga?
- Asthma: The American College of Sports Medicine found a 43% improvement in patients’ symptoms after ten weeks of yoga practice. Yoga’s emphasis on posture and deep, lengthened breaths improves lung capacity, efficiency, and overall airflow, which can reduce the frequency and severity of asthmatic attacks.
- Arthritis: The slow, controlled movements of a yoga practice have been shown to decrease chronic pain and joint swelling in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers at Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.
- Back Pain: A study at the West Virginia University School of Medicine found that, after practicing yoga for three months, people reported 70% less lower-back pain, and 88% of them reduced or stopped taking pain medication. Alignment and body awareness during yoga practice has been shown to reduce numerous types of acute and chronic back pain, including scoliosis, sciatica, and herniated discs.
- Blood Pressure: Yale School of Medicine found “significantly reduced” systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in hypertension patients who practiced yoga and meditation therapies—results that were comparable to drug therapy. Increased circulation and oxygenation of the blood are important outcomes of a continuous yoga practice.
- Depression/Anxiety: Boston University’s School of Medicine discovered a 27% increase of the neurotransmitter GABA within the brain after just one sixty-minute yoga practice. Low levels of GABA have been tied to anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Yoga’s mood-enhancing benefits are similar to those for asthma—slowing the breath and heart rate to reduce the body’s stress response.