Doing hot yoga in a sauna can be a very relaxing experience. Beyond the many health benefits, it allows the mind and body to comfortably align. Sometimes referred to as sauna yoga, it’s based on the simple poses associated with traditional yoga. It’s ideal to strengthen the body, stretch out the muscles, and enjoy an atmosphere of peace and quiet. However, it’s important to do hot yoga in a sauna correctly – and it’s equally important to be careful in terms of the health risks.
The idea behind hot yoga in a sauna is to promote vigorous sweating. Hot yoga is a more physically taxing experience. A session should suit the individual, but generally lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. Each session would consist of multiple poses, again to suit the individual. Like traditional yoga, hot yoga in a sauna strengthens the core, the back, and the lower body. Additionally, the aim is to increase flexibility in the hips and spine. In fact, with the sauna heat, stretching muscles becomes much easier and more effective.
Hot yoga in a sauna can be performed at any age. And while there is no formal training required, it’s important to do the poses correctly (and safely). Yoga, whether in the sauna or not, is considered a “peaceful” exercise. Over time, the satisfaction will endure, and regular yoga exercises will become a welcome addition to weekly sauna sessions. Like anything related to personal health, it’s important to be safe in the environment, without taking risks.
Hot yoga in a sauna requires some guidelines
With hot yoga, it’s important to set the temperature right–usually 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity. Inside the sauna, there should be ample room for the yoga mat (a water bottle would be handy). Proper breathing technique is key to yoga, particularly in the hot sauna air. Once in the right “state-of-mind”, the poses can begin. At this point, it’s a personal decision as to which poses, and which yoga discipline, will be followed (Bikram Yoga has 26 different poses).
Yoga relies on focused breathing when going through each of the poses. Breathing is integral to hot yoga and will impact overall performance. Yoga enthusiasts recommend pushing through each pose even if things get a little uncomfortable. The truth is, focused breathing actually helps to divert the brain from the rest of the body. When a yoga session is complete, it’s important to sit quietly for some time, and conclude the session with some additional focused breathing.
For most people, regardless of age, the yoga poses will get better and better over time. The physical and mental benefits will also become more evident, and for some, hot yoga can become quite a spiritual experience. Caution is always a priority with hot yoga – any sense of dizziness or nausea should be attended to immediately, and drinking water should be readily available. Any pushing beyond physical limits is not advisable – it simply defeats the purpose of the yoga.