Hot yoga is a form of practice in a hot and humid room, which results in – as you can imagine – a lot of sweating! But, did you know you can get similar results at home? Hot yoga doesn’t necessarily speak to the temperature of the room itself, but more so to the temperature of the body during movement. The practice dials up body temperature to a level that is safe and optimal for movement and flexibility.
For many, hot yoga means a studio with special heat technology and professional ventilation. In other words, a very hot room! But, you can practice hot yoga in your own home, without expensive equipment and astronomical electricity bills.
Here’s our guide to hot yoga at home including a how-to tutorial and resources to get you started!
The Benefits of Hot Yoga
Many practitioners believe that the largest benefit of hot yoga is a higher caloric burn. While any exercise in a heated room will yield a higher burn, the real benefit comes from the practice of yoga itself. Studies have proven that your body can achieve similar levels of vascular improvement in both a heated and non-heated room, because of the “tourniquet effect.” This is where we hold some postures, occluding blood flow, and then re-introduce the blood flow at a high pressure in between postures. This repeated high-stress vascular practice can increase endurance and aerobic exercise in the body.
Aaron Thomas, the co-founder of Original Hot Yoga Academy, an online hot yoga teacher training program for 26&2, explains, “The real benefits of hot yoga come from a heated internal body temperature; where the body is heated to a beneficial but not harmful temperature. Studies have shown that the body receives a heat-induced fascial relaxation at these elevated temperatures. This reduces stiffness and allows for more extensibility of collagen. You become more flexible and feel less pain, a lovely one-two punch.”
Other benefits of hot yoga include:
- Improved flexibility
- Higher caloric burn
- Increase in bone density
- Lower stress
- Lowers depression
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Reduces blood glucose
- Improves skin and increases collagen levels
How to Practice Hot Yoga at Home
Practicing hot yoga at home doesn’t require you to overload your heating system. Instead, focus on increasing your core body temperature. We’ve put together an easy tutorial to increase your body temperature. Remember, there’s no need to overload your home with humidifiers and portable space heaters, however, if you want to heat a small room fast, these can be a great option. Just always be sure to turn off your heaters and humidifiers after your practice.
- Create a space specifically for your yoga practice. Remove all clutter to promote focus, and opt for a smaller room that will heat up faster. Set up your yoga mat and any other tools you need for your practice.
- Take a hot shower before you begin to practice to raise your body temperature.
- Start your practice with meditation, sip on some hot tea to increase your temperature.
- Begin your practice with a few extra layers of clothing.
- Start your practice by setting your intention.
- Move through your flow, do not skip Savasana!
- After practice, ease out slowly, and be sure to turn off any heaters if you used them!
Tips & Tricks from the Experts
Experts say that a two-degree increase in core body temperature is a good rule of thumb when practicing hot yoga. If you want to check your temperature during and after class, you can see if you are reaching optimal core temperature.
Ida Ripley, the co-founder of Original Hot Yoga Academy recommends three ways to elevate your core body temperature at home. “First, take a hot shower before you begin. This will increase the internal body temperature before you hit the mat. Second, have a warm beverage, like green tea about 20 minutes before beginning. This, along with the shower, will keep the internal flames fanning. Lastly, in order to keep that heat where you want it, begin with multiple layers of clothing. Take them off or put them back on as you need.”
Deepen Your Practice
Begin your at-home yoga practice with online yoga classes and programs like this one. When you’re ready to take your practice to the next level and learn more about hot yoga, take a training with the Original Hot Yoga Academy. The online academy is operated by a husband-and-wife team who focus on teaching the connection between mindful breath work and movement. You can now get certified to become a 26&2 hot yoga instructor online through their program that offers a 330-Hour YTT certification. Visit their online yoga studio and learn from the pros themselves!