Increase functional fitness
A regular hot yoga practice will cause a number of beneficial effects on your body, regardless of the starting point. What separates a hot yoga practice from other forms of exercise is the functional nature of these benefits. The increase in full body flexibility is accompanied by an improvement in muscular strength and co-ordination. All of these combine to give an overall improvement in physical wellbeing and capability.
Manage weight & improve health
All exercise will burn stored calories and hot yoga is no exception. This calorie burn will be caused both doing the postures and by the body working hard to regulate core temperature. The sequence of postures in every class will cause a metabolic spike resulting in up to 450 calories being used. Once the hot yoga practice is accompanied by a healthy eating regime the practitioner will find maintaining a healthy body weight to be very sustainable.
Reduce stress & increase relaxation
A regular hot yoga practice will cause the parasympathetic nervous system to be activated. This part of the body’s central nervous system is often referred to as the “rest & digest” system. It is the part that allows the body to rebuild and repair. It also switches off the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” response. This response occurs every time we experience stress in daily living from traffic to deadlines. By increasing the activation of the parasympathetic system the body and brain relax enough to allow good sleep patterns to be restored.
A significant amount of pain experienced by people is caused by prolonged sitting in college and work. Over time the joints of the body and the spine especially begin to change their neutral position from our evolved upright position to the new seated position. This eventually results in ergonomic pain as people try to use their bodies. A regular hot yoga practice gently re-aligns the body back to its correct position.
Improve performance & promote recovery
Many sports people use hot yoga to address gaps in their training schedule. For the field player, runner or cyclist there is frequently a loss of flexibility in specific joints. Joints may move very well in one plane of movement but may be restricted when asked to move through all planes of movement. This restriction can lead to injury when the athlete places a demand on that joint during an event often resulting in torn hamstrings etc. Also when athletes are returning from injury there is often a loss of full function in the joint that can be greatly helped by a regular hot yoga practice.