The Ins and Outs of Hot Yoga

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Photo by EU Webnerd, taken on April 20, 2015, Public Domain, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, http://bit.ly/2gZF2E7

Many of Hot Yoga's claims to stress reduction in contemporary living can be attributed to performing the postures in a difficult environment - a steaming hot room.

What is Hot Yoga?

Hot Yoga is defined as various yoga styles that use heat to increase an individual’s flexibility in the poses.

This article further showcases the benefits of hot yoga, how to prepare for hot yoga, and various local gyms or yoga studios that offer hot yoga classes.


Benefits of Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is most commonly known for its detoxifying effects; heavy sweating is often said to help flush toxins and pollutants out of the body, through the skin.

The heat also allows you to deeply and safely get into stretches that help increase your overall flexibility. Hot yoga helps strengthen and lengthen muscle fibers, which in turn prevents injuries, pains, and balance issues.

The heated yoga studio also elevates the heart rate, which makes the body work harder. You can lose weight and tone your body through continued hot yoga practices due to the immense amount of calories that are burned.

Hot yoga has also helped those that deal with asthma, as the practice forces one to focus on and control his or her breath through movement.  

Yogis also are able to relax the mind and ultimately release stress by focusing on the present moment.


 

How to Prepare for Hot Yoga

Bring Correct Equipment

A supportive and cushioning yoga mat is obviously needed, but regular yoga mats won’t soak up the amount of moisture from sweat. Moisture and sweat on yoga mats can cause one to slip and may hinder one from getting into specific yoga poses. Hot yoga wick away moisture and provide a better grip as temperatures in class rise. Brands such as Gaiam or Manduka sell some of the top-rated hot yoga mats that ensure ease and success during one’s practice.

Another helpful piece of equipment that yogi’s love to bring to class is a yoga towel. Towels specifically designed for hot yoga are made of absorbent and lightweight microfibres that provide a stable and slip-free foundation to practice on. Lululemon offers a top-of-the-line yoga towel. Regular beach or bath towels work just as well. You may also want to bring additional towels to wipe-off after hot yoga. 


Stay Hydrated

Make sure that you drink lots of water before, during, and after class in order to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, taking moderate sips in order to give your body time to absorb the water throughout the day and before class. Not drinking water before class may cause one to feel dehydrated or exhausted during class – ultimately hindering one from his or her best performance in class. Sweating will empty that water in your body that hasn’t been stored, which can lead to electrolyte imbalances and cramping.


Make Sure You Get Your Electrolytes

Taking in electrolytes before and after your practice is extremely vital to one’s health. Every time you sweat you lose tons of electrolytes – especially potassium and sodium – which can cause muscle cramps, confusion, and fatigue. Sports drinks contain electrolytes, as well as powders or tablets that can be dissolved into water.


Dress Light and Properly

Dressing for hot yoga is dressing lightweight and comfortable. Light clothing prevents overheating and allows the body to naturally cool itself during the high-temp conditions of the class. The lighter the clothing, the more space and mobility one will have to move around in. Recommended wear for ladies include sports bras, shorts, or yoga pants. Recommended wear for men include shorts, tank top, or swim trunks.

Avoid fancy hair, makeup, and socks. Long hair should be pulled back by using a hair tie or headband.

Bringing extra clothes to cover up after class is a smart move. You may shock your body if you don’t cover up before you leave the hot yoga studio due to the drastic change of temperature (especially if outside climates are cold).

If you want, you can bring a post-yoga outfit to change into after class. Your clothes will probably be soaked


Don’t Eat Right Before Class!

Your body will need energy for class, so it is important to eat two to four hours before. It is recommended to try not to eat anything within an hour of hitting the mat due to the fact that a combination of heat and exercise may cause nausea. Any meals within the hour before class could also cause cramping.


Get To Class Early

It may be a good idea to arrive to class ten to fifteen minutes early to avoid a temperature shock to your system. Getting there early just to sit on your mat or in Child’s Pose in the studio allows your body to adapt to the heat. Time to adjust is especially important for your first few classes.

Sitting in the studio for a few minutes allows your muscles to warm up and allows you to loosen up and relax.


Make Sure You’re Breathing!

Anytime that you may feel lightheaded or overwhelmed in hot yoga, it is okay to return to a restorative position such as Child’s Pose or just simply lie on your back. Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to opt out for a minute from your Sun Salutations – you don’t want to pass out or injure your body. Resting will give your body a chance to calm down and adjust to the heat and exercise.


 

Where is Hot Yoga Offered in Forsyth?

  1. Onelife Fitness
    The Vickery Onelife Fitness location offers Vinyasa Flow Hot Yoga everyday of the week and Ashtanga Hot Yoga on Wednesday’s. The gym offers a variety of instructors to its members so that yogi’s can choose a practice that matches the difficulty that they are looking for.
    Address: 6045 Post Road Cumming, GA 30040


  2. Life Time Fitness
    The Johns Creek Life Time Fitness Location offers Heated Flow Yoga every single day of the week. From personal experience, I find the hot yoga classes offered at this location are some of the best in town; the candle-lit studio, cascaded with enlightening yoga music, creates a calming environment that easily allows one to adapt to the high temperatures. This gym also offers a variety of instructors to its members.
    Address: 11555 Johns Creek Pkwy, Johns Creek, GA 30097


  3. Breathe Yoga Atlanta
    Breathe Yoga Atlanta is just down the street from Lambert High School! This studio is a specialized yoga studio that offers Hot Yoga every day of the week except for Fridays. Breathe Yoga Atlanta has also won the Best of Forsyth award for 2016 and 2017. Again, this studio offers a variety of instructors to its members.
    Address: 3020 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA  30041