There are a lot of myths about hot yoga that keep people from trying it out, even though most of them are completely untrue. In this post, we’re going to debunk the biggest myths about hot yoga and hopefully, entice more people to join our growing community.
Myth #1: I have to be flexible.
The biggest misconception about hot yoga — or, indeed, any type of yoga — is that you have to be flexible. But do note that the ability to bend and twist is not a prerequisite to any yoga practice; it’s actually something that you develop over time. There are modifications for all types of bodies and you won’t be forced to touch your toes or contort your body unnaturally if you’re not there yet.
If you’re still unconvinced, just look at several male athletes who are not naturally limber, like NBA’s Blake Griffin. He told Sports Illustrated that yoga helps him relieve tension in areas that have gotten stiff as a result of training, which also improves his flexibility. The heat actually works specifically for boosting blood flow, loosening tight muscles in the process.
Myth #2: It won’t help me lose weight.
While it is true that you sweat out a lot of fluids in a hot yoga class, which leads to losing water weight, it also involves 45 minutes to 1.5 hours of exercise. This is more than most people get in a day. During this time, you’ll be using your own body weight as a form of resistance while transitioning in between poses, which can actually be a great cardiovascular exercise. The Hot Yoga Spot also previously pointed out that it promotes better lifestyle habits and makes you more conscious of how you treat your body — from the food you eat, to the amount of sleep you get. This is essential to a safe and realistic weight loss journey.
Myth #3: I’m too old.
No one is too old to do hot yoga. If you’re worried about your joints, Yoga Journal states that it actually helps increase bone density as well as reduce joint pain. It can also help with reducing back pain and improving hip mobility for preventing falls. Of course, older adults need to be in the presence of a trained hot yoga teacher to ensure they get the required assistance, especially with regard to the temperature during the session.
Myth #4: It takes too much time.
Hot yoga classes vary in duration, but they normally won’t go over 1.5 hours. If you’re a busy individual, practicing hot yoga makes it all the more important as it can be a great outlet for stress and a good way to clear your mind for the day. This is why many corporate wellness programs involve yoga and meditation. For instance, if you work a desk job, a hot yoga class can help you unwind. Tech professionals in particular spend lots of hours sitting down, which can lead to chronic back pain. Hot yoga provides a short time away from screens, and can offer both relief from body pain, and a good way to destress and put themselves first.
Myth #5: It’s not for everyone.
The truth is, anyone can and should practice hot yoga, since personal health should be our top priority. Not only does hot yoga help in physical fitness, but it’s also an effective stress reliever. Nurses, for example, can benefit from the short break they get from a fast-paced work environment. The Nursing Center notes that long work hours leave little time for caregivers to look after their own health, and this can easily cause burnout. So with that in mind, hot yoga can teach nurses how to stay calm and perform well under pressure. Nurses who do yoga can also lead by example and influence their patients to practice mindfulness techniques for optimal health. Seeing as how Americans make over 916 million visits to nurses each year, Maryville University stresses that nurses are crucial in encouraging patients to choose healthy lifestyle habits. The lesson here is that to be able to take care of others, you must first be able to take care of yourself, and hot yoga is a great way to do that.
Hopefully this list clears things up about hot yoga. But of course, the best way to debunk myths like those above is to try it out yourself!
Written by Alisha Christa
Exclusive for thehotyogaspot.com