The term “Yoga” comes with endless preconceived notions. Visions of kale-loving, naturally flexible, ageless athletes with California-kissed locks immediately popped into my head before I got out of my head and into a class. Elite has an incredible variety of yoga classes for everyone. And while I like them all, I love Hot Yoga. Here’s why: I don’t like being cold, I like getting lost in the music and I love that I have 75 minutes where at the very least, I can walk away and “leave it all on the mat.”
What is Hot Yoga?
Unlike Bikram Yoga, where the room temp must be 105 degrees with 40% humidity consisting of the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises performed in the same order every class for exactly 90 minutes. Hot Yoga is performed at a room temp of 80-100 degrees, usually with music and a variety of poses, depending on the instructor’s style. You can breathe in Hot Yoga—literally and figuratively—and if you’re lucky, you can even snatch the playlist at the end of class!
Who Will Benefit from Hot Yoga?
If you’re in relatively decent shape and do not have any medical conditions that make you intolerant to heat, it’s worth giving it a try! During the Hot Yoga session, the body burns fat more effectively. Heat also allows for better movement among ligaments, joints, muscles and the body’s supporting structures. Long term benefits of Hot Yoga include increased flexibility, muscle strength and even weight loss. If you have any chronic pain, it is important to let the instructor know before class. He or she can give you helpful tips and modifications to keep you pain free and healthy.
In general, yoga has never been my thing, but I adore this class. This is coming from someone who can barely touch her toes and whose downward dog looks more like a scared cat, but that’s the exact reason why I go. I need to become more flexible and stronger not only for myself, but for also for my kids. Arthritis runs rampant in my family, and while I may not be able to totally prevent it, I’m going to do everything in my power to try.
To say this class is a stress-reliever is an understatement. The studio is dimly lit, and participants all seem to have this incredible, intangible respect and understanding for each other’s needs. Some instructors choose to use essential oils on willing participants. Others have a voice that is so calming it could rock you to sleep. And the music! I have never been to a class with a better playlist.
And let’s not forget, you do get a workout! You’re always moving in this class and not all the poses are attainable on your first try. But with practice, you will get there! Last week I brought along a friend who is in pretty good shape. This was her very first yoga class. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“Having very limited prior knowledge of yoga, I always thought of yoga as an activity people utilized to clear their minds and manage stress. After my first Hot Yoga class, I think the physical benefits are equally amazing! The poses challenged me in the best possible way. Ultimately, I think that Yoga will really play a large role in my balance, and overall strength.”
Helpful Tips Before Your First Class
Wear breathable clothing. You will get hot so the best clothes to wear will be those that wick moisture away from the body. Fitted clothing is ideal so you can easily view your body alignment. Bring a water bottle and make sure that if you have longer hair, like I do, it is secured back away from the face. The last thing you want to be doing in yoga is pushing hair out of your face while you’re balancing on one foot upside down.
Lastly, come with an open mind. Yoga is all about aligning the body with the mind. A tense mind will make for a tense body. Open mind, open body, and better class!
Try Hot Yoga and add a little “Namaste” to your day!
Writer, marketer and mom, Susan Madden, has a background working with the Fine Arts in Dallas, TX and Milwaukee, WI. Relatively new to the fitness industry, she enjoys sharing her experiences about the craziness that is parenting and wellness from a novice perspective. She is a native of Whitefish Bay, WI and now resides in Mequon, WI with her husband Mike and children, Samantha and Blake.