Our Business Development Executive Ali has been trying out Hot Yoga as a training method for the upcoming Pink Ribbonwalk for Breast Cancer Care.
Have you ever heard of Hot Yoga? Our fitness expert explains more……
Hot Yoga. Just those two words are enough to bring some people out into a sweat and that’s the whole point of it really. But what is the attraction of this style of yoga that has celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow shouting about it, and Andy Murray even saying it helped him win Wimbledon?
Bikram Yoga, the most popular type of Hot Yoga, is based on regular Hatha yoga, but is performed at high temperatures in rooms with high levels of humidity – usually 40 degrees and 40 percent humidity. Yoga originated in India and it is thought that working at these temperatures and humidity levels replicates the conditions that people would have been used to there. Walking into a hot yoga studio is like walking into a sauna, with vents pumping steam into the room from all sides. Participants arrive with a large bottle of water and a towel, and both are very necessary.
Bikram yoga – which is the firm favourite of celebrities – was created by 69 year old Bikram Choudhury. Born in Calcutta, Bikram started practicing at the tender age of four and before long he was practicing for six hours a day. At the age of just 13 he won the National India Yoga Championship, a title he held for three years. Later in life he developed a sequence of 26 asanas (poses) which are believed to have a profound effect on both body and mind and these form the basis of Bikram Yoga. These 26 asanas systematically exercise every part of the body, including internal organs, veins, ligaments and muscles and when performed together help maintain peak physical and mental health.
The heat in hot yoga studios allows you to stretch your muscles more and be more comfortable in doing so – hence increasing the overall workout. There is also a reduced chance of injuries because muscles relax at this heat making it attractive to sports professionals who want to work their body whilst minimising the risk of injury in doing so. Anyone who has ever thought of yoga as a gentle form of exercise should note that Bikram himself refers to hot yoga studios as “torture chambers”!
Hatha yoga is believed to flush waste products away from the body and hot yoga enhances that further by helping to flush impurities out through the skin too. There’s a reason you get a healthy glow after a good workout and the same is true with hot yoga. In addition to the exercise benefits, hot yoga also helps people to lose weight successfully, and this is often a reason people take it up in the first place.
As well as dedicated yoga studios, more and more gyms in the UK are now incorporating hot yoga studios in their sites replacing some of the usual banks of treadmills and bikes. Fitness First, Virgin Active and Nuffield Health all now embrace the hot yoga trend at some of their gyms with others following.
Ali adds….”Since starting yoga a couple of months ago, I have seen and felt many changes. I was completely addicted from my first class, and if I can’t get to one I feel as if I am missing out of something. Every practice is different, I work at my own pace in my own zone – there is no competitiveness, just friendly helpful encouragement.”
“I feel stronger in both mind and body, and I can now get into yoga positions I thought were impossible. I am calmer, my posture is better, and I can also see that I am better toned and leaner.
It is part of my daily routine now and hand on heart I can honestly say that it has changed my life.Thank you all at Yard Yoga.”
It’s not too late to volunteer your massage skills to help those running or walking the Pink Ribbonwalk for Breast Cancer Care. Please visit https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/get-involved/sporting-challenges-walks/pink-ribbonwalks and say that 4Leisure Recruitment sent you. We know they’d very much appreciate your time and skills in making their huge fundraising events go smoothly.