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Why Hot Yoga is So Hot Right Now

Hot yoga is done in a room heated to between 90 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit

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About the Author

Eryl McCaffrey

Eryl McCaffrey

Eryl McCaffrey is a yoga teacher from Oakville, Ontario and a passionate health and wellness writer. When she’s not reminding students of how powerful they are on their mats, she’s writing about ways to find happiness, peace and freedom in this life. Eryl also loves hiking, singing and jumping out of her comfort zone whenever she gets the chance! Check out her blog.

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Who would want to be stuck in a room with a bunch of sweaty people, breathing loudly, while they get drenched in their own sweat? Millions of people, actually.  Hot yoga isn’t just hot right now it’s been popular since the 1970’s.  It seems undeniable to me, though, that it’s getting more attention and more of a following than ever before.  I’m not completely unbiased, as I teach hot power yoga and practice it religiously—but, I’m telling you magic happens in this practice.  Hot yoga is about more than sweating it out on your mat, it’s about the additional mental challenges the heat brings that leads you towards incredible personal transformation.

 “Let’s face it some people like to meditate in quiet places with no distractions, but realistically that’s not life. Life is busy.” PYC Oakville Yoga Teacher, Monica Mallo

Hot yoga is typically done in a room heated to between 90 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  The warmth allows your muscles to relax a little more, which enables you to do some juicy stretching. It not only feels really good, but it’s also really good for your body. All those twisting poses you do? They’re aiding your digestion, and rinsing and cleansing your body of nasty toxins. Basically, if you’re dripping, you’re draining your body of all that does not serve it.

Just remember to hydrate really well when you practice hot yoga—(and, no a few glasses of red wine doesn’t count) — so you protect the delicate balance of fluids your body needs to perform well.  If you drink lots of water throughout the day, the truth is you won’t really need to gulp H20 while you practice, but only after to replenish yourself.

While hot yoga does wonders for your body, it also works magic on your mind and soul.  Hot yoga presents students with a few more challenges than non-hot yoga does. When the heat is up you have to work on overcoming more than the desire to get out of the pose or breathing, you have to accept the heat and the discomfort it can bring. The first thing a lot of people want to do when they get super hot is run for the exit door.  Hot yoga challenges you to stay in the heat, embrace it and use it as a tool to dig deeper in your mind.

When people get uncomfortable, emotions start to come up, thoughts start to surface and they often shed light on the struggles or triumphs that person has outside of the yoga studio. Sometimes I get this overwhelmed feeling when I practice hot yoga, and the thought “I can’t handle this” surfaces in my head. I notice it, and without judgment let it go. However, it makes me realize that I sometimes underestimate myself and my resilience and strength to overcome challenges. For other people, they might start to see a connection between their behaviour on their mat during hot yoga and their behaviour in the outside world. If a student leaves the class several times over the hour, he or she might also run away from uncomfortable circumstances in their everyday life. When the going gets tough, they get going. Hot yoga brings many things to light and gives you the strength and wisdom to overcome them.

The team over at Power Yoga Canada passionately encourages people to embrace and stay in the heat, because it’s a vehicle for personal transformation.

PYC Oakville Yoga Teacher, Monica Mallo, believes hot yoga empowers people: “ When you can hold a Warrior Two for a couple of minutes just watching the sweat dripping off your face and fingers and you’re still holding it focusing on your breath, I say you have reached a pretty powerful place of meditation. Let’s face it some people like to meditate in quiet places with no distractions, but realistically that’s not life. Life is busy.”

I’ve benefited greatly from doing hot yoga, in terms of being able to handle what comes my way with peace and trust in my heart. Where I used to react and push negative energy out in my life, I now respond and take it day by day. Yoga, in general, is a transformative practice, but the heat just adds that much more to the picture. It takes the personal growth factor to another level, by presenting you with more than the usual set of challenges in yoga. If you learn to love it, you’ll start to crave the heat and the way it makes you feel. You’ll start to embrace the warm room and the sweat, because you’ll know what’s waiting for you at the finish line: a stronger and more flexible, mind, body and soul!




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