Will I do it again = absolutely!
The other day, my sister Michelle and I too a 90 minute hot yoga class - "Fire Shaper." It is done in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity. We started sweating as soon as we walked in there. We wanted to try it out for the many benefits it has to offer. I am interested in the claims of clear skin and expelling toxins from your system. She is more interested in fat loss and building up core muscles.
The class consisted of 26 poses, each pose is repeated twice. The poses themselves aren't hard - they can be adjusted to your fitness and flexibility level. It's just the fact that they are done in a hot room, your heart is racing and your body is dripping with sweat. There was a large variety of people in the room - all ages, shapes, and sizes. I was amazed by the woman in front of me. She must have been in her 50's, but she was so flexible and performed all the poses perfectly.
Michelle and I were in the back of the classroom, since we were new students. Just laying down on my yoga mat, I felt my heart rate already elevated. As we progressed through the poses, I felt my heart pounding as if I just finished a sprint! At some points I even felt dizzy and about to pass out. I kept breathing deep and really concentrating on the poses and my heart beat to keep me focused.
Michelle had to lay down after about 45 minutes because she felt extremely dizzy. (The instructor advises you not to leave the room if you feel dizzy, but rather lay down on your back, and breathe in the savasana "dead man" pose.) This way you can get used to the heat and accomplish more poses next time. After 20 minutes of Michelle laying there, the instructor came up to her and gave her a vitamin C solution in her water. As soon as she drank it, she felt better and was able to finish all the poses in the class.
After 90 minutes of what we called "torture," we finally left the classroom. We were soaked in sweat - like we jumped in the pool with our clothes on. Our towels weighed 5 pounds heavier that they did when we first walked in there - because they were drenched in our sweat. We stepped outside into the 90 degree weather - and it actually felt cooler that it was inside. Both of us were starving and shaking a little bit.
As soon as we got home, we had some cottage cheese with fruit and honey. We took showers and cooled off. As soon as we took our showers, we both felt amazing. I felt reborn and purified, and so did Michelle. My stomach was super flat. We were full of energy and both of us were glowing. I felt absolutely amazing.
I was a lot hungrier than normal during dinner time - but I filled up on extra veggies. That is the one thing you have to be careful with when you burn so many calories - what you consume after! Hot yoga claims to burn over 600 calories per hour! So this means that Michelle and I burned over 900 calories in that class! Plus I took an hour long barbell weight class in the morning, and did the stair machine for a half hour as well.
The entire time in class, the instructor was not only telling and showing us what pose to do, but also explaining the benefits of every pose to your body. Hearing those benefits made me push a little harder and concentrate deeper.
Some benefits of hot yoga:
- expel toxins from your body
- build core muscles
- fat loss (don't confuse this with all the water loss after class! Fat loss only comes after a few sessions!)
- improved balance
- increased energy
- assisting in sleep
- decrease stress
- restore health to your organs, joints, muscles, and immune system
Some bad things we've experienced so far:
- Extreme dizziness at times
- The classroom reeks
- People grunting
- No talking in class (even if it was Michelle telling me she feels dizzy)
- Some people take it waaaay to seriously
Michelle and I decided to do hot yoga for the rest of July - at least twice a week. At the end of July, we want to see if we see any long term changes. I want to see if I actually feel better and if my skin is clearer. Michelle wants to see if she loses any weight or dress sizes (because you can't always rely on the scale for fat loss - your body can be losing fat but gaining muscle - which weighs more!)
I will continue my normal workout schedule. Michelle is starting a workout routine that I am making for her - cardio and strength training. And both of us are watching our diets!
I will let you know at the end of July how our little experiment goes!