First things first, yoga is a workout, okay?
Hear me out.
Back in my “body building/ gym rat” days, I totally didn’t understand why anyone would practice hot yoga. I was very results driven and basically only went to the gym to see “change”. Yoga didn’t use weights and stretching seemed like a waste of time so it was meaningless to me.
Weirdly enough, I noticed during my “body building/ gym rat” days that my body always felt sluggish, heavy and bloated. I was constantly stressing about going to the gym, what I looked like and I kept getting injuries because I thought stretching was a waste of time. I started getting a really bad back and my joints started killing me. Something was seriously wrong.
During my depression is when I started to dabble into hot yoga.
At first, I hated it.
My mind wouldn’t shut off and frankly, it was causing me more anxiety.
But, I kept at it. Thank goodness.
I have seen more results physically and mentally from practicing hot yoga than I ever did, just solely working out in the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to incorporate weights and the gym throughout my week, but hot yoga is my non-negotiable.
After showing up on my mat, (day after day), I started to learn how to quiet my mind. It was f**king hard at first, trust me.
I learned how to keep coming back to my mat, when my mind started to wander. Most importantly, I was able to carry on this technique from my mat and into my real life.
The heat from the room makes my sweat just pour out of its pores. It’s a detoxifying feeling, which also relieves stress. The stretching allows your body to realign, feel limber and light, and connect to your body.
Hot yoga has also shown me how to be gentle with my body. We let our heart speed up, bring heat into a pose and then gently let the pose go. We push ourselves and then thank our bodies for it’s hard work throughout the practice. Again, another technique I’ve carried out into the real world.
I will walk into hot yoga anxious with my gut in pain and bloated and then I walk out feeling stress-free, like all of the weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Hot yoga also relieves the inflammation in my body and helps my digestion.
I will literally be 5 pounds lighter walking out of hot yoga.
This is because yoga helps with
- Stress (hello weight gain)
- Inflammation (keeps weight and water weight on)
- Digestion (pounds of toxins)
When your mind and your body are on the same page, you will start to see results. When your mind wants something and your body wants something else, then you will see stress, inflammation and other problems.
Also, hot yoga burns up to 400 or so active calories. (Thanks to apple watch)
So what are you waiting for?