Skip the studio, and take your hot yoga practice to the backyard. You’ll save some cash and breathe some fresh air (no masks required).
WHAT’S HOT YOGA?
Hot Yoga is just what it sounds like: a yoga flow practiced in a hot environment so muscles are warmer. Breaking a sweat is an added bonus, as it helps support healthy detox of the body and skin (so long as you rinse off after!). For hot yoga to qualify as hot yoga, studio temperatures should range from 90 to 105 degrees – which should put about 260 million American backyards in the running this month.
Increases flexibility: A warm environment helps keep your muscles limber, which allows you to sink more deeply into each pose and experience greater benefits.
Eases mental stress: Yoga is proven to help alleviate depression and anxiety, and is often recommended by therapists as part of a mental health regimen. Studies have also shown that yoga can increase participants’ self-efficacy—our confidence in ourselves, and our ability to control our motivation, behavior, and responses.
Improves cardiovascular capacity: Practicing in the heat can give your body a more challenging workout than doing the same flow at a lower temperature, plus it’ll fire up your metabolism.
Supports healthy skin: Hot yoga supports skin health in two ways. The first is by increasing circulation, which carries oxygen-rich blood to skin cells. The second is by sweating—studies suggest that the glycoproteins in sweat can help clear bacteria from the skin and pores.
A QUICK NOTE
Hot yoga can be an excellent therapeutic practice, but it’s not safe for everyone. And practicing outdoors is not ideal if you have no escape from the heat post-practice. If you’re making it through the summer sans AC, please don’t exert yourself in the heat. If you’re pregnant, or have high or low blood pressure, diabetes, or a cardiovascular condition, it’s safest to stick with your regular temp practice—you’ll still get some great benefits.
A FLOW TO GET YOU STARTED
Here’s one of our favorite 30-minute streamable Hot Yoga flows, though feel free to adapt your own practice as you see fit!