A recent fitness craze that is rapidly grabbing the attention of fitness enthusiasts and yoga fans alike is sauna yoga. Otherwise known as hot yoga, many people are tapping into their health benefits.
For the average person, however, there is often the question as to what hot yoga is and if it’s possible to perform without the need of attending yoga classes or going to the gym. Below is everything you need to know about hot yoga as well as tips on how to do sauna yoga.
What is sauna yoga
Simply put, doing hot yoga involves performing yoga poses in a hot environment. Instead of going to the sauna to sit back and chill, you can perform stretches and poses that help the mind and body relax. The poses will stretch and relax the muscles, results in more flexible joints and allow the mind and body to align perfectly.
With sauna yoga, each session can be between 30 to 90 minutes. The poses will help to strengthen the core muscles, lower body muscles as well as back muscles, and the hips and spine also become much more flexible.
One of the great things about hot yoga is that practically anyone can do it regardless of age, gender, or size. Even better is that you can still do hot yoga while having no previous experience in yoga poses. And hot yoga is one reason you might need to install a home sauna.
The benefits of hot yoga
Doing yoga in a sauna offers all the benefits of being in a heated room combined with the benefits of performing yoga. While many people are content with doing yoga in a room at lower temperatures, those who have discovered hot yoga attest to the many benefits that come with it.
1. More flexibility
A benefit of any type of yoga is that it allows our muscles to stretch. However, if you want to take things a step further, then hot yoga is the answer.
The heat allows our muscles to expand and contract much more effectively. When you perform yoga, you can push the boundaries of your stretching. However, it’s important to make sure that you understand your own body’s limitations and not to overstretch.
Anyone who has taken a proper yoga session knows that it’s only a matter of time before your body starts sweating. If you were to perform a hot paced yoga in the sauna, the heat would cause your body to sweat even more.
As your body’s sweat glands release the water content, they also take out unwanted compounds and toxins. This leaves your skin feeling revitalized and fresh.
The heat also allows blood to flow closer to the skin cells which results in an overall great looking skin with a radiant glow. And getting rid of toxins is not the only benefit of sweating. Sauna yoga also allows the body to rid itself of excess salt.
3. Younger looking skin
Any type of yoga or workout for that matter raises the body’s core temperature will cause the blood to flow closer to the skin. This means that more blood cells are transporting nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
Even better is when you perform yoga in the sauna. The extra heat raises the body’s temperature even further which means more blood circulation to the skin. The result is radiant glowing skin that looks younger and suppler.
Many hot yoga fans are quick to notice this positive change in their complexion and are one of the motivating factors to do yoga at the sauna.
4. Promotes heart health
Spending time at the sauna has been shown to lower blood pressure which means a healthy heart. The blood vessels and arteries dilate under the heat promoting better blood circulation. However, you should always be aware of how long you should stay in a sauna. It is actually possible to have too much of a good thing.
How to do Yoga at the sauna
If you have decided to do hot yoga then the first step is to find a sauna. Make sure it has the space you need for your yoga session. Next, locate the temperature controller in the sauna and set it to 1050F. This is not a requirement and if your chosen sauna doesn’t have a temperature controller, it is completely fine to do your yoga at a different temperature.
Having accessed the sauna, lay down your mat and your water bottle, and then sit on the mat. Begin by breathing calmly yet deeply. Take your time and relax. Once your mind is in the right state, it’s time to begin your yoga poses.
The most popular poses used in the sauna or hot yoga are from Bikram yoga. They are ideal for strengthening the body’s core as well as back and lower back muscles and are 26 in total. Another benefit of these poses is that they result in greater flexibility in the spine as well as the hip areas.
One of the most important aspects of any type of yoga and more so hot yoga is controlling your breathing. As you progress on the poses and you begin to transition from one to the next, the strain on the body starts to become apparent. You mustn’t lose control of your breathing and to continue with the poses even with the rising difficulty.
After you are done with all the poses, the last step will require you to sit down and continue with deep relaxing breathing. Do this for a few more minutes and then end your hot yoga session. Pick your mat and water bottle and exit the sauna.
It is not surprising to start feeling euphoric emotions as you leave the sauna. Granted, your muscles may be sore but your brain will have released endorphins into the bloodstream which makes you feel good and ready for the next sauna yoga session.
Tips to keep in mind when doing sauna yoga
The environment inside the sauna can be extreme and there are both sauna advantages and disadvantages so it is recommended that you take certain measures to ensure your safety.
If you haven’t done yoga before, then it’s not a good idea to perform it inside the sauna for the first time. Begin by getting your body accustomed to the strain and the poses. After your body is in better condition then you can start doing yoga in the sauna.
Ensure that you have rested well before doing yoga. Note that you are going to sweat much more profusely in a sauna than if you were doing yoga in a normal temperature room. It’s therefore important to carry a water bottle to replenish your body during yoga.
If you notice that you are becoming weak, dizzy, or experiencing lightheadedness then end the yoga session and walk out of the sauna. Make sure to rehydrate.
However, if you are well-rested and well-hydrated then you should experience no problems.
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The mental and physical benefits of doing yoga are many and so are the amazing sauna health benefits. By following the tips we’ve laid for your above, you can combine those amazing health benefits for a better more enhanced life.
As you perform your hot yoga, always take care, not to over-exert yourself and if you notice any kind of discomfort, end your yoga session.