It’s no secret that yoga has a cult-like following, with yogis often talking about the benefits of the exercise that originated in ancient India.
Over the years another style of yoga has taken the world by storm. Bikram yoga, where the studio is cranked to 40 degrees, is hugely popular.
But is hot yoga any better for you than regular yoga? FEMAIL spoke to the owner of Sydney’s BodyMindLife yoga studio, Phil Goodwin, to find out.
Over the years another style of yoga has taken the world by storm. Bikram yoga, where the studio is cranked to 40 degrees, is hugely popular
Phil explained that doing yoga in a hotter room has multiple benefits – and for many it seems like an extra efficient workout.
‘With the high level of toxins we’re exposed to today, the more you can flush out through hydration and sweat, the better,’ Phil told FEMAIL.
‘Infrared heat helps the body get rid of toxins through the activation of the lymphatic system, and increases blood circulation, which supports our organs and glands.
‘Our studios use the same infrared heat as saunas, which have proven health benefits.’
FEMAIL spoke to the owner of Sydney’s BodyMindLife yoga studio, Phil Goodwin, to find out if hot yoga was any better for you (pictured)
WHAT IS HOT YOGA?
Hot yoga are varying styles of yoga performed in hot and humid conditions, typically called Bikram yoga.
Bikram yoga is considered the original incarnation of the form.
The classes follow a set sequence of 26 postures and focuses on endurance as well as challenging yourself.
Phil said that the heat helps to enhance people’s immune systems, promotes relaxation and can address systems of chronic disease.
‘The challenge and commitment required in hot yoga cultivates the practice of mindfulness, which we know is key to managing stress, anxiety and feeling a greater sense of wellbeing and happiness,’ he said.
Since your skin is the largest organ in your body, sweating is an extremely detoxifying process.
Phil said that the heat helps to enhance people’s immune systems, promotes relaxation and can address systems of chronic disease
A recent study conducted by Texas State University found that Bikram yoga is no better for your health than doing it at room temperature. The researchers concluded that is was the postures which can improve a person’s health, not the temperature in which they are performed.
Although Phil explained that Bikram has multiple benefits, his studio changed from hot yoga to ‘warm yoga’ which is where the room is set at 30 degrees.
‘We changed because with Bikram the class becomes more about surviving the heat rather than learning more about the hot yoga techniques,’ Phil said.
‘I don’t think regular yoga or hot yoga is better than the other, I think people are attracted to different things. Some people want results and want to feel challenged, so for hot yoga people really thrive on that challenge.
‘No matter the style you choose you’re still building muscle tone and strengthening and stretching your muscles.’
Although Phil explained that Bikram has multiple benefits, his studio changed from hot yoga to ‘warm yoga’ which is where the room is set at 30 degrees
Depending on the level of heat in the classes, Phil said some people find it easier to get into yoga poses in the heat, especially men who tend to be less flexible.
But Phil explained that putting yourself in such an extreme environment as Bikram yoga can have it’s limitations.
‘The key to doing it successfully is making sure you have good hydration, good nutrition and regular movement,’ he said.
All of this being said, Phil explained that putting yourself in such an extreme environment as Bikram yoga can have it’s limitations
He said that keeping track of how many kilojoules an average person loses in a class is difficult, but the heat does improve those results.
‘You will see results with anything you commit yourself to regularly as long as it’s safe and you practice with good instruction,’ he said.
‘Life demands so much of us these days that we have to be at our best. If you’re operating at a less than optimal level, then everything in your life is impacted.
‘The commitment and challenge that comes from hot yoga can lead to huge personal growth off the mat – often how you deal with postures on the mat is how you deal with the challenges we have in life.’