The general population began focusing its attention on yoga back in the 1970s. Back in those days, the number of yoga studios began rising, people started joining Bikram yoga classes, as well as Core Power Yoga or Evolation. Yoga sessions now take place in heated rooms, with temperatures between 90° – 105°F. Humidity levels are also high, ranging from 40 to 60 %.
A usual yoga session last for approximately 90 minutes. During these yoga sessions, you place your body in various “flowing” poses, which are all inter-connected. As elegant as it may seem, yoga is actually a very exhausting practice. According to yoga practitioners, these exercises are able to improve your physical health as well as your mental health. It is believed that yoga can make you concentrate better, increase your strength, help with weight loss, eliminate toxins from your body, make your skin look radiant and even fix back pain. Other health benefits include curing asthma and reducing the risk for heart disease.
The new form of “hot yoga” seems to replace the previous simple form of yoga. Hot yoga seems to improve flexibility. Since you exercise in a heated room, it is understandable that the body gets worked up faster and stretches easier. However, there is a higher chance of overstretching and even injury if done wrong. Also, it was stated that hot yoga is better than regular yoga because it helps your body lose toxins faster. The idea that toxins get released from your body through sweating does not have any scientific background yet. Some toxins can get eliminated through perspiration. Most of them however, are processed by the liver and get eliminated through urine and stool.
Hot yoga may not be appropriate for everyone. People who think about taking up hot yoga should make sure they have a good general health and fitness level. Exercising in a heated room can cause dehydration and it can raise the body temperature to the extreme. The person will feel nauseated, they might get muscle cramps or even pass out. Getting dehydrated and afterwards consuming high quantities of liquids can also be very dangerous. The levels of sodium in the bloodstream can lower and the person can develop symptoms like nausea, muscle cramps and even seizures. According to the British Medical Journal Case Reports from 2012, a 34 year old woman drank over 3 liters of water after a 90 minute session of hot yoga and needed to be hospitalized.
The cardiovascular system is also put to the test during hot yoga sessions. Hot yoga is not recommended for older adults, for people who suffer from hypertension, heart disease or have led a sedentary lifestyle for a longer period of time. Therefore, hot yoga might be right just for people who are healthy. Because of the heat, your body is facing more effort. Hot yoga will most likely not cure heart disease or anything else. It will simply maintain your fitness level, if you are already a healthy and fit individual. In case you wish to take up any form of physical exercise, make sure you start with baby steps, so your body can get adjusted to the effort. High levels of fitness are built in time, by regularly exercising, eating healthy and by knowing the limits of your body. These limits have to be pushed slowly, in order to make substantial progress.
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source: Iknow Today by Rita Teglas