Need a mental break? Check out the benefits of hot yoga

Jo and Jane are two sisters who wanted to create a beautiful community space for students to grow through yoga. With 12 years of practice each, they now have two studios; an earth and training studio called Yoga Next Door and an airy, heated yoga studio, Original Hot Yoga Dublin.

Hot yoga is known to be as physically difficult as it is spiritually tranquilising - but do the benefits outweigh the sweat? Here, Jane talks us through what to expect from a hot yoga class, everything to know and the benefits coming your way if you turn up the heat.

Why do you love hot yoga?

"Not just hot yoga - all types of yoga! We love everything yoga represents - unity. In particular the mindful practice and connection it gives you to life. It's a beautiful infusion of calmness for the body and mind which balances Dublin's accelerating pace of city life. An escape to a sanctuary hour of beautiful energy, while nourishing the body functions though movement - this sense of freedom is liberating and diffuses into your everyday in the most harmonious way."

What are the benefits of hot yoga over other forms of yoga? What does the heat do?

Advertisement

"All forms of yoga have great benefits to the practitioners - the choice is varied and dependent sometimes on what their health requires. For example we run chair yoga classes in Yoga Next Door which can be attended by people with limited mobility. One of the benefits of having the room heated is it allows the muscles of the body become more supple, which in return allows the body to move more freely.

Yoga gives us a way into the present moment. By combining breath and movement, we learn to quiet the mind and tune in to the sensory experiences of our body from moment to moment. When we are in this state, we give our minds space from the stresses and worries of everyday life. Away from your habitual thought patterns, you will find new, creative ideas begin to emerge. Yoga gives us the internal space to plant the seeds of ambition, purpose and possibility. With a little showering of attention, we can watch these seeds blossom into fruitful outcomes.

The breath is the most fundamental form of our human expression. Understanding and listening to our breath can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our internal world. Our breath along with our heart beat are the only two direct roots we have to this worlds energy, to fully connect with these on a regular basis is to connect to the magic of life itself. Yoga helps us develop a relationship with our breath. We soon learn that our breath is a greatest tool for understanding and embracing with our-self. Through our breath we can develop conscious action, rather than reaction; we can chose exactly how to respond to emotional stimulus.

Not only can all that moving and breathing prepare us physically for a good nights sleep, but it also prepares us mentally and emotionally. Yoga takes away all those late night stresses that can keep us up worrying until the early hours of the morning. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system – also known as the ‘rest and digest’ system – meaning it becomes easier to fall asleep at night."

The Original Hot Yoga Dublin studio

How hot are we talking?

Advertisement

"Our heating system runs on thermostats which are pre-set to a desired temperature so once the room reaches these conditions it automatically switches off. We always aim for a comfortable heat, depending on seasons. We also have the option for students to attend our earth studio - YogaNextDoor where all classes are practiced in room temperature conditions."

Is hot yoga suitable for yoga beginners?

"Absolutely! We have different level classes - Level 1 would be our suggested beginners class."

Is hot yoga is a little bit more physically challenging than other kinds of yoga? Can I still expect to leave a class with my mind reinvigorated and rejuvenated?

"Heat or no heat, I think every class is as hard as the student wants it to be! For me, I find my practice is more mentally focused than other types of yoga as the added heat element ensures I'm in the moment, thus relieving mental clutter in the offset."

What are the physical benefits for your body?

"Most people think yoga is just about stretching, however, it is quite the opposite. Yes, some forms of yoga – such as yin – are mostly geared towards a deep stretch, but depending on your preferences, you can easily find classes that strengthens and tones the entire body. In fact, yoga is one of the few practices that can give you absolutely everything; stretching, toning, strengthening, mobilising. If you’re looking for a full body workout, head to a strong vinyasa or power yoga class. If you struggle to unwind at the end of a stressful day, come to one of our restorative, or yin classes.

Advertisement

It’s no secret that yoga can broaden the possibilities of our bodies, minds, and spirits. Physically, yoga gives us a way to explore our bodies potential, it allows us to move in new ways and opens up areas that we thought were closed forever. As our bodies and minds exist as one entity, it stands to reason that the more space we find in our bodies, the more space we find in our minds. As our minds and bodies expand we open ourselves to new and different possibilities. We being to question our habits and the social constructs that mould the society we live in. Breaking down these personal barriers are the first step to a personal revolution. Through yoga we can rediscover and redefine ourselves, opening ourselves up to all the potential possibilities that await us."

Is there anything we need to do before going to a class? 

Hydration is extremely important before and after class - we recommend usually drinking up to 1L of water during the day leading up to class and again after. Replace electrolytes with a coconut water too.

Sign up for a hot yoga class at hotyogadublin.ie 

The image newsletter