Everyone seems to know typical yoga poses like sun salutation or downward facing dog. But add a little heat to that, and youâ€™ve got the hottest (pun intended) new fitness trend: hot yoga. But whatâ€™s all the hype about?
Studies have shown that hot yoga, as opposed to regular yoga, may rid the body of toxins, prevent injury, increase blood flow, provide the body with a cardio workout and improve functions of the immune system, respiratory and lymphatic system.
â€œRegular and Bikram (hot) yoga both provide a mental and physical challenge, but it all depends on the person; whether or not they are comfortable in extreme heat,â€ says Taylor Peltier, a president of YAMS.
According to bikramyoga.com, the recommended temperature for a hot yoga session is a minimum of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and about 40% humidity. Keeping the room at this temperature has many benefits like reorganizing lipids in muscles and thinning blood to clear the circulatory system, but this room temperature may not be for everyone.
Peltier says she personally enjoys hot yoga because her muscles are warm, enabling he to push deeper into the different poses.
â€œWith Bikram yoga, many people find it easier to focus and find a sense of inner peace within their practice,â€ she says. â€œThe heat brings you to the present moment and improves concentration.â€
A common misconception about yoga in general is that people need to be flexible in order to get a successful workout, but this is not the case. Peltier says people become flexible by practicing yoga.
â€œEveryone has had their first class and fallen on their faces,â€ she says. â€œYou fall out of postures, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.â€
There are many opportunities to try hot yoga for free, yes, free. Downtown studios like Lila Yoga Studio and Lotus Center Yoga will often have student weeks where students can attend any class free of charge. Every Monday at 8 p.m. Yoga in State College with Doug Hayward offers free community hot yoga. Grab a friend and try it out.
To find out more about hot yoga in State College, check out the Yoga and Meditation Societyâ€™s facebook page (Y.A.M.S).
Photo by Orhan Yilmaz