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How Hot Yoga Can Benefit Your Health

How Hot Yoga Can Benefit Your Health

Ever since yoga landed on our western shores from hot and humid India some 50 years ago it has gone through quite a few transformations. New styles have emerged to shape the bodies and minds of students of all ages. Yoga is now being taught in gyms, spas, office buildings, schools, universities and private yoga studios. In these settings it is often difficult to control the temperature in the practice room, and so large numbers of yoga practitioners never get to experience the full dimension of their practice due to an air-conditioned environment.

The work of pioneering yogi Bikram Choudhury is legend amongst the yoga community. His class consists of 26 postures performed in 105-degree heat for one and a half hours. Bathing suits replace yoga clothes, towels replace rubber mats, and the squish of damp carpet underfoot becomes the background music. Bikram makes a number of claims as to the physical benefits of doing yoga under heated conditions including weight loss through improved metabolic function, detoxification of toxins through sweat and greater flexibility in muscles and joints. In actuality it is the postures of Hatha yoga that allow for these improved conditions, while the heat is used to soften and prepare the body to stretch more deeply and without injury.

Bikram is not the only style of yoga to use heat in the classroom. Heat is the heart of any Hatha yoga practice, but too hot a temperature can also create a false sense of flexibility causing one to push tight tendons and ligaments too far, too quickly. According to Godfridev, author of Dynamic Yoga, “Hatha Yoga is a fire technique. It generates heat. Sweat should form a protective insulating coat on the surface of the body and not drop off profusely. Excessive sweating is a sign of excess liquid in the body, over exertion or both. By the time we come to the end of our practice, however, the body should be cool.”

The function of sweat is to cool an overheated body rather than remove large amounts of toxins, as is often the claim. Actually, your liver takes care of 75 percent of the body’s detoxification process, with the additional 25 percent taking place in the intestinal mucosa wall. What the twists and turns, forward and backward movements of the yoga postures do is massage the liver and intestines helping them to be more effective, while helping to push toxins out of the fat cells so they can be eliminated.

Raising the temperature in the body, whether with a yoga practice or in a sauna can help to fight off inflammation and improve immune function. This can be very important for individuals with multiple chemical sensitivity, pesticide exposure, chronic fatigue syndrome, Candida albicans, and Lyme disease. Raising the body’s internal temperatures is thought to kill off and/or subdue the yeast organisms and the Lyme spirochetes.

The movement between postures, particularly in a Vinyasa Flow style class, help raise the heart rate, oxygenating the blood, tissues and all other parts of the body. This internal heat comes from a deep place in the body radiating outwards to the skins surface. Students who have difficulty in a heated room and tend to sweat excessively find that over time this all changes. Eventually, they adapt to the heat, sweat much less and find they have more concentration, focus and internal strength then they ever imagined possible.

When attending a yoga class with a hot or even a warm room temperature drink water before and after the class to stay hydrated, bring your own mat and a hand towel to absorb any excess sweat, and layer your clothes so as not to become overheated. If your yoga space is air conditioned or cold in the winter months, ask to raise the temperature and heat the room not just for the added benefits, but for your physical safety as well.

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Blogs, Fitness, General Health, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Rejuvenate your Body with Delia Quigley, Yoga

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Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include author, artist, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia's blogs: and. To view her website go to


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2:14PM PDT on Sep 25, 2015

My Wife divorce me for no reason, Thanks to Dr Dr.jarto for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again, My name is Marcus Williams. i live in Italy, I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past s

2:00PM PDT on Sep 25, 2015

Thank you Delia.

1:57PM PDT on Sep 25, 2015

Thank you Delia.

1:27AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012


7:08AM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

bikram is amazing and the benefits dont just stop here. you automatically eat better food too for some reason. this other article is also good >>

5:29PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

thank you!

1:46PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

I can't imagine why one would think this was good for you.

11:45AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

noted, now I know what it is....

9:22AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Interesting, but not for me. I would be sure to pass out in that kind of heat!

9:07AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

"The sound of a squishy carpet becomes your background music.... ACK! who wants to roll around in other peoples sweat?? At any rate, not for the faint of heart.... which would be me.

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