Providing a wide range of health benefits, it is no surprise that hot yoga has grown in popularity. While heat enhances the detoxing and stress relief properties of the practice - among others - yoga is one of the best exercises to build strength, increase flexibility, and improve well being.
The activity of hot yoga was commonly reserved for a studio environment. But with the recent transition to home-workouts, it is now possible to experience the health benefit of hot yoga from the comfort of your own home.
Through understanding the effect of hot yoga on your body, the best suited style for your needs, and how you can set up your practice at home, this article provides you the information you need to embark safely onto your own hot yoga journey.
The Benefits of Hot Yoga
Stepping into an infrared heated room with the intention to mindfully move the body provides a detoxifying and somewhat addictive experience. And for good reasons.
Unlike a regular yoga class, adding heat to the practice is also very detoxifying. When using infrared heat, your body’s water molecules are stimulated to flush impurities and toxins on a cellular level. When the heat is controlled at a manageable temperature during exercise, the body sweats and cleanses, leaving you feeling good.
Boost Weight Loss
No matter the type of hot yoga you choose to practice - whether that’s a rigorous Bikram or flowy Vinyasa - pairing movement with heat pushes your body to constantly regulate its temperature in order to keep up. This boosts your metabolism to tap into stored energy and burn calories.
Improve Range of Motion
By allowing the muscles and nerves to relax, practicing hot yoga with a sauna room or infrared heat, ease your body into better flexibility. The tissues and joints surrounding your organs become more adaptable, providing you with a wider range of motion.
A hot yoga practice is as effective on your cardio as controlled interval training. Adding heat to the yoga experience - especially when flowing through active poses - stimulate the blood flow while fully engaging the muscle. This makes for the perfect strength and cardio engaging routine.
The combination of heat and movement provides therapeutic properties that not only boost circulation and increase the range of motions but also alleviate daily stress stored in the body. The controlled heat warms up your organs and muscles, prompting them to loosen up any knot, tightness, or constrain caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
The Best Yoga Styles to Practice with Heat
Hatha is a gentle and beginner-friendly practice. Pairing slow movement, breath, and meditation, Hatha is the perfect style when you’re looking to start your hot yoga practice. Poses are held for a couple of breaths, and the sequence will vary depending on the class you choose to follow. When involved with heat, the Hatha offers deep stress release while allowing the body to strengthen, and find alignment. The practice is suited for anyone and any level.
Vinyasa is a great practice to pair with heat. It requires to link breath and movement using a blend of postures that brings mobility and stability to the body. The aim is to build heat internally through a continuous flow. Vinyasa yoga can vary in intensity and quickly feel like a well-rounded workout. When its flow is paired with heat, the health benefit can be felt rapidly. This practice is best suited for beginners or intermediate, and for those who prefer constant movement to static poses.
Bikram is the most well-known hot yoga style. Commonly practiced not with infrared heat but with hot ventilation, Bikram is a set sequence of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises performed over 90 minutes. The rigorous practice aims to jumpstart the metabolism and work through the body with deep stretches, backbends, and balancing poses. Pairing Bikram with infrared heat instead of ventilation can be more gentle on the body while still providing a wide range of health benefits. This practice is best suited for those familiar with this style of yoga.
A practice that is both suited for seniors and wheelchairs, chair yoga can be easily paired with heat at home. Chair yoga is a gentle type of practice, modifying poses to fit the body’s constraint. This style of yoga aims to engage the upper body and improve the range of motions while adapting to physical restrictions. When heat is involved, the practice, even seated, still allows you to experience stress reduction, detoxifications, and boosted cardio. While seeking medical approval is a must, using a sauna room like our hot yoga room/wheelchair accessible sauna, the Catalonia, makes for the safest setup for your at-home practice.
At-Home Hot Yoga Set-up
The recent shift towards at-home practice has opened an unfilled gap for those craving the detoxifying sweat associated with hot yoga. Thankfully, setting up a hot yoga practice at home is now possible.
Hot Yoga with an Infrared Panel
Practicing yoga with an infrared panel system feels like exercising under the sun. It’s hot and sweaty, yet energizing and comfortable. The heat of 600 watts infrared panels penetrates the skin on a cellular level, making you sweat from the inside out.
Infrared panels are a great option when looking to practice hot yoga at home, quickly and easily. With an aesthetic that can fit beautifully in any décor, infrared panels like our glass radiant heating panel or mirror radiant heating panel can be mounted easily on the wall of your chosen yoga room.
- Designate a room in your house as your yoga corner
- Set up your chosen infrared panel onto the wall - you will need a hardwired connection
- Install your yoga mat in a way that you face away from the panel
- Dim the light, turn on your panel, and set-up your favorite yoga class on your laptop
- Flow for 30 to 60 minutes
Hot Yoga with a Sauna Room
If you are looking to have a studio-like setup for your practice, using a sauna room like our Hot yoga room/workout sauna or our Hot yoga room/wheelchair accessible sauna Catalonia is the way to go. Made with a 5000 watt infrared light system, a sauna room contains high heat within a controlled space. This setup creates a more internal yet exhilarating experience.
And because practicality is important, each sauna room contains a set of features that will allow you to take your practice to the next level. The Hot yoga room/workout sauna contains mirrors to assist you with alignment. The Catalonia sauna contains portable benches to fit your physical needs. Both sauna rooms also include a Bluetooth sound system, to fully immerse your mind into the yoga practice.
- To set up, find a spot in your home that will fit the exterior dimension of the sauna room
- Build the room according to the instructions provided
- Turn on your sauna room and set it at your preferred heat.
- Connect your music, wear light clothes and step into the room for your practice
- Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes.
While any hot yoga practice provides a large set of health benefits, each body responds differently to heat and it is important to also acknowledge any potential risk.
- Hot yoga will make you sweat so keeping yourself hydrated pre and post-practice is essential to help the body properly recover and avoid injuries.
- Exercising with heat can cause strain on the heart, so it is best to consult with a doctor before starting hot yoga. Avoid completely if you have a history of heart-related problems.
- A hot yoga session makes the body and muscles very malleable. You must be mindful to not overstretch, avoiding muscle tears, and injuries.
- A heated experience can be quite intense for some, so it is important to listen to your body, adjust the practice, and rest when needed.
While being mindful is an essential part of your experience, starting a hot yoga practice at home has never been easier. Whether you want to start with some infrared panels or have your own hot studio, the health benefits associated with a regular practice will be worth the investment.