While there are many styles of yoga, each discipline contributes to your overall health and well-being by calming your mind and strengthening your body. Whether you are new to yoga or a dedicated enthusiast, you may be quite intrigued to learn of the many surprising health and wellness benefits of infrared hot yoga.
The therapeutic benefits of heat have been well-known throughout the ages. Consider if you will, the Turkish bath, the Mayan temazcal and the Finnish sauna, all advocating the use of heat and sweat, to promote health and wellbeing. While our predecessors may have based their practices on simple observation, today we know that many of the reported health benefits of heat are backed by scientific evidence.
Taking Yoga Back to its Heated Origins
When you think about it, practicing yoga poses in a therapeutically heated environment is actually quite logical, the discipline originated in India, where summer temperatures can exceed 122 degrees.
The first heated yoga studios have been traced to the 1970s. As the story is told, a yoga instructor, intrigued by the saunas his students would take during lunch breaks, began experimenting with heaters in his yoga room. The instructor noticed that when he increased the temperature of the room, his people exerted themselves more and reported their activity seemed increasingly productive in the warmer environment.
The Benefits of Hyperthermic Conditioning
The therapeutic heat of hot yoga helps loosen muscles, resulting in greater flexibility. Exercising in a heated environment is shown to increase your endurance and stamina. The heat is believed to improve your body's production of Human Growth Hormone and heat shock proteins. These compounds lead to physical healing and enhanced muscle growth.
The Potential Health Benefits of Infrared Technology
The potential health benefits of hot yoga are enhanced by the benefits provided by infrared technology. The infrared hot yoga experience is very similar to performing yoga in the warmth of the summer sun. When you are outdoors in the sunlight, you are not warmed by the heat of the air around you, but rather the infrared rays of the sun. Infrared heats surfaces that have the capacity to absorb infrared rays. With infrared heat, you experience the benefits of the sunlight without the harmful UV exposure.
There is one other important distinction between Infrared and traditional hot yoga. When practicing hot yoga in a centrally heated environment, an environment that relies on heated air; objects are not warmed, only the air in the room. The environment created for a traditional forced air hot yoga session can feel stuffy, make breathing difficult, and leave you feeling parched and dehydrated. Hot yoga utilizing infrared heat feels more comfortable and invigorating. Infrared panels disburse heat evenly and silently.
The Benefits of Yoga Enhanced by the Benefits of Infrared Energy.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the Mayo Clinic report that infrared therapy improves the functioning of blood vessels, reduces cholesterol, increases circulation and lowers blood sugar levels. Some of the additional health benefits of infrared hot yoga include:
Improved Immune System FunctionInfrared rays are known to boost the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells and T cells. This improved immune system function promotes healing throughout your body, reduces muscle tension, soreness and muscle spasms. Raising your body temperature also creates a sort of artificial fever, which is also a benefit to your immune system.
A Multitude of Skin BenefitsSkin problems can be eliminated with hot yoga due to the ability of hot yoga to increase blood flow and oxygenation to your skin. The improved circulation is due to the expansion of your capillaries. Infrared energy is also shown to Improve collagen production and skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines, reduce or prevent wrinkles, and minimize acne scars.
May Help Detoxify Your BodyInfrared yoga can help detoxify your body by increasing how much you sweat during your workout, potentially clearing heavy metals, toxins, and carcinogens from your body. Detoxification could be beneficial to those living with chronic fatigue or skin disorders. Infrared hot yoga also amplifies the amount of fat you will eliminate with exercise and eliminates retained fluids.
Accelerates Your Weight Loss EffortsInfrared boosts the enzymatic activity in your digestive tract and boosts your metabolism. Just one hour of infrared hot yoga can burn up to 900 calories, break down trapped fat, cellulite, and cellular waste. One thirty minute infrared hot yoga session is equivalent to sweating the distance of a two to three-mile run.
Reduces Pain and InflammationThe infrared light and heat penetrate deeply to soothe pain, inflammation, and ease muscle soreness. Infrared heat penetrates your body, improving your circulation, enhancing oxygenation and relaxing your muscles. This has proven beneficial for yoga enthusiasts who rely on their discipline to help alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Increases Muscle Flexibility and Accelerates Strength BuildingYour body moves better when your muscles are warm. You will find your muscles more limber; you may also find that you require less time to warm up. While your muscles will move easier, more freely with infrared hot yoga, it is still recommended not to push yourself too hard, at least not at first. Your tendons and ligaments are not as vascular as your muscles. While your muscles may stretch more deeply, your tendons and ligaments may not be ready; you need to gauge your efforts mindfully to reduce your risk of a pull or strain.
The Additional Benefits of Infrared Hot Yoga
Heat can make yoga more challenging. You will notice that hot yoga increases your heart rate. Even if you are used to pushing yourself in other yoga classes, during hot yoga, your body will typically need time to adjust to the temperature changes in your environment. Taking some time to adapt will be worth your efforts. Some of the other potential benefits of infrared energy include:
- Increasing the flow of lymph fluids
- Providing long-lasting pain relieve
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving allergy symptoms
- Speeding injury recovery
- Benefits of heat without the humidity
- Will not harm your eyes
Getting Started with Infrared Hot Yoga
It is important to remind yourself that yoga is not a competitive sport, rather a personal experience. While yoga poses can be adapted for anyone who is limited by illness or injury, hot yoga may not be ideal for everyone. If you have a medical condition, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider before engaging in any new fitness program. If you choose to experience the benefits of infrared hot yoga, here are a few suggestions to help you ease into the experience:
- Allow for enough time to let your body to adapt to the heat. Arriving to class 10 minutes early will give you an opportunity to adjust to the temperature. This may be particularly important for your first few classes.
- Dress lightly and consider a headband to keep your hair off of your face. Ladies may want to consider a sports bra and shorts; men may want to plan to wear a t-shirt and shorts, or possibly just shorts. Dress for comfort and to minimize the heat heavy clothing will trap to your body.
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your yoga session. You may want to consider enhancing your water with an electrolyte solution or a pinch of salt to keep your fluids balanced.
- Avoid an overly full or empty Eat two to four hours before class. Try not to eat in the hour before class unless you keep it light. Exercise in the heat may cause you to feel nauseated.
- Pace It's important not to overexert, so you will need to pay attention to your body. Rest if you need to and stay alert to the signs that you may have reached your level of heat tolerance.
Yoga will calm your overloaded mind and strengthen your body. The benefits of yoga can be enhanced with the benefits of infrared energy. Infrared hot yoga is therapeutic, safe and comfortable. In Wellington Florida, contact Zoia Yoga and Wellness. We offer regular and hot yoga classes taught by experienced, positive instructors. Discover how yoga can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.