You may have heard the claims?
‘Get toned, lose weight, build lean muscle and increase your flexibility’ through Hot Power Yoga…
‘reduce stress and anxiety by increasing mindfulness through yoga, breath and meditation.’
But is it true? Let’s ask the scientists…
We wanted to answer some common burning questions about Hot Yoga so people feel more confident to come and try our classes! Hot Yoga isn’t scary and intimidating, it is for anybody and everybody who wants to improve their quality of life!
- What are the benefits of Hot Yoga? The heat allows an increase of blood circulation, detoxification through sweat, warms the muscles to deepen your practice and also introduces cardio benefit for the heart (makes it harder!). It also makes you FEEL amazing afterwards! Power Yoga is named this way, because as at the end of a practice you FEEL powerful! It is less about the poses being super hard, and more about you finding your strength and inner power.
- Why is 25-32 degrees the perfect temperature for Hot Yoga? This temperature mimics a warm day (imagine in India, where yoga originated), without being overheated and risking heat exhaustion. Muscles don’t like to be stretched when they are cold, so being in a warm environment allows you to get into a safe zone for stretching, faster. We still build heat through an effective warm up and use a heat-generating yoga breath (Ujjayi breath) to warm the body from the inside too. On the other hand, practising yoga in a overly hot environment (above your own body temperature of 37°C) could create heat stress in some people. We do not utilise that practise temperature here at BRAVE. Our room is more of a ‘warm yoga.’ New Yogis are still advised to take their first Hot Yoga session with caution and to listen to their body. If they are feel dizzy or light headed, they should lay down in childs pose. Those with either extremely high or low blood pressure should speak to their doctor before undertaking Hot Yoga.
- Will Hot Power Yoga help me lose weight? Studies have shown yoga to improve body composition (1). Hot Power Yoga will build lean muscle and functional strength (5) which means you to burn more calories as you increase your muscle mass (6)! (Yay!) Yoga will also improve your mindfulness around eating and improve your relationship with your body and food (meaning you stop eating when you are full and make healthier food choices because you love your body!). So although you might burn more calories in a spin class, you will end up with a better relationship with food and your body, by having a regular yoga and meditation practice.
- Will Hot Power Yoga make me more toned? With a regular practice, yoga will build functional muscle mass through weight bearing exercise (5)(6).
- Will Hot Power Yoga make me fore flexible? One of the most important aspects of yoga is to improve flexibility, and Hot Power Yoga allows you to stretch deeper and get results faster than in a cold room. Flexibility gets more important as you age, whereby a limited flexibility can impact Activities of Daily Living (think tying shoelaces, bending over to pick up objects, improving balance so one is less likely to have a high-impact fall / injury). The balance of flexibility and strength is also very important for our bodies, and some yoga styles will focus more on flexibility without that balance or also building strength to support the ligaments and joints. In Power Yoga, we focus on both strength and flexibility, so you are left feeling balanced – strong to support yourself and more flexible!
- Will Hot Power Yoga help my anxiety or depression? Clinical findings suggest yoga can help reduce depression and anxiety, particularly as life stressors increase (2). Yoga can also help build community which encourages feelings of belonging and can help reduce feelings of loneliness(2).
- Will Hot Power Yoga help my back pain and posture? New students with back pain and skeletal dysmorphia are advised to speak to a healthcare professional before undertaking any physical activity. They are advised to let their yoga teacher know before class of any injuries or limitation in movement that may affect their mobility and functionality. Yoga is not a replacement for proper professional medical treatment. Yoga can improve back pain and injuries, but it is best done one a 1:1 basis to avoid further injury though the use of proper technique. If you want to talk to us about 1:1 classes, please get in touch.
- Will Hot Power Yoga improve my mental health or medical condition? Yoga practice is shown to assist in the management of many different health issues and medical conditions (3) as well as improve mood and feelings of well-being.
- Will Hot Power Yoga help my brain? Yoga has been shown through many clinical studies to increased overall brain wave activity through breath, meditation, and asana postures (3). It is also recommended that yoga can be used to help us age better (4).
- Will Hot Power Yoga help me sleep? Studies have shown yoga can improve sleep patterns (1)
- Am I better off going to the gym or going to yoga? Evidence suggests that yoga interventions appear to be equal and/or superior to exercise in most outcome measures. In addition, there are other benefits in yoga not found at the gym – such as breath regulation and mindfulness. If you want to have 6-pack abs, then you will be better off in gym, but if you want overall improved body composition, improved flexibility and a stabilisation of mental fluctuations, then perhaps Yoga is for you.
We can’t cover everything here, but we tried to cover some of the leading questions people ask when new to Hot Yoga.
The best way to answer these questions is to try it for yourself.
So email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org and come to try your first class at no cost. You can also bring a mate at no cost too, because we know working out with friends is way more fun!
Namaste (The light within me, honours the light within you)
The Brave Team
1.Yoga practice to improve sleep quality and body composition parameters of obese male – a randomized controlled trial. Franklin et al. Aug 201. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30352035 –
2.The physical postures of yoga practices may protect against depressive symptoms, even as life stressors increase: a moderation analysis. Rshikesan et al. Oct 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27044898
5.Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative. Cowen et al 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20006289