By Jean Bowick If you’ve never tried hot yoga, it’s definitely a new type of experience – though you wouldn’t exactly call it a “breath of fresh air.”
Temperatures in a hot yoga studio peak around 100 degrees, and the thick, heated air that settles into this tightly packed space smells nothing of mint leaves and eucalyptus oil. It smells like sweat. But that’s good! Sweating helps our bodies maintain regular body temperature, release toxins, and sustain homeostasis, our bodies’ inherent means of self-regulation. According to experts, the heat of a hot yoga class also amplifies our ability to stretch, tone, and de-stress, while also relieving the chronic pain of arthritis, back problems, and joint injuries.
And believe it or not, the stagnant smell of the yoga studio does nothing to deter the eager proponents of this hot, if not totally new, fitness trend. Hot, or Bikram style, yoga has been around for decades, but somehow it seems to be hotter than ever.
One of the best things about hot yoga is that anyone can do it, and anyone can benefit from an increased range of motion and more limber limbs. Though the program itself consists of 26 precise yoga postures, participants are encouraged to attempt the moves at the pace – and degree – that is comfortable with their bodies. Yoga should not hurt, and the rate of progression will vary for everyone.
A few simple tips for your first (and every) hot yoga class:
Come hydrated. You’ll need to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, but not right before, or even during, your class.
Eat light. If you need to eat within two hours of class time, try a light snack, such as a small piece of fruit.
Don’t overheat. Should you find yourself getting dizzy or unstable, sit down for a few minutes and breathe deeply until you recover.
Keep coming back! Resources tell us the second class is more fun than the first, and it only gets better from there!
If you’re ready to give hot yoga a try, you can join us at the Downtown Y for Group Ex classes six days a week! Simply call the Downtown branch at (205) 324-4563 for details and class schedules.
To learn more about the health benefits of hot yoga, visit http://ow.ly/WMQu30fkYne. #YStrongBham
MISSION: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
VISION: We will lead our community to become the healthiest in America.
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