You may find yourself considering taking a yoga class to improve your state of mind and all round health, but it can sometimes be a bit confusing trying to work out what each type of yoga provides. With so many variations in the world of yoga, there is bound to be a class that is ideally suited to you. This article is going to talk about hot flow yoga, what it is, what it consists of and how it can benefit you.
The name ‘Hot Flow Yoga’ describes the way in which this type of yoga is performed. The word ‘hot’ describes the heat intensity, as hot flow yoga is performed in a heated room usually to around the 38 – 40 degrees celsius mark. Next, we have the word ‘flow’ which represents the continuous and fluid movements that seamlessly flow like water. finally, we have the word yoga, which is the name for the practice. Yoga can be a beneficial part of your daily routine that can help you relax, unwind and help you to put everything into perspective.
Hot flow yoga, as mentioned above, is performed in a heated environment well above the standard temperatures that traditional yoga is performed in. The addition of heat helps the body become warmed up and much more flexible during the session and can help prevent injury from straining or tearing muscle fibers. There is also the added benefit of the heat helping you sweat more which is believed to help rid the body of various toxins and impurities. During a hot flow yoga class, the temperature will be raised and kept to a steady and controlled level of 40.6 degrees with a humidity index of around 40%.
Benefits of Performing Yoga in a Heated Room
1. The addition of heat to the room has the same body beneficial effects as a sauna does. The increase in heat allows for the pulse to be raised and also speeds up the metabolism. The heat also allows your blood vessels to better deliver blood around the body, which in turn warms up the muscles and provides greater flexibility. When the heat penetrates the muscles properly it allows for more flexibility, suppleness, and movement that helps prevent injury. The Glands, lymph nodes, and skin also benefit from the increased temperature helping them flush out toxins and built up impurities.
2. No matter the type of yoga you perform, it is designed to push you to your limits to help you discover the connection between mind, body, and spirit. Practicing yoga in a heated environment will push you further thus allowing you the chance to connect on a deeper, more spiritual level. The challenge of completing the class will give you a feeling of accomplishment and help you push through hard times outside of the class.
3. Performing hot flow yoga will help detoxify your body by eliminating toxins through your sweat. It is not uncommon to drop several pounds of weight during a class, this is a combination of sweat, salts, and oil that help carry toxins out of your system. It is also believed that the body burns fat much more effectively when in a heated environment.
4. You will be better equipped for fighting off infections. Much like when you feel ill and your body creates a fever to kill off any infections, the heated room raises your internal temperature. This increase in body temperature helps your bodies T-cells and lymphatic system perform much more efficiently and can keep you healthier.
5. Yoga glow. During the class you are going to sweat, That is a given. The salt contained in your sweat has a cleansing effect on the skin promoting shrunken pores, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and a healthy glow from the increased blood flow. The heat can also help stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of skin leading to fuller and plumper skin over time.
Hot Flow Yoga Session
During a hot flow yoga session you will perform a series of movements knows as sun salutations and Ujai breathing techniques which will allow you to build up greater lung capacity and the delivery of oxygen to every part of the body. The key aim of hot flow yoga is to center the body and focus the mind leading to a greater sense of relaxation and contentment. Sun salutations are the foundations of most yoga classes and with flow they are performed without any breaks in between the poses.
For those who are new to yoga, sun salutations are a series of poses that allow for every muscle in the body to be stretched and warmed up in a relaxing yet effective way. Sun salutations provide the body with energy and also help build tone to muscles, they are designed to show respect to the sun which gives life to the planet. Usually, sun salutations are performed in a set routine with a break in between each pose, however, during flow variations a break is not taken in between poses and instead each move is carefully linked to the next creating a continuous stream of movement.
A session of hot flow will usually last for around 90 minutes and will consist of a warm-up, the main session and then followed with a cool-down period. It is important to warm-up and cool-down to prevent injury and help the body repair itself quickly and effectively. Failure to warm up before a session can lead to tears of the muscles and ligaments as they will be lacking in flexibility. A good way to look at it is to imagine your muscles are an elastic band that has been left in the fridge for a week. When you try to stretch it, it snaps very quickly as the elastic bonds inside are contracted and weak, but when it is allowed to warm up it will stretch with ease and will not break as easily.
While there is the challenge of working out in intense heat, the actual intensity of the session will depend on your level. An advanced student would find a beginners class far too easy, and a beginner would struggle with an advanced class. Make sure that you know your level and don’t try to pretend to be something you are not. If you perform to the actual level you are at you can learn to progress quickly and minimize the risk of injury. It also helps keep you motivated as it is easier to continue something that is at your comfort level than beyond it.
Hot flow yoga is the ideal form to progress to for those who are familiar with Bikram and wish to challenge themselves further. It is also perfect for those who are new to yoga and will help teach you the sun salutations in a precise yet easy way. Hot flow yoga is the perfect solution for cleansing the mind, spirit, and body and increases the benefits to be had from a session. Taking a hot yoga class can help you better connect with yourself and teach you how to push through your personal barriers that may be holding you back while providing you with a great full body workout.
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