Yoga is more than just a fitness trend nowadays. Fitness clubs offer yoga classes around the clock, while toddlers and children are being introduced to yoga at a young age through school and extracurricular activities. In addition, famous sports stars, actors and celebrities are quick to flaunt the benefits of yoga – a discipline that has been around for more than 1,500 years! It only makes sense that as yoga continues to weave into our daily lives, we should celebrate and spotlight this ancient practice that has benefited so many people in so many ways. Let’s look at ways to celebrate National Yoga Month, why yoga can be an important part of your daily routine, and some examples of integrating “hot yoga” into your fitness regimen.
Make September Your Month to Remember
Is yoga your go to? Your conduit for stress relief and fitness? Or are you just learning what it means to strike the “down-dog” pose? Like many, you’re somewhere in between. Regardless of your experience, use the month of September as a time to reignite your passion for all things yoga. Here are several ways you can celebrate National Yoga Month.
Invite Others to Try it
Everything is more fun when you do it with friends, so invite your pals, family members or acquaintances to do yoga with you. During National Yoga Month, more than 1,500 yoga studios participate in a “GET ONE WEEK FREE” event that makes it easy to include those who aren’t ready to fully commit. Check with your local yoga studios to see what kind of offers they’ll have available.
Donate Your Skills
If you are a seasoned yogi, or at least good enough to safely show others how to complete basic holds and poses, consider donating some of your time to get others excited about the practice. You can keep it as casual and simple as you’d like, and focus on showing those new to yoga how to complete poses safely, comfortably and correctly.
Share it Online
Yoga offers a host of health and wellness benefits, so talk it up whenever you can. Share on social media anytime you master a new pose, complete a challenging routine, or simply have a good time at the yoga studio or while practicing the art form at home.
Try Hot Yoga
Even those who have spent years practicing yoga may not have much, if any, experience with hot yoga. This is yoga that is performed in a heated room or sauna. The addition of the higher temperature element makes for a unique experience that must be felt to be understood. To celebrate National Yoga Month, give a new style of yoga a try.
Why Should Yoga Be a Part of Your Fitness Routine?
For centuries now, yogis have firmly advocated for the health and wellness benefits of their discipline, and modern science tends to back up their wellness claims, too. Yoga is good for you. But what exactly are the real-world health benefits of sticking to a fitness routine that includes yoga? Let’s look at some of the big ones:
- Increased Muscle Tone and Strength
Think yoga isn’t challenging because you don’t move very quickly? Give it a try – you’ll likely build and tone your muscles quickly.
- Weight Reduction
Though your heart rate won’t hit a fever pitch like it would during a session on the treadmill, the consistent elevated heart rate experienced during yoga burns calories to help aid in weight loss.
- Better Flexibility
Once you get good at basic yoga poses, you may be surprised how soon you experience increased flexibility and athletic performance.
- Circulatory health
Yoga improves circulation, provides a cardio workout and boosts your body’s ability to move blood, oxygen and vital nutrients throughout your system.
- Stress reduction
Yoga is a proven stress fighter, and it has become a mainstream, non-medicinal anti-depressant that can help individuals attain mental clarity, calmness and focus.
What Are the Benefits of Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is simply the art of doing yoga in a hot environment. The average studio temperature for a hot yoga experience is 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit with at least 40% humidity. Many individuals claim that this type of yoga experience is more relaxing and therapeutic than traditional yoga classes. The natural looseness and flexibility gained while in the sauna-type atmosphere acts to enhance each yoga movement. Expect a beginner’s hot yoga session to last about half an hour (though you should stop the moment you feel overheated, dizzy, etc.) and a session for a veteran yogi to stretch 60-90 minutes or more.
There are numerous benefits to doing yoga in a heated space, including:
- An even greater boost to the circulatory system than with traditional yoga.
- Accelerated weight loss, thanks to the increase in metabolic rate while in the heated area.
- Detoxification is a big health benefit, as all that sweat acts as a high-speed shuttle bus for toxins.
- Hot yoga can be great for the mind and spirit, as it is generally more challenging than traditional yoga and imparts a sense of accomplishment at the end of the session.
If you’re going to do hot yoga, make sure you keep these tips in mind:
Make sure you adequately hydrate before, during, and after a hot yoga session. Just as you should always consume plenty of water when a sauna is part of your life, adding in the extra stress of exercising while in the sauna demands an even greater level of fluid intake than normal. For each 30-minute period of hot yoga, add at least 8-ounces of additional water or sports drink intake to your daily totals.
- Don’t Push it too Far
There is a natural tendency among many of us to push through pain, fight the urge to quit and win at all costs – but that can be dangerous in a hot yoga class. Yes, you’ll want to exert effort and work hard to hold poses, but never to the point of total exhaustion, light-headedness, or pain. Know your limits, and gradually seek to elevate them. The importance of listening to your body is communicated in all yoga classes.
- Watch What You Eat
You obviously know that eating too heavy before a hot yoga session or any exercise routine for that matter, is likely to result in pain, discomfort and a sense of “why did I do this to myself?” Instead, eat lightly before your session, and focus on fueling your body with natural foods that have a high-water content.
- Make Sure You’re Healthy Enough
Most people are 100% healthy enough to safely complete hot yoga sessions, and those that aren’t quite there yet can work up to it without too much effort, but it always pays to ensure you’re healthy enough for any exercise program.
Adding hot yoga to your routine is a great way to kickoff National Yoga Month, and adding a new infrared sauna to your home or office is a terrific way to ensure you always have access to the ideal hot yoga environment. For more information on saunas that are perfectly designed to support your yoga routine, speak to one of our infrared sauna specialists today.