Sweat It Out: 5 Reasons Hot Yoga Is The Best Workout You'll Ever Have

by Caroline McGuire

Yoga is quickly becoming a trend among workout fanatics. More and more of my friends with regular workout schedules reserve at least one day for the zen routine.

It's not only relaxing, but an effective way to challenge your muscles and get in a good stretch. While there are many different variations of the type of yoga class you may elect to take, hot yoga is definitely the way to go.

What is it about doing poses in a sweltering hot room that's so appealing to yogis?

Here are five reasons that will inspire you to sign up for a class:

1. Mindfulness

According to a Time article, "Focusing your attention on your breathing and body posture can anchor you in the present moment and foster mindfulness.”

Furthermore, a 60-to 90-minute yoga session can provide a nice detachment from disruptive technology and allow you to focus on yourself.

The Columbia Chronicle asserts Millennials who are constantly attached to their phones and frequent social media experience augmented echelons of anxiety.

Hot yoga is a great way to clear your mind and give yourself some true “me” time.

Finally, according to the Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, hot yoga lowers perceived stress and increases mindfulness.

2. Balance

A study conducted by exercise scientist, Dr. Brian L. Tracy of Colorado State University, found hot yoga exponentially increases one's balancing abilities.

This improvement can be attributed to the increase in strength and muscle control. It's no secret that yoga is largely centered around breathing, which is another way one may be able to improve his or her balance.

According to a Huffington Post article, “students report feeling more calm and centered,” while engaging in yogic breathing. Balance is important because it improves posture and athletic abilities.

3. Detox

Hot yoga is a great way to detoxify your system. For those who think regular yoga is not challenging enough, this exercise is a great way to break a solid sweat.

In fact, hot yoga makes you sweat so much, it is recommended you bring a towel so as to not slip on your mat. According to this Livestrong article, yogis lose about one to three pounds of water weight after a class.

4. Strength And Flexibility

Best Health Magazine states, “working in a heated room also elevates the heart rate, which makes the body work harder.”

Hot yoga is a tight combination of cardiovascular and flexibility fitness. Like any form of exercise, the more you practice, the more agile you become.

Hot yoga is no exception. The more you stretch, either on your own or in class, the stronger and more flexible your body will become.

5. Endurance

While running and yoga are two completely different workout regimens, they do share a commonality: endurance. Nobody knows endurance better than an athlete. To endure means to tolerate feelings of discomfort or pain throughout your workout.

Not the excruciating kind of pain, but the kind you feel after you try to touch your toes for a while. To endure means to not give up.

As mentioned earlier, hot yoga is in a 100-degree room. There are definitely times throughout my practice when I seriously wonder why I put my body through this; there are even times I consider giving up.

However, the feeling of accomplishment I achieve at the end is far a better feeling than giving up ever will be.

While doing hot yoga, it is always so important to remember to stay hydrated. Moreover, this is the one fitness class where I would not recommend pushing yourself to your limits, based on the conditions of the class.

Instead, acknowledge your limits and respect your body.