Staying Fit with Hot Yoga
Article by Jeremy Smith
Hot yoga is a newer form of an ancient meditation exercise practiced by the young and old alike. Sessions run 90 minutes long, and the rooms stay heated to a temperature of about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Practitioners work through a series of poses and two breathing exercises, a routine aimed at increasing flexibility, stretching and toning muscles, and expanding lung capacity. Depending on each practitioner’s ability and level of intensity, participants can expect to burn between 500 and 1,200 calories per session at a hot yoga studio.
Although yoga is not a cardiovascular workout, it is one way that athletes and non-athletes alike work out to stay fit. The benefit of hot yoga is that the heated environment encourages looser muscles which can be stretched faster and longer. The risk of injury is also low, making it an ideal exercise option for those who cannot put a lot of stress on their bodies. Those with health conditions that prevent high-impact activity can often be found in poses on mats next to highly active people who use yoga to relieve stress and improve focus. Runners or triathletes who have suffered an injury might choose to begin practicing to stay in shape while minimizing the negative impact on their injury.
Hot yoga stretches muscles while deep breathing helps relax the body, making it an option for athletes whose bodies are tight, inflexible, or tense, who need to increase their respiratory capacity, or who want to improve their joint function. Professional athletes have noted these benefits and turned to hot yoga to stay in shape. Both basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and soccer celebrity David Beckham practice it as a way of avoiding injury and staying fit. Abdul-Jabbar has noted that doing the breathing exercises and different poses helped him play basketball as long as he did by improving his posture, flexibility, and range of motion.
Experts agree that hot yoga in particular requires more exertion than other forms might. The heat, humidity, and focus required to sustain the 90-minute session can be taxing. Fitness gurus agree that to achieve maximum health, people should combine two to three hot yoga classes a week with two to three cardiovascular workouts a week. It is also a wise idea to vary the conditioning exercises, rotating through biking, jogging, sprints, or use of the elliptical, since hot yoga practices a set routine each time. Doing this prevents a body from building an immunity to its work out, while still getting the muscular stretching needed for more energy and greater relaxation.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about hot yoga classes, please visit http://www.hotyogaexperience.com.