While hot yoga has been around for a while, the fitness trend of heated classes seems to be picking up. Hot workouts laud benefits like increased flexibility, more calories burned, weight loss, and detoxification. And while we know that these classes certainly make us sweat more, is the torture really worth it?
Proponents of heated classes argue that the environment serves up a slew of positives: “The heated room intensifies any practice, and I found it to be a perfect accelerator for Pilates,” says Shannon Nadj, founder of Hot Pilates, LA’s first heated Pilates studio. “The heat speeds up your heart rate, intensifies the workout, and makes it more challenging. It also ensures that you warm your body faster,” she explains.
Aside from the physical benefits, the mental connection you develop to your body during a heated class is also different from non-heated classes, says yogi Loren Bassett, whose popular Hot Power Yoga classes at Pure Yoga in NYC are always packed. (See Is Hot Yoga Safe To Practice?) “The discipline, the pushing through when you are uncomfortable, and finding comfort in discomfort—if you can overcome that, then you can translate that to your life off the mat. When the body gets stronger, the mind goes along for the ride.”
Heated classes are not for everyone though. “Individuals who do not respond well to working out in hot conditions or individuals with underlying heart issues should be careful. It’s important to acclimate slowly and to always stay hydrated. Understand your own limitations,” says Marni Sumbal M.S., R.D, an exercise physiologist who has worked with athletes when they are heat training. (Avoid dehydration with The Art of Hydration During a Hot Fitness Class.) Continue reading >>