Some Like it Hot!
Sweaty Do’s and Don’ts
Summer is finally here, which gives us any excuse to be outside, including taking your practice outdoors. Practicing outside on a hot sunny day can almost be like practicing hot yoga. If you are considering practicing in the heat, here are a few do’s and don’ts to ensure a positive and safe practice.
An infrared heated class is one of the healthiest forms of heat. The heat is felt at a lower temperature but actually penetrates deeper into the body, creating a deep sweat to help release more toxins. It also helps cleanse the lymphatic system, (helps reduce cellulite!) internal organs, reduces inflammation and decreases lactic acid in the body, making it an ideal form of active recovery.
A few key things to expect in a hot yoga practice, is you will sweat A LOT! Sweating is a great form of eliminating toxins from the body and helps keep the skin radiant, glowing and healthy. Hot yoga can actually help increase lung capacity and is a great way to rev the metabolism, stimulate digestion and boost your immune system.
The heat helps stimulate the cardiovascular system; you may notice your heart beats more rapidly than in a regular temperature class. However, if you notice the breath becomes short and quick with a rapid heartbeat this is a clear sign to take a rest in child’s pose to help calm the body until the breath and heart slow down.
The heat allows the body to be more malleable and open; you may find that you can access poses with more ease and go deeper into your practice. With that, a great deal of caution and awareness to the body is essential to avoid overstretching and injury. The increased range of motion in the moment may feel amazing but once the body contracts back after class in regular temperature, you may notice the onset of pain or injury due to moving past the body’s natural range of motion.
Practicing in the heat can dehydrate you quickly so make sure to stay hydrated before and after the class. Avoid eating a large meal right before practice; this can be quite uncomfortable in the heat. In general, yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach.
If you are new to the heat, listen to your body! If you feel lightheaded or nauseous come into child pose and wait for the body to cool down; avoid leaving the hot room too quickly. The body needs time to acclimate before rushing back into cold air, no matter how tempting it is.
With these do’s and don’ts, if you find yourself in a hot yoga class or practicing under the sun, embrace the heat, breathe deep and let the sweat flow!
Rachelle Wintzen is the founder of The Chi Junky Yoga Studio. She is also a Lole Ambassador & the resident Yoga expert on CTV’s The Social. IG @chi_junky