Hot Yoga, sometimes referred to as Bikram or Hatha Yoga is the latest emergent onto the scene of health and wellbeing classes with the usual parade of celebrity endorsements being bandied around in the tabloids and journals. But what exactly is hot yoga, what are the benefits and what might you need to get started? Read on for a beginners guide to this latest fitness and wellbeing phenomenon.
What Is It?
Hot Yoga is yoga but done under intense heat with average temperatures of 43 degrees. The classes themselves comprise of a series of 26 different moves that are repeated a number of times each in a flowing sequence style, with no breaks between positions or sets.
All sorts of different people go to hot yoga for a range of reasons. It can suit all ages and abilities although due to the extreme nature of the heat it is obviously not suitable for everyone. Some obvious exclusions would be those with blood pressure issues (low or high) and pregnant women but if in doubt seek medical advice before you begin.
What Are The Benefits?
Yoga of any sort is great for providing wellbeing and giving a sense of balance in our hectic lives. Hot yoga is particularly good as it is also a form of cardiovascular exercise with the heat adding that extra element of challenge. Plus the amount you sweat (which is amazing) means that you detoxify whilst you work out so it’s a three for one.
What Do I Need?
You will need your own yoga mat which is much easier to transport if it comes with a carry handle or case. The right clothes are essential for hot yoga, tight fitting clothes are too restrictive but baggy clothes can interfere with poses so check out some specialist gear if you can. It is also a wise idea to take two towels, a large one to cover your mat and a smaller towel for your face as it is strongly discourage to touch your face during the class.
Where Can I Try It?
Hot yoga classes are springing up all over the country and if you perform an internet search you are bound to come up with one nearby to you. Also rather excitingly, the UK’s first Hot Yoga retreat centre has recently opened its doors just on the outskirts of London in old manor house with stunning grounds.