There are many different types of yoga, but hot yoga seems to be the one that intimidates newbies the most. Some are a little weary to start practicing because they are shy and don't want to look silly. But what most people don't realize is when you step into the studio you leave all judgments and negative thinking at the door. It is a calming, peaceful and 100% individual experience. You don't have to worry about falling out of postures, being unable to balance for as long as others, or not being able to bend in ways others can. It is called a “practice” for a reason-- you'll get there!

Below are some of the most common concerns and fears (and a few misconceptions!) regarding hot yoga classes-- and why they shouldn't hold you back from trying one of our beginner yoga classes this week:

1. I'm not flexible. One of the main reasons to start practicing is to increase your flexibility! After only a few classes you will notice a significant difference in your flexibility (on top of muscle tone and strength). Also, the heated room provides the perfect environment for your muscles to stretch and relax-- so you don't have to worry about over extending yourself. You should only go to where you feel comfortable, and for everyone that is a different place.

2. I am going to pass out. The room is not so hot that you will pass out-- we guarantee that. But, if it is one of your first hot yoga classes and you are feeling a little light headed or dizzy, all instructors always encourage their students to simply lie down on their backs until they feel well again. The key is to resist the urge to deeply inhale and exhale from your mouth, like people usually do while working out. The reason for this is because breathing this way increases your body's fight or flight response. By breathing only through your nose you will keep a steady heart rate.

3. It's the most intense type there is. Each person has a different experience. Some people find regular yoga classes to be more difficult, because their bodies are not as loose and stretched when they aren't in the heated room.

4. It's not a real work out. While it is true that yoga-- all types-- are a type of meditation in their own, your body is still getting quite the workout. Not only will you be sweating and getting a cardio-type workout from your hot yoga class, but you will also be toning your muscles and increasing mobility/flexibility.

5. It's only for women. Every day more and more men are giving yoga a go-- and with good reason! Many professional athletes even swear by it, including Derek Jeter, Lebron James and Kevin Garnett.

While we always encourage our customers to try new and different classes, it's entirely possible hot yoga classes simply aren't for you. Some find the heat is just too uncomfortable and prefer classes in regular temperature rooms-- and that's fine! At Flow Pilates and Yoga we have a plethora of classes to choose from.  

Monday, 03 February 2014 15:15

Hot Yoga: What Are the Benefits?

At Flow Pilates in Oldsmar our hot yoga classes can get pretty intense-- in a good way! With the temperature of the room set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a guarantee that this will be a workout like you’ve never had before.  With all the hype surrounding these classes, maybe you’ve been considering trying it out, but you still aren’t sure. Here are some benefits to be gained from hot yoga:

  • The heat promotes flexibility. Cold stiff muscles are not going to stretch as comfortably as warm ones.  As your muscles heat up, they will become more receptive to longer and deeper stretches, allowing you to get a better workout. The heat allows you to reach new personal bests while stretching, which is always a great feeling.  
  • Greatly decrease the chance of injury. Some people worry that they may hurt themselves with all of the intense stretches, but in a heated room, your muscles will become much more fluid, and much less likely to be injured. Before taking a hot yoga class at Flow Pilates in Oldsmar, be sure to let your instructor know of any past injuries you may have, so they can better guide you through the positions.
  • Full body detoxification. Think of this as a facial for your entire body. Sweating will rid your body of its toxins, as well as clearing out your pores.  Stretching alone permits your muscles to rid themselves of toxins, and the heat only promotes this.
  • Cardio, cardio, cardio! Your heart rate can increase to the same rate during hot yoga as it will if you were to run a mile.  These postures promote balance while also contracting all of your muscles, which is fantastic for your heart. Moreover, your blood thins in the heat which helps clear your circulatory system.  In one Bikram class, you can burn up to 1,000 calories!

If you aren’t quite ready for the 104 degree class, Flow Pilates in Oldsmar also offers to beginners a hot yoga class which takes place in a classroom set to 94 degrees. This will let your body build a tolerance to the heat, so when you are ready for the full class, it will be no problem.  To prepare for your class, be sure to drink plenty of water beforehand, and wear clothes that breathe well. The main goal for yoga is therapy- it is great for healing old injuries, preventing new ones, and allowing you to always feel your very best. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 20:36

What to Expect for Hot Yoga

It is going to be very hot

Beginning lessons start at 95 degrees. The intermediate classes are at 105 degrees. Each class is 90 minutes in the heat stretching in a specific sequence of 26 poses. You might get a little dizzy, nauseous, light-headed or fatigued from the heat. This is totally normal.

You will sweat. A lot.

Sweating buckets is the norm in Hot Yoga, particularly in the beginning. All the sweating is good for the detoxification and exfoliation of your body. It is important to go in hydrated, because it is easy to get dehydrated with the amount of sweating. Know that everyone is sweating just as much as you, if not more, and just let it happen.

It will be difficult at first.

It’s usually a good idea to try Hot Yoga after you have intermediate level experience with non-heated Yoga. Attempting the complex stretches in the heat is an intense experience that can lead to soreness. After your first class, going back for your second class as soon as possible afterward is best so your body can get used to stretching under the heat. Learning to trust your body and let go of control can be difficult physically and mentally, but that is the good thing about Hot Yoga; it is a rewarding challenge. It's called a practice for a reason.

It builds strength in every muscle group.

This can help runners, and people with back problems. It also provides stress relief. The muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, organs, glands, tissues, bones and fascia are all massaged and stimulated in Hot Yoga.

You will sleep better and be happier.

All the tension and toxins released after Hot Yoga with the humid heat and the stretches provide sleep and happiness. The added flexibility and strength to your body may also be accompanied by weight loss.

Hot Yoga is an intense experience that many people choose for the increased flexibility, toned muscles, and overall health & well-being. We offer a wide variety of Tampa hot yoga classes.