Ok. So I teach hot yoga. I love hot yoga. And by hot yoga I am not referring to Bikram. They do their own thing, have their own claims, I have no idea why they do what they do, but people seem to dig it and that’s great for them. I teach and practice hot power yoga—vinyasa based. Here are a few tidbits I’ve learned over the years and thought I’d share…
- pleaaassseeeeee keep your sickness OUT of the studio. hot yoga makes you sweat WATER and SALT. you are not detoxifying yourself, you are just sweating and breathing your nasty sickness onto everyone else. it’s gross, it’s rude, and it won’t help you. you’re only going to dehydrate yourself and make your sick body have to work that much harder to flush the sickness out of your system. in fact if you are sick, i’m not going to lie. hot yoga studios tend to be germ factories because they are, well, hot and moist. perfect conditions for viruses to thrive, so if you are feeling under the weather stay out of the hot room—for your sake and everybody else’s.
- speaking of detoxifying…what IS so detoxifying about yoga is the asana and pranayama (movement and breath) itself. not the dehydration factor. if you do practice a lot of hot yoga make sure you are sufficiently hydrated. not just water—electrolytes too. salt, potassium, etc.
- if you think hot yoga makes you lose weight, i am so sorry to break the news to you. again, you are losing water and salt. there is no fat coming out of your pores. interestingly enough, you exhale it. crazy, huh? if you’re looking to lose fat, tone up, etc. most of that will be accomplished in your kitchen. if you step on the scale after a hot class, the scale is simply reflecting all the water weight you’ve lost. unfortunately you won’t keep that off…it’s only gone until you drink more water.
- yes, the sweating does make your body work a little harder. your system has to work harder to cool itself so that does rev stuff up a bit. for me, i love a hot class once or twice a week, especially in the winter, but find that when i practice in a normal temperature room i can work much harder because my body isn’t fighting against me. hence, i’m more productive with my practice in a non-heated environment. just sayin’.
- if you do get overheated in a hot class, get LOW. find child’s pose, or better yet, hero’s pose or just a seated position with your head upright. you can gently apply pressure either to the top of your head or between your brows to help recalibrate your blood pressure. take deep breaths, focusing on the inhale. do not immediately run out of the room, as the temperature difference could kind of shock the system. take two minutes to get low, to breathe, and to let the teacher know. we all have systems in place for helping people who have fainted or are about to pass out, and a head’s up before it happens would be so helpful!
Hot yoga can be an amazing practice. Especially during the winter months, it just feels so damn good to walk into that studio! Please make sure you practice responsibly—for your sake, your fellow practitioners, and for your instructor. Namaste!! <3