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icon_butterfly Hot Yoga: The Benefits & Whether It's Right For You!

By Hannah Hawkshaw
After class, I’m feeling sweaty, but also detoxified and rejuvenated. There is nothing quite like that post-yoga glow. I recently brought a friend along to her first hot yoga class, and it was incredible to witness the effect it had on her. I have been practising for awhile now, and so, it’s easy to forget the transformation it brings, not only physically, but also mentally.

I have noticed that there is quite often the misconception that yoga is simply ‘fancy stretching’ but it is so much more than that. It’s a great workout, but also the chance to become more at one with yourself. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be very easy to put ‘me’ time on the back burner, but it’s essential to becoming your Best Ever Self. When you’re at your best, you are of much more benefit to those around you, and generally live a more fulfilling life.

Today I wanted to dive into the benefits of hot yoga, to find out whether or not it’s the right mindfulness activity for you!

Benefit #1 (and quite often the most noted): Detoxification
Hot yoga is practised in a room heated to between 35-40 degrees, and so really gets you sweating the toxins out of your skin. 

Benefit #2: Works Your Body Harder
The heat is also known to help you get deeper into the postures and with more ease. The heat also elevates the heart rate, in turn, giving you a much more intense workout... And who doesn’t want to tone up?!

Benefit #3: Relaxation 
It’s incredibly relaxing to practise in the heat. The body relaxes more easily and breathing is improved, creating a sense of ease within the body and mind. 

Benefit #4: Mindfulness
It focuses the mind, which helps with concentration, but more importantly, it’s your time to be at one with yourself. You leave feeling refreshed and with a peace of mind that allows you to be much more productive in the rest of your day.

Preparing for your first class:
1. Hydrate yourself. Drink plenty of water, before and after your class. I personally like to attend morning class and have breakfast afterwards, and if not, I eat very lightly before my class. 
2. Don’t compete. With yoga, go with your own pace. Don’t kill yourself to get into a pose and instead, follow what your body feels to be right for it. Yoga is a non-competitive activity, so just do what you are capable of to really enjoy the benefits of the class.

How you feel at the end of a class:
By the end of a yoga class, I always feel incredibly relaxed and well stretched. After your first class, you may feel conscious about the amount of sweat pouring out of you, but it’s important to remember that everyone is experiencing the same thing. I have come to enjoy the feeling of the toxins seeping out of my skin and it re-enforces the fact that I’ve had a fantastic workout for both my mind and body. Enjoy the last few moments of your class lying in Savasana (corpse pose), and leave ready to really appreciate every moment that the rest of your day brings.

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