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A Dollop of Hot Yoga

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

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One day at the end of my hot yoga practice- as I was dripping sweat like a broken faucet, mind you- my yoga instructor made a claim that has stuck with me ever since: “You’ll never feel this good from anything else,” she said. Then she reaffirmed, “Believe me, I’ve tried.” As in any yoga practice, the hot yoga practitioner is encouraged to stay fully present in the room. Therefore, focused only on myself embodied within those four walls, I ascertained whether I felt the same way the instructor had promised. Wonderfully, I did.

Hot yoga is all the rage now, but you shouldn’t just practice due to its popularity. Rather, according to Healthline, this rigorous workout benefits the yogi in that it spikes calorie-burning efforts, increases bone density, leads to enhanced flexibility, and even helps improve the skin. In fact, studies show that time spent in saunas or other hot environments promote cardiovascular health and can even lead to a longer life and decrease the risk of heart disease and other heart-related ailments.

If you're about to spend an hour or ninety minutes in any exercise endeavor, then why not engage in one that not only comes chock-full with such benefits, but also one that makes you feel oh so very good?

Now, I know the sense of intimidation and fear that may emerge when considering a hot yoga practice for yourself. I felt the same when I first entered that room. If the heat didn't cause me to wonder whether I'd be capable of rising my Shavasana at the end of the hour, then certainly the humming of the humidifier had that effect. You might feel the same way because even though we’ve all experienced the heat, most of us haven’t been encouraged to actually work out in it.

Anything that is new has a learning curve, and Hot Yoga proves to be no different. The key is to stick with it, and my prediction is that your initial attitude toward the practice will change. I've now come to the point where I simply love walking into that room like I love stepping out of the house on an unusually warm day to just soak up the heat for a moment. I love it when my glands begin to activate and my body produces more sweat than I ever thought itself capable. In sweating, we are eliminating toxins, so naturally, the hot yoga practice eliminates a whole lotta ‘em, and that simple fact just pleases me to know.

But what’s even more amazing? The gleeful feeling of stepping out of that studio at the end of class is one that lingers with me for the rest of the day. It’s a feeling of wellness and health, happiness and energy, and my hope is that you will get to experience it too.

Now, a few tips to the beginner: a hot yoga lifestyle can be even richer and that much fuller when it comes to a few things. Wear comfortable, light fitted clothing. Choose a good mat, and particularly for hot yoga, you’ll need a towel on top of that to absorb the sweat. Try Shandali’s version here. Bring in lots of water, preferably alkaline variety like Essentia Water.

So, what are you waiting for? You'll soon come to experience that the magic of heat can do wonders for your practice. And all you need is a dollop of it, I promise.

Namaste, Yogis.

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