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Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

Keep Your Heated Yoga Practice Flowing This Summer!

Hot yoga
Hot yoga studio heaters

Sweet, sweet summertime! It’s a season beloved by many. Summer represents pool parties, vacations, school breaks, favorable temperatures, and a more relaxed daily schedule. While I am all for pausing from the grind and telling hustle culture to pound sand, I must implore you to rethink deviating from your yoga practice during the summer months - particularly heated classes. I know, I know. It seems counterintuitive to lean into hot yoga when it’s blazing hot outside, but hear me out. Hot yoga has many benefits that serve us immensely throughout the summer!

Fitness—Hot yoga is such a dynamic workout. It’s designed to strengthen and stretch, offer a sweaty caloric burn, and protect your body from future injury. It complements all other exercise and outdoor activities on your summer bucket list.

Hydration- Hot yoga encourages you to reach for your water more often. When we regularly sweat it out, our thirst naturally increases. In turn, we become more mindful of our need to stay hydrated. Hydration Hack: One word – electrolytes. The studio carries single servings of my favorite electrolytes, LMNT, in multiple flavor options. You know what they say…one LMNT a day keeps the dehydration away!

Acclimatization to heat—A consistent hot yoga practice helps our bodies adapt to extreme temperatures. Over time, our reactions to heat and humidity soften, and our reactions to sudden temperature fluctuations soften. If you or someone you know has been personally victimized by scorching hot baseball tournaments, may I offer up a bit of hot yoga to lessen your pain?

Breathwork—Hot yoga forces us to stay present on our mats, focus on our breath work, and connect with our bodies. Often, we enter into a moving meditation without even realizing it. This lowers our anxiety and stress and clears our monkey minds. And it’s also something we can carry with us when we leave the studio doors and enter our days. Nerve-racking presentation at work? Is your darling child throwing an epic tantrum? Breathwork, my friend. Cue. The. Breath. Work.

YOU time – Whether you are a parent at home with summer-crazed children, someone with a demanding career, or have a bursting social calendar, we all deserve an hour to recharge our drained batteries. Did you know that “yoga” comes from the root word “yuj” in Sanskrit, meaning “to unite.” A consistent yoga practice allows us to stay united with ourselves spiritually and physically. And I can tell you from over a decade of personal experience that Ahh Yoga’s community of yogis embodies “yuj.” When I’ve felt unable to reach “yuj,” they have always been there to offer strength and compassion. Whether verbalized or just shared energy from the surrounding mats, our community always shows up for one another. Whether you are searching for “me time” or need to soak up a bit of community this summer, you can find it all within the walls of our sacred studio.

Detox – Hot yoga is a great way to flush our bodies of toxins. If your summer looks anything like my family’s, it is filled with road trips to athletic tournaments, time at the pool, and patriotic holiday bashes….food, beverages, and treats galore! While we wouldn’t trade all of our summer splurges for anything, it is necessary to exorciiiiise our toxins regularly! Bonus: Hot yoga also benefits our skin (Are you starting to wonder what hot yoga DOESN’T do…. Yogi, same). It improves blood circulation, which provides nutrient-rich blood to our skin cells. Sweating helps our skin produce more collagen, retain moisture, and reduce wrinkles. In summation, perhaps we should view hot yoga as less of a grueling workout and more of a spa treatment…perspective is everything, guys.

Stress Relief – We all encounter stress. Circling back though, briefly to the parents embarking on the emotional journey that is being the sole entertainment coordinator for their kids day in and day out for the next 2.5 months…please tune in to #7. Hot yoga reduces stress levels and causes a surge of endorphins. I vote we all sprinkle some of that magic right over the top of our summer days. Namastaycalm.

Major Health Benefits – Hot yoga preserves bone mass, promotes heart health, regulates blood glucose levels, and improves symptoms of depression and anxiety. Obviously, this is a year-round benefit, but sharing these additional health benefits felt important because the facts are B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Hot Tips (See what I did there?):

. It is YOUR practice. Modify as needed. Go into a child’s pose. Take breaks. At the end of class, no gold medal exists for pushing yourself beyond your limits. You are the only one who can listen to your body, so please don’t forget to honor its wishes.

. Hot yoga mats or hot mat towels are a MUST. Hot yoga = all the sweat = a slip-and-slide experience that is not the fun time you remember from your youth if you don’t have a mat designed for hot classes. Hot yoga mats and towels are designed to absorb sweat and offer grip. Lucky for us, Ahh Yoga carries both options!

. Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more. Then, go ahead and add electrolytes (my favorite LMNT flavors are citrus, watermelon, and raspberry) to the mix. It will change your yoga game. Trust me on this one.

The Bottom Line

Do slow down this summer. Set the to-do lists aside for a bit. Soak up time with family and friends. Prioritize fresh air and sunshine. Prioritize honoring your yoga practice. How often do we hear that getting to the studio (or logging onto the live stream) is the most challenging part? We should be proud of ourselves for not snoozing our alarms and staying in bed. Because yes, it’s tough when that alarm goes off or you are exhausted after a full day at your 9-5. But you go anyway because you know how you’ll feel at the end of that class, and smiling faces await you there. You know that your body will thank you. You know that your mind will feel less cluttered, and your soul will feel lighter. And shoot, now you know that your skin will be glowing, and hot yoga gives us a leg up on surviving the heat and humidity of a Midwest summer. Stay in class, dear yogis.

See you all on your mats,

Kelly Hurwitz

(longtime Ahh Yoga superfan)

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Kelly Hurwitz

Betsy Link

Betsy Link