In the last 20 years I’ve tried a variety of exercise routines and if I had to choose just one it would be hot yoga. Not Bickram, which in my opinion is boring, but a hot vinyasa yoga between 60-90 minutes in duration. I have a love/hate relationship with hot yoga in that, it is hard as heck but the work is worth the sweat (literally). Let me break down the benefits, what you need to practice, and how to prepare:
- Move & Groove– Your inhales and exhales are what move you in this practice and it’s really quite healing. A good studio will play great, sometimes hype music. It’s kind of like a yoga dance party and who doesn’t want to move to music?
- Detoxification & increased flexibility- The heat and humidity loosens muscles and joints to create room for a greater stretch as well as detoxifies the body from the inside out. Literally this practice creates so much sweat, I can wring out my clothes afterward.
- Strengthens & Lengthens– It’s a cardio and strength workout; your heart rate is certain to reach your anaerobic threshold (this means intensity yo!) and you are using your own body weight in many poses developing strength and lean muscle tone.
- Weight Loss– Using my Fitbit, I’ve logged as many as 618 calories in one 80-minute session. My husband came a couple of times and burned even more.
What you need to practice:
- A good yoga mat- don’t compromise on this with a $10 mat from TJ MAXX. Trust me, you will want a good quality. Here is my favorite one.
- A yogi towel. Most heated studios sell them or you can get this one. ~It’s necessary to avoid slipping~
- Water Bottle…. You just don’t want to practice without it.
- Hydrate- this doesn’t mean drink a glass of water before hand, start the day before. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 pounds you would drink 75 ounces.
- Pin your hair back out of your face and off your neck. You’ll thank me laterJ
- Bring a change of clothes because yours will be soaked. YAY! Detox and instant weight loss (easily 5-10 pounds of water retention)
I hope this motivates you to try yoga and remember to give anything about 30 days to really determine if it’s something you love. Shop around because all studios are not created equal. If you don’t feel welcomed and inspired even if you know you look ridiculous in that DFD (downward facing dog) then it’s not the studio for you.
My very favorite is Sumits Gilbert, specifically that one because the owner has incorporated some other great flows and the teachers are AH-mazing.
Now go get BENT!