7 Reasons To Warm Up Your Body With Hot Yoga This Winter

Get hot and detox this winter!

Looking for a practise that will build heat in your body, fire up your metabolism, strengthen your core and warm the cockles of your soul all at once?

Two words: hot yoga. A deeply nourishing and detoxifying practise, hot yoga has many health benefits for mind, body and soul. Benefits include increasing flexibility, boosting heart health and relaxing the mind (just to name a few).

Some consider hot yoga a ‘modern’ practise, thanks to the recent popularity in the West. The truth is - hot yoga has a far richer history beyond the chic studios we identify it with today. Yogis have been performing yoga in its most traditional essence, in heat for centuries with the birthplace of yoga - India - being a hot climate.

With that in mind, hot yoga is the natural way to practise asanas (yoga poses). Stretching in heat, gives your body the natural support it needs to deepen your practise. Along with the ability to enjoy the full depth of its holistic benefits, allowing a total rejuvenation of body, mind and soul.

Which is why, at Hot Dog Yoga, we heat most classes to between 28-35 degrees. We love to bring a modern twist to the studio, with our state-of-the-art interiors, playful sequences and uplifting vibe. However, we’re also all about staying true to the roots of yoga through practising asana in a warm environment.

The heating system we use is an ode to the outdoor sun. It uses ‘Far Infrared Technology’ (FIR) and radiates rays like that felt in natural sunlight, minus any risk or harm to skin. The effect of the rays allows deep penetration into the body, increasing blood circulation, higher levels of oxygen and white blood cells and the ability to stimulate collagen production (hello youthful glow!). And that’s just a few of the benefits!

For those needing a little bit of encouragement to brave the cold this winter and get a good workout in, here are a few more science backed reasons why hot yoga has all the health benefits.

1. It makes you more flexible!

Worried you can’t touch your toes? Hot yoga can help! While all forms of yoga encourage gentle stretching of the connective tissue, doing it in heated setting brings added perks. Studies have found hot yoga can improve whole body flexibility by up to 63%. It can also increase range of motion and flexibility in shoulders as well as hamstrings and lower back flexibility too.

2. It torches fat and burns serious calories

...as much as a brisk 90-minute walk! True fact! In a study conducted by Colorado State University, those who did hot yoga for 90 minutes burned between 330 and 460 calories. The study found it to be the same as doing a five-kilometre walk!

3. It boosts your mood and mindfulness

Stress may be a part of everyday, but it doesn’t have to be something you hold onto. In a study prescribed hot yoga to women experiencing depressing thoughts. The researchers found that those who did yoga for eight weeks showed decreased stress levels, experienced less emotional eating and focused less on negative feelings. Other studies show it can boost your mood by 58%. Yoga was particularly powerful combined with a mindfulness focused meditation. It can not only increase your ability to be mindful but also improve anxiety, depression and ability to manage pain.

4. It ups your gym performance

Think because you do deadlifts and weights at the gym, yoga isn’t really for you? Think again! Research has found adding hot yoga into your training schedule for eight weeks (three times a week) boosts your other workouts. The yogis increased their deadlift strength and flexibility while decreasing body fat versus everyday gym-goers.

5. It boosts immunity and keeps us healthy

Like it or not, sweat is the body’s natural way of detoxifying and excreting nasties from the body. In more interesting news, science has found that when we sweat, our skin produces a special antibiotic called dermcidin. This acts as a powerful protector - fighting germs such as tuberculosis and other nasties that can cause us harm. Yep, that’s right, by doing hot yoga (which is sure to have you breaking a sweat!) it not only detoxes the body but protects it too!

6. It builds endurance

There’s a reason infrared saunas are getting a lot of attention right now. They are the secret tool athletes use to recover quickly and build their performance endurance. In a study published in the Hypothermic Conditioning Report, participants who did a sauna after workouts (twice a week over three weeks), increased the time they could run before exhaustion by 32%! But here’s the thing, why just sit in a sauna when you can do hot yoga and boost both your athletic performance and endurance at the same time?!

7. It strengthens your heart

Be it hovering in half moon pose or stretching out in downward dog, practicing hot yoga regularly will keep your heart healthy. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia so yoga may be the key to naturally increase your longevity! Studies have shown that heated rooms (or saunas) reduces risk of hypertension. Yoga can improve cardio-metabolic health and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease — so pair them together and what do you get? You guessed it, hot yoga!