I was inspired to try my first hot yoga class after hearing my physics professor share how his journey through yoga helped him lose over 100 pounds in under a year. As a retired competitive cheerleader, I’d lost touch with my flexibility, and I yearned for a practice to get me moving again. What could go wrong?
On a sweltering summer morning in the middle of June, I signed up for the “Some Like It Hot – 75” class at a nearby studio. I’ve never been one for the heat, so this 75-degree class seemed like an easy transition.
I entered the studio, stored my car keys and shoes in a cubby, grabbed a mat and entered the “hot room.” Because of the mild temperature, I wasn’t nervous about the class. Yet by the end of the hour, I found myself balancing in a large puddle of sweat.
Afterward, the instructor asked me what I thought of the class. I told her, “That was the hottest 75 degrees ever!” She said, “That’s because it was 108.” Moral of the story: Don’t be nervous to try something new. The “hot” in “hot yoga” scared me. If I hadn’t made the mistake of signing up for what I thought was a 75-degree class, when would I have tried it? Since then, I’ve been practicing hot yoga at the same studio for about two years. It’s changed my life.
Benefits of hot yoga
The many benefits of practicing hot yoga include increased muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and weight loss. With temperatures ranging from 90–110 degrees, muscles are more relaxed, reducing the likelihood of injuries throughout the workout. In addition, all the sweating allows unwanted toxins to leave the body. And like other types of yoga, hot yoga focuses on various breathing exercises that help increase lung capacity and lead to better circulation.
Read the rest of the article in the August issue of Contour magazine.
~Alexandra Nash, Southern Illinois ’21