Heated Yoga in the Summertime?
As a long-time teacher and student of heated power yoga, I am very familiar with people's reaction when I tell them that the BEST time to do heated yoga is in the summer.
Before I talk about the researched benefits, think about doing heated yoga in the summer as an activity in general regardless of the temperature. For the sake of an argument, do any of us like standing in sub zero weather waiting for a bus or Uber? It's no fun to run from your car to the grocery store with icy snow pelleting onto your face, that's for sure. But, take that same weather and put your feet in some cross country skis, a pair of snowshoes, or take a ride on a snowmobile in the backwoods where it's quiet, and you'd most likely exclaim, "I'm IN!"
Let's turn it around. Is it pleasurable or growth sustaining in any way to do errands in the sweltering heat? Shopping? Picking up the kids? Absolutely not! But, put yourself on the beach with a football or frisbee or perhaps even gardening outside with a tall glass of lemonade waiting for you when you're done, and you are on board!
The point here is that everything is relative to how and why we engage in the activity in the first place. Nothing we do is an isolated event in and of itself and that's why heated yoga in the summertime is no exception. With this in mind, I'd like to offer up the top 10 reasons for maintaining an active heated yoga practice in the summertime:
Top 10 Reasons for Heated Yoga in the Summer
- You will acclimate to the heat and humidity of summer weather better. If you practice regularly, you'll begin to notice that the hot weather doesn't feel as hot. You may not even need air conditioning as much.
- You will cope with the heat more effectively. As a result of summer practice, you are reinforcing the proper coping tools for handling heat.
- You'll take your practice DEEPER! Keeping a steady practice in the summer is key to maintaining the progress you've made this past winter. It would be a bummer to lose all that range of motion you worked so hard for! Due to the heat, your joints and ligaments are already warm when you practice, and as a result you gain access to a deeper flexibility and therefore deeper strength. Why not take advantage of this during the summer months to increase joint, core and spinal health and mobility!
- You'll drink more water! And replenish electrolytes. Also, our appetites during the summer are lighter so your practice not only goes deeper but feels lighter.
- Attention Summer Warriors! Your heated yoga practice will enhance your endurance for all the summer activities you love: biking, running, hiking, tennis, golfing... basically everything.
- Your body and mind will feel energized! Summer heat can fry us physically and mentally and create a certain kind of summertime energy stupor. But, we know that heated yoga can leave us feeling energized and awake, or so deeply rinsed that we sleep well after a practice and wake up feeling great!
- The heat of summer can sometimes leave us feeling with a "I can't be bothered" kind of attitude which could be transformed into a more relaxed and consequently enhanced practice. Have you ever gone to take class, not expecting much, and come out feeling great? Sometimes LESS turns out to be MORE.
- Deeper detox due to sweating... enough said!
- What about quality time for you? Even in the summer, it's important to carve out some "me" time and stay grounded. You may have a lighter schedule in the summer, so why not take advantage of that and spend extra time on yourself?
- You will feel GREAT all summer long! You'll tone up, stay toned, and end up enjoying your summer fully.
So that's about it, yogi! These are the top ten reasons to do a heated yoga practice during the summer. I'm so inspired right now that I'm setting my alarm to get up early and practice. How about you?
See you on your mat,
Alice from Crisp