About a year ago while we were living in Chicago, my boyfriend and I decided to give yoga a try. Okay, so maybe I only went because the classes were free with our gym membership. Either way, I had a few visions in my head of what it would be like and most of them ended with me trying to fold myself into a pretzel and laughing hysterically or falling asleep on the mat. Lucky for me, none of that ended up happening and I only almost fell asleep once. The few yoga classes I did attend never did much for me, I didn’t feel something deep, spiritual, or calming like the Real Housewives always do on TV and the environment was lackluster and boring. I decided to leave yoga alone and figured that maybe it just wasn’t for me.
Recently, my boyfriend mentioned that he was thinking about going to a class at Hot Yoga Dublin and I thought about giving it another chance. I’d heard about hot yoga before and knew it was supposed to difficult and refreshing and I love a good challenge, especially if it involves burning calories. Hot yoga typically takes place in studios that are heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity. If you don’t know how hot 105 degrees is, imagine sitting next to a pool in Arizona in the middle of summertime except there’s no pool and you’re fully clothed and trying to exercise. So yeah, it’s pretty hot. I was nervous about the heat and that I wouldn’t enjoy the environment, but mostly I was nervous that I’d have to run out of the room and vomit or that I’d faint and make a scene.
Photo via Instagram: @hotyogadublin
I decided to go anyway (risk taker, I know) and I couldn’t be happier that I did. Our first class was ‘Slow Yoga’ which is ranked level 1 and is perfect for beginners. I’ve been active my whole life – I’ve played sports, exercised consistently, and even ran a half marathon, but I have never sweat as much in my entire life than I did in that yoga studio. The studio itself was dimly lit, encompassed with warm tones and subtle decorations and though busy, was still incredibly welcoming. The teacher, Susan, walked the class through each pose gracefully and effortlessly and made it so easy to feel comfortable and relaxed and to really soak in the whole experience. After 60 sweaty, sometimes slippery, and challenging minutes, I was hooked. I’ve been attending 2-3 classes per week at Hot Yoga Dublin and I can literally feel the difference, not only physically but mentally as well.
Wondering if hot yoga is for you? Check out some of its benefits below or sign up for a class and decide for yourself!
Detox for days
I’m not talking juice cleanse, herbal tea or spa treatment here, just some good ol’ fashioned sweating. We ingest a ton of toxins on a daily basis, and not just from food and drink, but the idea is to keep them moving. According to livestrong.com, practitioners of hot yoga believe participating in regular yoga classes can help the body cleanse itself through the circulatory and respiratory system. The extra warm room temp that has us sweating more than a Rocky III training montage also allows toxins to be released through our skin. Ta-daaa, detox!
Tone that tush
According to Hot Yoga Dublin’s website, you can burn up to 400-600Kcal per class. Yep, you read that right. Livestrong.com even says that in a 90 minute Bikram Yoga class, a 150 lb. person can sweat off up to 715 cals. In comparison, I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical earlier and only burnt 275 so, there’s that. Aside from hot yoga being a full body workout, it also increases flexibility, balance, relaxation, muscle strength and endurance – I’m still working on the balance part.
Who doesn’t love sleep? If you said ‘me,’ you’re a liar. Huffington Post put together an article on yoga and sleep, sharing a study where a Kundalini Yoga sequence before bedtime significantly improved sleep efficiency and total sleep time. I have no clue what Kundalini Yoga is BUT they also shared another study that I could understand. The study showed that young adults who practiced hot yoga regularly woke up fewer times during the night and generally had a better quality of sleep. I don’t know about you but more ZZZs sounds good to me, plus, counting sheep is so 2016.
*For any Dubliners reading this post – Hot Yoga Dublin and Yoga Next Door are currently running a €50 one month unlimited special for new studio members. The normal rate is €18 per hot yoga class, €15 per regular class, or €90 per month so this deal is a complete steal! I’d highly recommend cashing in on it while you still can.