Fun Fact: Before I became a mom I practiced Hot Yoga 3-4 times a week and taught 2-3 times a week. I spent a substantial amount of time in rooms heated to 90+ degrees with some really sweaty people. If that sounds like your own personal hell instead of a great way to spend a Saturday– hear me out, because I once felt the same way. I am going to share with you THREE reasons you should try Hot Yoga and if any of them speak to you, you should go check out our partner Bikram Yoga Bayport– the sweetest most welcoming little studio that I can’t wait to take class at after I have this baby.
Hot Yoga Helps with Flexibility (physically and mentally)
If you are someone who is turning to yoga because you can’t touch your toes and you want to be more flexible- hot yoga is a great way to start your practice off ahead of the curve. Think about it, when we are cold- our muscles contract, we tighten up. When you are warm, your muscles are able to loosen up faster and it is much easier to stretch and develop greater flexibility. A maybe unintended gain is that this flexibility often follows you off the mat and into your life as once you have conquered contorting your body into strange shapes in a room heated to 90+ degrees, you can pretty much handle anything life throws your way.
Hot Yoga Helps with Focus + Calm
My mind is constantly going. I have a very, very hard time trying to “be still” or meditate or do anything that does not involve going over the running list of to-do’s in my mind over and over. During a regular yoga class I still find a way to let my mind wander off of what the teacher is saying and onto what I am cooking for dinner but I find it harder to do this in a Hot Yoga class. I have found that the more I tire out my body, the more my mind can quiet down. The heat adds an extra element of intensity to the class that helps get my body juuuuuust tired enough to shush my inner dialogue and allow me to kind of just BE.
Hot Yoga will change your life
This seems like a radical claim and you may be rolling your eyes at me at this point but LISTEN UP A SEC, I am not exaggerating. I have never been athletic or particularly good at anything that involved my body. In fact, I have struggled for as long as I can remember with not loving my body and not treating it very well. People come to yoga for different reasons and I don’t even really remember what mine was but I found that overtime, things were happening to me that I did not expect. I found a deep respect for my body- I still didn’t think it was perfect, but I was grateful for and in awe of the things it was able to do. I started to treat myself better- I ate better, stayed hydrated- I wanted to take care of myself so I could continue to develop as a student and later a teacher. I learned to be less hard on myself, to not expect perfection and I realized that some days we kick ass and some days we just lay on our mats the whole hour and a half and both of those are okay and those lessons carried into my day to day life as well. I found community- you see the same faces in class sweating it out next to you and in a weird way it bonds you. Most importantly, I found myself. I started my hot yoga practice dressed in leggings all the way down to my ankles and a tshirt and before I had my son I was up in front of the room teaching in booty shorts and a sports bra. I didn’t start wearing less clothes because I had developed some glamorous body, because I didn’t– I just gained the confidence to not care what other people thought– I was hot, I wanted to wear less clothes, so I did. I wasn’t able to start teaching because I mastered every pose and could do a headstand and lift my legs over my head because I couldn’t but I did gain the confidence to realize that I had something to offer a room of people and I had the desire to share what I had gained with them. Hot Yoga played a huge, huge role in developing me into the woman, friend, wife and mother that I am today and for that I will always be grateful.
So yes, what just looks like exercising in a hot room with a bunch of sweaty people may sound like actual torture but it may be just the thing you are looking for.
*Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you are pregnant- I am not a doctor so these are not medical claims just things I experienced/noticed as a yoga practitioner
*This post was sponsored by Bikram Yoga Bayport but all thoughts and opinions are my own as usual 🙂