Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees.
As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at this temperature promotes profuse sweating which rids the body of toxins. Hot Yoga also makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible. Moksha Yoga is a form of Hot Yoga that is more well known today.
Hot Moksha Yoga
Hot Moksha Yoga is a series of traditional yoga postures created for practice in a heated room. Hot Moksha Yoga is a form of hot yoga that is ideal for the yoga beginner as well as the seasoned yoga practitioners. All Hot Moksha Yoga classes follow a basic structure that is fundamental to the Moksha Yoga practice.
Hot Moksha Yoga incorporates many challenging postures that sustain an elevated heart rate. Hot Moksha Yoga strengthens, tones, and stretches the muscles while calming the mind and reducing stress. The heated room allows tighter muscles to stretch with greater ease when doing Hot Moksha Yoga.
The series of postures taught in Hot Moksha Yoga is a cardiovascular workout.
Bikram Hot Yoga
Note: yoga master Bikram Choudhury founded Bikram Yoga which is a method
of Hot Yoga is a set series of 26 yoga poses, including two pranayama
exercises, each of which is performed twice in a single 90 minute
class. Recently, Choudhury was
involved in a lawsuit over his attempt to copyright his series of 26
poses done in a hot room. Currently he does not own the copyright to yoga performed in a heated room. The lawsuit was
resolved with an out-of-court settlement in which Choudhury agreed not
to sue the members of a San Francisco-based collective of Hot Yoga
teachers and they agreed not to use the Bikram name. Bikram remains a
very controversial figure in the yoga world.
Health Benefits of Hot Moksha Yoga
Health benefits of Hot Moksha Yoga include but are not limited to:
- Reduces stress. Hot Moksha Yoga's deep breathing exercises brings calming effect that reduces stress.
- Alleviates/Improves Depression. Hot Yoga also helps alleviate depression.In addition to melatonin, the pineal gland also controls the release of serotonin, the "mood" hormone. As certain postures flush the pineal gland with oxygenated blood its function improves and emotional highs and low begin to even out.
- Reduces and/or Alleviates Headaches. Many postures in the Moksha Yoga sequence relieve tension and tightness in the neck and shoulder area. As this area relaxes, blood flow increases and headaches often decrease or go away entirely.
- Improves Poor Posture. With regular Moksha Yoga classes the spine gets stronger and students notice that it is actually more comfortable to sit and stand straight.
- Improves Scoliosis. The work on stretching and strengthening the spine has a dramatic effect on those working with a spinal curvature. Hot Moksha Yoga helps ease pain and the strength in the internal muscle structure of the back improves which starts to allow for great ease in movement and better posture.
- Reduces Body Fat. Hot Moksha Yoga reduces fat due to excess heat. You will loose up to 1000 calories per session.
- Improves your Sense of Well Being. Hot Moksha Yoga helps increase your energy and improve your overall sense of well being.
- Reduces/Improves Insomnia. Several postures focus on
increasing blood flow through the pineal gland where melatonin, the
hormone released to induce deep sleep, is released.
- Reduces Digestive Problems.
With regular practice many Hot Moksha Yoga students find that they
don't crave junk food as much. This inclination towards a healthier
diet, coupled with calming the nervous system, helps with long-term
digestive issues. Hot Moksha Yoga also can help improve symptoms from
common digestive disorders such as irritable bowel disorder (IBS).
- Reduces Constipation.
Relaxing the central nervous system by focusing on breathing increases
a process called peristalsis. Peristalsis moves processed food through
the digestive system and out of the body. Certain postures increase
blood flow to the colon, further aiding the digestive process.
- Improves Arthritis.The 'hot' element of the hot yoga class is what has the most dramatic affect on arthritis sufferers.
- Reduces Back/Knee Pain.
The heat in a Moksha Yoga class relaxes the joints. Also Hot Moksha
Yoga focuses on opening the hips where knee and back pain often
Hot Moksha Yoga Limitation
Consult your doctor about being in a heated environment before starting any yoga program.
Hot Moksha Yoga is great for most people, however it is contraindicated under the following circumstances:
- Pregnancy. Women in their first trimester of pregnancy, unless they have kept up a regular hot moksha yoga practice for at least 6 months, are recommended to stay out of the heated room.
- Heart Disease. Those suffering from severe heart disease that limits cardiovascular activity.
- Children. It is best that hot yoga is practiced only after the child's sweat glands have developed;usually around a girl's first menstruation or a boy's growth spurt.
Hot Moksha Yoga Tips
- It is essential to have your own yoga mat when doing Hot Yoga since you will be sweating so much.
- Students tend to wear very little clothing for the same reason.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after class so you don't get dehydrated.
- It is not advisable to eat during the two hours before class.