Yoga, which has its origins in ancient Indian religion but is now practiced globally as a fitness activity, promotes physical strength and relaxation through a series of postures, meditation and breathing techniques. Pilates is closely linked to Yoga and has similar aims, but places more emphasis on core strength and stability. It was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Both Yoga and Pilates are practiced as forms of exercise as well as complementary therapy. Typical participants include individuals seeking to improve general fitness and wellbeing, pregnant women, new mothers, and those suffering from chronic conditions such as MS or arthritis
The features and benefits are the practice Hot Yoga and Pilates. It is mental and spiritual and physical exercise, aimed at re-connecting with your naturally happy inner self. Yogis believe that all beings are made up of a peaceful, calm and happy energy that lies at the core of our being. The mind is a separate entity. With our busy lifestyles we become distracted with our life experiences and day to day stresses that we forget how to be truly happy. Practising Yoga helps to switch your mind off.
The heat also allows you to go a little more deeply and safely into the postures. Working in a heated room also elevates the heart rate, which makes the body work harder. A more intense workout, develop strength, flexibility and tone along with a cardiovascular workout. Here are some points about what Hot Yoga actually does:
- Helps flush toxins from your body
- Promotes body fat reduction
- Greater flexibility
- Builds strength
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Increases your levels of the “happy hormone” serotonin
- Helps you sleep better and relax more easily
- Muscles and connective tissue become more elastic allowing for greater flexibility with less chance of injury.
- Promotes sweating which assists the detoxification process using the body’s largest elimination organ: the skin.
- Your blood becomes a little thinner, which clears the circulatory system.
- When the body is between three and five degrees above normal temperature, T-cell output from the thymus gland is multiplied 20 fold. T-cells fight infection, which in turn helps the immune system functioning properly.
- Warmer temperatures allow the body to stretch deeper thus allowing for greater range of motion in the joints.
- Heart rate becomes elevated improving the cardiovascular system and fitness.
- Warm muscles burn fat more effectively. When we stretch, the fat has no room to sit, so it redistributes to the blood stream. We can then use it as energy.
- Capillaries respond to the heat by dilating. This allows more oxygen to muscles, tissues, organs and glands helping to remove waste products from the body.
- Higher temperatures improve the function of the nervous system, meaning that messages are carried more rapidly to and from the brain or spinal cord.
- Speeds the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids.
- Strengthens willpower, self-control and determination.
All this gives you a wonderful glow from head to toe. The heat combined with the sequence of the postures is what makes Hot Yoga so special.