New Study Shows Yoga Combats Depression

As it turns out, yoga can do a lot more than just decorate your Instagram feed. Findings from Boston University School of Medicine point to yoga as an alternative to pharmaceutical treatments for depression.

Almost half of individuals using antidepressants for Major Depressive disorder (MDD) do not achieve full remission. Researchers suggest yoga-based therapy as a promising treatment to fill the gap. The study found that study participants who participated in at least two 90-minute yoga classes per week had a significant decrease in depressive symptoms.

The study looked specifically into a technique called “Iyengar yoga” that focuses on precise alignment and breathing exercises. Researchers paired Iyengar yoga positions with transitions into periods of relaxation to enhance the potential relief effects for patients with MDD.

The research, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, randomized study participants with MDD into a high-dose group (three classes a week) and a low-dose group (two classes a week) for a 12-week yoga schedule. Both groups showed improvements in their depression symptoms, with subjects in the high-dose group testing higher in clinical improvements. Researchers used the Beck Depression Inventory-II as well as the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale to track the progress of participants.

With this new information, those with Major Depressive Disorder may be able to ease their symptoms without the side effects of pharmaceutical treatments.

In a statement, the researchers concluded that the study, “supports the use of a yoga and coherent breathing intervention in major depressive disorder in people who are not on antidepressants and in those who have been on a stable dose of antidepressants and have not achieved a resolution of their symptoms.”

Here Are A Couple Of Yoga Poses To Help You Shake Off Winter

Spring has been a long time coming this year. Although the days are longer, the cold and rain keep on coming. This can be hard on our bodies and our minds because spring is supposed to be the time of cleansing and renewal. How can we feel renewed if we’re still stuck in the winter blues?

The transition between seasons is considered a powerful time for transformation and release. We are still in the time of winter’s end and spring’s beginning. Winter is the season of water, the depths of emotions, and the deep planning for what we want to grow in the coming year. Spring is the season of wood, of putting the seeds in the ground, or watching the seeds push through the snow, the concrete, the Earth — whatever is in its way. The seed will emerge.  That is the potency of this time. Knowing that spring will come, you can harness the energy of this in-between murky time to help push yourself through the final doldrums of winter.

Energy Medicine yoga can help you navigate this muddy, semi-frozen time between seasons, and below you’ll learn about poses to help you do just that.

There are five seasons in traditional Chinese medicine, and each season is ruled by an element. Each element has a corresponding movement and motion, an asana, to help balance the extremity of that element and bring all five elements into coherence with each other. Each asana also has a sound that resonates in the body and helps strengthen the organs that go with that element. At this in-between time, I like to go back and forth between the two elements at play, to both encourage and balance the disparate feelings and emotions.  It helps to process your own subconscious feelings and emotions that are also coming up organically with the change of seasons.

Winter can be a time of fear — the darkness and isolation, the uncertainty of the future. It is the time of the child emerging into the world from the watery, womb-like depths. The organs ruling winter are the kidney and bladder, responsible for our cleansing processes as well as sending life force energy through all our meridians. To come through the fear into the more empowered emotion of courage, we do a yoga pose called Blowing out the Flame.

Then we move into spring. This can be a time of anger. All the debris both physical and mental from the long, cold winter, and now the messy melting, are front and foremost. We get stuck in mud; we get caught in rain.  We try too hard, and miss the mark. Our anger can be oversized in reaction to seemingly small events. These elements of spring are ruled by the gallbladder and the liver. Responsible for helping digest fats and dispose of toxins, these organs are forced to work through the junk we throw into our system and keep us running smoothly. The liver governs the smooth flow of chi and the smooth flow of our emotions. To get to a place where the anger is flushed out and replaced by a sturdy confidence, we do an asana called Expelling the Venom.

Together, this is a one-two combo to help you move into the height of spring, feeling powerful, confident and clear.

Blowing out the Flame

Start in a squat. You can put padding under your heels if you need to.  If you can’t balance completely, you can wrap one arm around your knees and put the other on the floor to help balance you. If you can balance in a squat, hug both arms around the knees.  Tuck your head, inhale, close your eyes, and let whatever fears you have wash over you.  Then look up, imagine a candle flame in front of you, and blow it out, using the sound, “Whoooo” as you do so. Do this two more times, curling inward, feeling the inner child in all the insecurity and curiosity and uncertainty, and look up, blowing the candle out, knowing you can handle the dark.

Expelling the Venom

After the third time, lift up into chair pose, with the knees bent and the upper body lifted facing forward.  Now bring your hands in front of you, and gather in your hands all the things that make you angry, frustrated, fearful, uncomfortable and stuck. Pull it all together and up and swing your arms back and up overhead.  Now release them forward, throwing your hands down to the floor with the sound, “Shhhhhhh.”

Practice this once more — gather the junk, swing it up and over.  Release it to the earth.  Now for the third time, do it slowly, up, and over, and “shhhhhhh” down to ground.

You can go back and forth between these two asanas a few times.  They fit wonderfully into a sun salutation practice, and they can be done on their own as both a physical warm up and as an emotional clearing.

After your last Expelling the Venom, allow the body to release forward into a full-forward bend.  Hang there for several deep breaths, allowing the energy to release from your body and the ground.  Then slowly start to stand up. Weave your hands back and forth in front of your body as you rise up, pulling up the earth energy and weaving it into your aura. Feel the strength of the growing light, and your own growing clarity.

Happy spring!

The Ten Coolest Places To Practice Yoga Around The World This Summer

The great thing about yoga is that it’s a very mobile activity. You can drop down into a downward dog pretty much anywhere if you don’t mind the staring (or, in Justin Trudeau’s case, if you want to encourage the staring). While Instagram is full of human pretzels in airports and headstands on mountaintops, every yogi knows there’s nothing like getting your flow on surrounded by a dozen other beating hearts in a beautiful place. (Cool place + cool activity + cool people being the recipe for good travel.)

Here are the raddest places around the world to take a yoga class this summer:

1. India

As the birthplace of yoga, someone could write a whole book on amazing places to practice in India. (Actually, someone already has.) There are thousands upon thousands of options — from ashrams (isolated communities formed around a guru who follows Hindu philosophy), to fancy resorts, to Buddhist monasteries.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Practice in the former royal palace of maharajah Tehri Garhwal, Ananda, which now features a full-service spa along with a view of the holy river Ganges and the Himalayas. Because what would be the point without both?
  • If you’re the kind of person who’d like kurta pajamas laid out for you every evening to wear to your morning practice, book a room at the former residence of Lord Kitchener. It’s now the Oberoi resort which offers Hatha or Ashtanga yoga each sunrise — 8,250 feet above sea level.
  • Make a pilgrimage to the heart and soul of Iyengar yoga: the BKS Iyengar Institute in Pune. A word of caution, if your yoga experience is summed up in the trailer for Yoga Hosers, cross this one off your list for now. You need at least eight years of Iyengar practice to take class at the Pune Institute.
  • Govinda’s Indian Ashram is a Westerner friendly option for those who want to escape from their everyday stress. Bonus, at $15 a day, it’s also a budget friendly option to escape from your financial stress. The ashram is situated in Vrindavan — India’s most sacred place — and features luxurious grounds complete with mango trees, peacocks, and parrots, three things which also happen to have yoga poses named after them.

2. Bali

If you’re ready to eat-pray-love your way through Bali, The Yoga Barn is your first stop. Friday nights are spent sober and sweaty at the “Ecstatic Dance Party” and students choose from more than 100 classes as week. Expect to eat super healthy at Garden Kafe — Yoga Barn’s raw food restaurant which often hosts visiting musicians and speakers.

3. South Africa

For some serious peace and quiet, head a few hours north of Johannesburg to the Emoyeni Retreat Center, a Buddhist haven of tranquility which runs regular retreats – some of which are conducted in silence. With no TV or talking after dinner, and simple vegetarian meals, you’ll be able to hear your inner yogi breaking free…or, at least, breaking-in that mat you bought two years ago.

4. Mexico

By now you’ve probably heard of Tulum, Mexico. It’s this year’s vacation destination of choice for all your friends who went to Costa Rica last year. A favorite among yoga devotees, the Maya Tulum offers everything you’d expect in a place that looks like a postcard: pristine white beaches, spa treatments, and healthy local food and fresh juices. The place is a popular choice for yoga retreats, and drop in classes are offered to the public twice a day. Make sure you book a beachfront cabana, because Tulum. Duh.

5. Chicago

Butterfly pose is one even the novice yogi can appreciate, and it’s even better surrounded by 1,000 real live butterflies in Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s butterfly lab. The 2,700-square-foot conservatory also features koi ponds, waterfalls, and exotic plants. It’s kept humid, so hot yoga fans will be right at home.

6. New York City

Book your flight now and you can still make it to Times Square for the Summer Solstice on June 20. Each year, thousands of yogis make the trek for this free yoga class in Times Square to celebrate the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year. Can you find peace and tranquility in one of the busiest places on Earth? Maybe not, but there’ll be a lot more to look at than the yoga-pant-clad butt in front of you if you get distracted.

7. Montana

Hippie paradise exists and it isn’t in the Indio desert. Rustic ranch Feathered Pipe blends yoga, chanting, crystals, and Native American rituals for a one-of-a-kind experience, sure to entice anyone with a feather tattoo. Your retreat will include lodging in a teppe or yurt, a week of classes and workshops, meals and use of all of the Ranch’s amenities, including a sauna, hot tub and bathhouse.

8. Colorado

One of the country’s best concert venues becomes the ultimate place to practice with Yoga on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Admission is $12 and you’ll need to buy tickets ahead of time. Hop on this one quick, half of the June and August event dates are already sold out.

9. Chile

The picturesque Canal Om in Chile was founded by Gustavo Ponce, a widely acclaimed instructor who committed to yoga as a tool for healing when he was given six years to live… back in 2003. Whether or not you buy into his story, the resort’s five guests houses and seaside yoga spaces will make wellness feel within reach.

10. Brazil

Want to do more than perfect your headstand? The Island Experience offers yoga, snorkeling, sea kayaking, and hiking along with a 7-day detox and de-stress program. This “adventure spa” also celebrates Brazilian nature and culture with jungle adventures and art exploration —  because let’s be honest, if you just wanted to practice yoga, you could have gone to CorePower.

Think You Need to be Stretch Armstrong to Do Yoga? Think Again.

Think back to a time before you ever set foot on a yoga mat. When you thought about yoga, did you imagine svelte athletes twisting themselves into pretzel shapes? If that’s the case, you weren’t alone. When most people think about yoga, they picture all the most complex and advanced poses and immediately consider themselves too inflexible to keep up.

Let’s put this myth to rest once and for all. You don’t have to be flexible to enjoy yoga. You don’t need to touch your toes or do a hand-stand to enjoy all the health benefits that yoga has to offer.

Flexibility is a Result of Yoga, Not a Prerequisite.

Some people are naturally more flexible than others, and others have gained it through dance or gymnastics. But flexibility is something that comes with practice and improves over time.

A marathoner would never simply get up one day and run 26.2 miles. Distance runners spend months training, lifting weights, and building endurance before they even attempt to tackle such a feat. Likewise, flexibility is a result of a consistent yoga practice. It takes time and commitment to become more flexible and build the endurance necessary to take on advanced movements.

The best way to use yoga for flexibility is to begin today. Work on one pose at a time. Stretch gradually and slowly, protecting your muscles and teaching your body to move in a new way. Make it challenging, but don’t rush the process. Even 5-10 minutes a day of practice will help soften your muscles, and you’ll see improvements within a few practice sessions.

Don’t Skip Breathing and Meditation

Flexibility is only part of what yoga is all about. Breathing, or pranayama, and meditation can reduce your stress and anxiety, relaxing your mind and allowing you to see things from a new perspective. Yoga is the connection of mind and body, so you should cultivate mental flexibility just as you work on your physical flexibility.

Not Flexible Enough to Touch Your Toes? We Don’t Mind.

Yoga instructors agree – it doesn’t matter if you can touch your toes or not. We mean it.

The best way to begin a yoga practice and work towards improving your flexibility is to find the right teacher and the right class. Maybe a beginner’s yoga class will make your transition into yoga easier, or maybe you have a friend who can go along and provide support.

Yoga instructors provide modifications that allow anyone to participate at their own comfort level, so feel free to use whatever works for you. If you aren’t ready to take on an advanced pose, that’s fine. Use a modification whenever necessary, and go at your own pace.

Yoga is About Honoring Your Body.

Your body is amazing. Think of all it does for you every day. Honor your body in your yoga practice by challenging it and recognizing its limits.

Every body is different. Even your genetically-determined skeletal structure can impact your ability to move in certain ways. Your movements in yoga will also reflect your other daily activities. Cyclists, for example, typically have tight hip flexors that need extra attention on the mat.

Yoga isn’t just for the flexible, the skinny, or the active. Yoga is for everyone. Including you.

How to Heal Yourself With Yoga

Modern ways of living are altering by the minute and, likewise, the worldwide illness profile connected with those ways of living is changing swiftly. According to the Medical Study Council of South Africa, low- and middle-income countries are particularly influenced. A 2005 worldwide research study on disease found that chronic conditions of way of life comprised 60 % of deaths in the world, two times the variety of deaths for “all transmittable conditions (HIV/AIDS, consumption, malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and dietary insufficiencies combined”. The killers? Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory illness and strokes come up as leading contenders.

Chronic illness of way of living– otherwise called “non-communicable conditions” or “degenerative conditions”– are a classification of diseases grouped together due to the commonness they share in danger elements as an outcome of prolonged direct exposure to unhealthy lifestyles, namely bad diets, ill-managed tension, cigarette smoking and lack of exercise.

What’s more startling is that the conditions are preventable, usual risk factors are mainly modifiable and for that reason something can be done about them. The fact is that most people understand that they have to manage their anxiety, stopped smoking, change their diets and get some exercise, however the typical issue in taking action is knowing exactly what to do. The gung-ho impact goes into where a specific excitedly, and often unrealistically, makes an effort to modify his/her way of living. The intent is honorable, however the approach unsustainable.

I commonly recommend individuals to detox psychologically, physically and emotionally or spiritually when attempting to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Take it one step at a time, make small, convenient and measureable modifications along the way. Changing your diet without changing your training, or even introducing training, is an uneven method, the exact same goes for changing your mindset about living healthily yet not implementing a new eating and workout plan. Becoming healthy ought to be a holistic procedure and should encompass all 3 human aspects. Get in some ancient help …

Traditionally, yoga is a healing procedure with physical, mental and spiritual benefits for the professional. It rests in an air of positivity to one’s self and others, and can form the perfect foundation for a change in way of living. It should be specified that yoga is not a religion, however rather a lifestyle, a modification in attitude and a modification in body. Yoga can be considereded a collection of physical and spiritual techniques, each following a path leading to a goal of physical, mental and spiritual/emotional harmony.

The yoga practice most typical in Western societies is Hatha yoga, which follows the physical course and practices asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing workouts), mudra (body gestures) and shatkarma (internal cleaning).

According to Dr Timothy McCall, MD, yoga practitioner and author for the YogaJournal.com, yoga is “arguably the most comprehensive method to fighting anxiety ever created. Anxiety isn’t simply a factor in conditions commonly identified ‘stress-related’, such as migraines, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, but it appears to add to such major killers as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.”

The impacts of yoga are a recently investigated subject, with research studies starting to record the effectiveness of yoga for such conditions as back pain, numerous sclerosis, sleeplessness, cancer, heart problem, and even consumptions. According to McCall, these studies are also increasingly documenting the how instead of the exactly what.

“Among its numerous beneficial effects, yoga has actually been shown to enhance strength, versatility andbalance, boost immune function, lower blood sugar level and cholesterol levels, and enhance mental wellbeing … Among yoga’s most popular results, obviously, is tension reduction.”

Ineffective management of anxiety negatively influences a large range of wellness conditions. Workout itself is viewed as a stressor by the body, although one with ultimate favorable results on the body and mind. Yoga provides the perfect solution for those who are not dealing with existing tension or are looking for a means to begin effectively handling stress levels and initiating an exercise regimen.

To establish a recognition for the positive results of yoga, the function of anxiety in illness and how relaxation aids in prevention and recuperation, we explore the free nervous system (ANS), which has the duty of regulating the performance of vital body organs such as the heart, intestines and liver. This system has 2 branches that work at the same time, however on the other hand to each other: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nerves (PNS). In shorts, when there is an increase in SNS activity, there is a drop in PNS activity, and vice versa.

The integrated effort of the SNS, together with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, lead to a number of modifications in the body which assist an individual to deal with stress by making energy and oxygen easily available. These modifications consist of a boost in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels. Blood flow and oxygen are, in impact, rerouted far from internal body organs such as the guts, to the limbs instead, therefore preparing the person for “battle or air travel”.

The PNS, nevertheless, does the exact reverse, imaging the anxiety reflex with reducing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure– for that reason, starting recuperation after a crisis or difficult incident. Blood flow and oxygen are then redirected back to the internal body organs, resulting in the onset of relaxation.

The yoga methods of Hatha yoga activate both the SNS (asana) and the PNS (pranayama), thereby stimulating and hindering the stress reflex, which leads to an increase in blood flow and oxygen, in addition to an induced mental and physical state of relaxation.

Evidence from recorded researches done at the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in India exposes why yoga is an ace in the hole in the health toolbox: more active practices, followed by unwinding ones, result in deeper relaxation than unwinding practices alone. This study has been backed up by the American National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Its research from a 2011 study, in which 313 grownups with chronic or repeating low-back discomfort were assessed, recommended that “12 regular yoga classes resulted in much better function than normal medical care”. Another study by the NCCAM revealed that individuals with chronic low-back pain who practiced yoga had “considerably less impairment, discomfort and depression after six months”.

The good news is that the useful impacts of yoga can be experienced instantly after the first class!

A University of Illinois research revealed that just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga can “enhance intellectual function, boosting focus and working memory”. Individuals in the research likewise experienced significantly enhanced brain function than after 20 minutes of aerobic workout.

How Yoga Stretching Compliments Strength Training

Yoga stretching is a more targeted and exact approach to stretching, because it emphasizes both the breathing and the positioning of the body. With emphasis on breathing, it’s possible to focus directly on the body part being stretched and then to be able to “breathe into” the stretch, in order to stretch more deeply. By emphasizing proper form, it’s less likely you will overstretch and cause harm to the muscles. Proper preparation is key to strengthening muscle and yoga stretching can make the road there both safer and more comfortable by putting the emphasis on paying attention to your breath and form.

Purposes
Yoga stretching has been shown to stretch muscles to get you ready to exercise, protect you by helping you maintain proper breathing and all important form while exercising. This allows your muscles to release the tension that builds up during exercise, which ultimately allows your muscles to relax after working out. This final relaxation stage is vitally important because the time between workouts is when your muscles repair and strengthen themselves.

Preparation
Stretching is vital before beginning exercise, because it warms up the muscle and prepares it for the coming strength training. Muscles settle into positions they are accustomed to so that when we do something different, the muscle can actually feel tight and can tear if we do anything too quickly. Yoga stretching can be as gentle or as vigorous as you need it to be, to prepare for your strength training.

Protection
Yoga stretching elongates the muscles gently and progressively, thereby preparing them to safely lift weights or do weight bearing exercises. Yoga also helps you focus on your breathing. This is important because holding your breath is the worst enemy of proper exercise technique. It’s also the most common mistake that even experienced athletes make, so proper breathing can’t be overemphasized.

Release
Stretching after you finish strength training is equally important because it helps the muscles let go of the tension the exercise has built up during the session. That tension is necessary to build your muscles, but a constantly clenched muscle is likely to cramp and hurt.

Relax
An added benefit is that yoga stretching provides complete relaxation for all of your muscles, including those that you may not realize may be holding tension from your strength training. For instance, when you lift weights, your facial muscles will tense whether you are conscious of it or not. This makes yoga stretching even more beneficial, because a brief set of yoga moves can relax your muscles from head to toe.

Yoga stretching and strength training are not mutually exclusive, but in fact have been proven to work well together to make an effective partnership in your quest for flexibility, strength and good health. In order for muscles to strengthen, they must be ready for the work required to build that strength. Yoga stretching lengthens muscle to prepare it for a safe and successful strength training session.

Yoga vs. Gym: Which Workout is Better?

Is your favorite workout the best workout? That’s a question asked frequently by anyone who wants to get fit. Which exercise yields the best results?

A new study put two popular fitness routines to the test, yoga classes and gym workouts. Researchers from the University of Texas’ Health Science Center in San Antonio asked volunteers to try three different workouts. One group did yoga (focusing on stretching, balance and core strength), another did gym workouts (ramping up their heart rates on treadmills and other pieces of gym equipment), and the third group was asked to stay consistently active in whatever way they chose.

Each group exercised for one hour at a time and for three hours per week.

Dr. David Hughes, assistant professor and clinical exercise physiologist at UT and the lead researcher for the study, thought his gym workouts would be the clear winner.

But the real winner? That surprised everyone.

Hughes found that all of the workouts were equally effective in terms of fitness. Each participant was tested for body fat and physical function before and after the study, and the results were similar across the board. All the participants in the study lost roughly the same amount of body fat: about 4 percent. The participants in the yoga group excelled in one way over their gym rat peers: they were better at stretching and reaching.

According to the study, the key to fitness is consistency. No matter the workout, if you keep with it, you will gain fitness.

“You can just go out and be active, 10 minutes at a time, but for heaven’s sake, find something you enjoy and lock in and do it and if you don’t enjoy it, experiment until you find what you do,” said Hughes.

So which workout is the best workout? It’s the one that gets you out the door.

Study Shows That Yoga is Effective Against Arthritis Pain

Those suffering from the debilitating pain of rheumatoid arthritis might want to consider purchasing a yoga mat. A recent study published in the Journal of Rheumatology discovered that people with arthritis who practice yoga regularly stand to reap the benefits of reduced joint pain and depression and increased flexibility and energy. As the authors note, this news is especially important in shattering the myth that yoga is not appropriate for those with sensitive joints.

“I think the study is more evidence that, in fact, that’s not true,” one of the study’s authors, Dr. Clifton O. Bingham III, director of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, told Time.

The study, called the “largest, most rigorously conducted, randomized, controlled trial of yoga to date,” involved 75 people who did not regularly exercise and had rheumatoid arthritis. One group practiced yoga twice a week with a yoga therapist and once a week at home, while the control group carried on with the normal routine. After eight weeks, improvements with the yoga group were seen across the board, with gains in “joint health, physical functioning, and mental/emotional well-being.”

Even more promising, these benefits were still found to exist some nine months later.

And just how intense were these classes? From the researchers:

“Each class began with questions/comments (5 min), breathing exercises and chanting (5 min), a warm-up and moving sequence (surya namaskara; 15 min), and isometric poses (asanas) (20 min) to increase strength, flexibility, and balance. Classes ended with deep relaxation (sivasana; 10 min), a closing chant, and meditation (5 min).”

Speaking with Time, Bingham called the activity transformative for some of his patients.

“What [one patient] learned from the yoga experience was the philosophy of non-harming and the idea that where she is today is good enough,” he said. “Those types of things are very difficult to measure in terms of an outcome from a study, but we certainly saw them on a real one-on-one patient level.”

Want to give it a try yourself? A quick search online found a variety of arthritis-focused yoga poses available to try, as well as a few videos. Like any other physical activity, the authors recommend checking with your doctor first.

Lululemon’s New Beer Makes Drunk Yoga the Way to Go

Lululemon is determined to turn the entire fraternity into yoga converts.

The company that brought you Anti-Ball Crushing pants is becoming even more bro-friendly: Lululemon introduced a limited edition beer called Curiosity Lager.

Made in collaboration with Stanley Park Brewing, the beer will be released in only 88,000 units, reveals CBC News.

This beer is flavored with lemon drop and chinook hops, a departure from last year’s special edition beer, Sunset Strawberry Wit, also a collaboration with Stanley Park Brewing.

Graphic designer Karston Smith designed the can.

Though some Canadian liquor stores currently sell the beer, it will be promoted at Lululemon’s Seawheeze half marathon and Sunset Festival afterparty, which takes place in Vancouver on Aug. 15. Part of the lager’s sales proceeds will go toward the Stanley Park Ecology Society.

Why Practice Hot Yoga?

You have probably been curious about hot yoga for awhile but have not tried it yet. Now is the time to explore hot yoga and what it can do for you! Hot Yoga can benefit the body in many ways including:

  • Improved Circulation: Hot yoga allows your circulatory system to flow with greater ease and increases the blood flow to your limbs.
  • Increased Flexibility: The additional warmth in your muscles helps with movement allowing you to reach new levels in poses while increasing your internal organ massage. Your inner organs, ligaments and muscles will benefit by this increased flexibility.
  • An uptick in the elimination of toxins: An increased level of sweating permits your body to eliminate more toxins.
  • A challenge: While practicing yoga, we connect the mind, body and spirit. Adding the element of heat will challenge you while keeping connected. Therefore, hot yoga practice will help you improve your sense of focus not just on the mat but in overall life!
  • Cardio: Hot yoga is a great cardio workout and calorie burner!

We practiced Hot Yoga in a studio heated to 95 degrees F. We recommend bringing a towel to put over your yoga mat. We also recommend bringing a bottle of water.