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  • Black Lotus Yoga

Hot yoga has become a popular exercise to many people across the globe. It offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga, such as stress reduction, improved strength, and flexibility.But, with the heat turned up, hot yoga has the ability to give your heart, lungs, and muscles an even greater, more intense workout.


So, what is hot yoga?

You may hear the terms “hot yoga” and “Bikram yoga” used interchangeably, but they’re not exactly the same thing.


Bikram yoga, developed by a yogi named Bikram Choudhury, is done in a room heated to 105°F (41°C) with about 40 percent humidity. It consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises that are done in the same order in every class. A Bikram yoga class usually lasts 90 minutes, but today many studios have adapted the series and offer one hour classes like our beloved Black Lotus Yoga in Mill Hill, London.


Hot yoga, in some studio just means they put the heat on above normal room temperature. The heat can be set to whatever the yoga instructor wants, though it’s typically between 80 and 100°F (27 and 38°C).


What are the benefits of hot yoga?

Regardless of the room temperature, both hot yoga and Bikram yoga aim to provide a physical workout, for the body and the mind- and boy does it work!


A heated environment can make the practice of yoga more challenging, but the benefits are wide and varied. We at BLY offer the best Far Infra-Red technology offered by science today and have the correct amount of humidity and air circulation per cubic meter as decribed in best Hot Yoga practices.



If done correctly and safely, hot yoga can provide the following benefits:


1. Improves flexibility

You may already know that stretching after you warm up your muscles is safer than stretching cold muscles.


By practicing yoga asanas in a room that is already heated you have the benefit of warm muscles and the heat allows you to stretch a little further and achieve a greater range of motion.


A 2013 studyTrusted Source of Bikram yoga found that after 8 weeks, yoga participants had greater flexibility in their low back, shoulders, and hamstrings than the control group.


2. Burns more calories

A 160-pound person can burn around 183 calories an hour with non heated yoga. Turning up the heat can help you burn even more calories.


According to researchers at Colorado State University, the calorie burn can be as high as 460 for men and 330 for women during a 90-minute hot yoga session.


3. Builds bone density

Supporting your weight during a yoga pose helps build bone density. This is especially important as we grow a bit older (though young at heart) as bone density declines as you age.


A 2014 study of women who participated in Bikram yoga over a 5-year period found that premenopausal women had increased bone density in their neck, hips, and lower back. This is awesome news for those of us who are trying to remain healthy and vital to much older ages as our parents.


4. Reduces stress

Many people turn to yoga as a natural way to deal with stress.


A 2018 studyTrusted Source of stressed, physically inactive adults found that a 16-week program of hot yoga significantly reduced the participants’ stress levels. Not to mention is gives you a much brighter prospcetive on life itself.


5. Eases depression

Yoga is well known as a technique to help you relax and improve your mood. According to the American Psychology Association, it may also be a helpful therapy for reducing the symptoms of depression.


Additionally, a 2017 reviewTrusted Source of 23 different studies that focused on yoga as a treatment for depression concluded that yoga is an effective way to reduce depressive symptoms. These facts are so uplifting as we are all in need of a boost now and then. And it really does just make you feel better even in the darkest time.




6. Provides a cardiovascular boost

Striking different yoga poses in high heat can give your heart, lungs, and muscles a more challenging workout than doing the same poses in a lower temperature. The heat increases your heart rate and according to a 2014 study, just one session of hot yoga is enough to get your heart pumping at the same rate as a brisk walk (3.5 miles per hour).


7. Reduces blood glucose levels

While any type of exercise can help burn energy and reduce circulating levels of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream, hot yoga may be an especially helpful tool for people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.


8. Nourishes the skin

Sweating, and a lot of it, is one of the main purposes of hot yoga.

The benefits of sweating in a warm environment is that it can improve circulation, bringing oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to skin cells. This, in turn, may help to nourish your skin from the inside.


Safety tips

If you’re in good health, hot yoga is generally safe. But, as with most types of exercise, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind.

Dehydration is a major concern with hot yoga. Drinking water before, during, and after a hot yoga class is essential.

Some pre-existing health conditions may make you more prone to passing out in a hot room. This includes heart disease, diabetes, arterial abnormalities, and a history of fainting.

If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous. Just lay down on your mat till you feel able to return to the practice or once you feel cooler you will be allowed to leave the hot room. It is not reccomended to walk out into the cold straight away, due to fainting.



How to get started

If you haven’t done yoga before, you may want to try a regular yoga class first to see if the instructor and studio are a comfortable fit for you. All of our hot yoga classes are designed for beginners and the teachers have the most experience with our Hot Yoga and are hear for your benefit.


Black Lotus Yoga Offers introductory packages for people new to the studio and enables them to try a variety of class, so they can decide which types of yoga are right for them.


If you’re ready to give hot yoga a try, consider these tips to get started:


Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics that can wick away your sweat.

Bring a large towel to place over your yoga mat, which may get a little slippery once you start sweating. You can also bring an extra towel for your face and hands.

Bring a large, insulated water bottle filled with cold water that you can sip throughout your hot yoga session.


The bottom line:

Hot yoga may not be for everyone. But if you enjoy regular yoga, and want to step it up a notch, it may be just what you’re looking for.

Hot yoga offers a wide variety of benefits for both your mind and body. It can help you burn calories, build bone density, boost your cardiovascular fitness, and improve your flexibility. It may also help ease depression and reduce stress.

*As always, you should consult your GP if you have any concerns with your current health conditions.


www.blacklotusyoga.co.uk

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  • Black Lotus Yoga

What Now?


Just a year ago yoga studios were popping up all over the place, not just your London yoga studios anymore. Studios have evolved from church halls and rec. centers to a variety of boutique like studios and gyms that now offer yoga. This has forced a sense of survival mode between teachers and popular studios as students now had so many choices. Then comes lockdown and a serious rush to get classes on line and promote from within. With even more choices students could visit their favorite teachers in their ZOOM living rooms.

After a year of teaching classes at home via Zoom, most studios had to close their doors and transitioned to online platforms only, leaving our "old normal" as a distant memory and a worry to what the future holds for our on line and in studio classes. This proposes a new way of yoga altogether and hopefully a way to create a better relationship between teachers, students and studios.


LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION


Location no longer matters. What was once a thriving business between yoga teachers and studios has been cut in half. With classes at half capacity and costs still rising it is hard to see how some of the small studios will survive and their teachers along with them. Studios do well , when teachers do well- its that simple. Teachers are the first people yogi's see, admire and come back week after week for a bit of their time and dedication to what they love. I am not saying this will happen, but instead of 30 people per class you know have 15. And those 15 are you regulars, so where do the new students go, well perhaps on line? You can now take someones class in America as soon as take someones class in France- location no longer matters and students have that choice to make. Another threat to small, independent studios and teachers are the big business models and franchises taking over the market and enticing students with "gym like" facilities and cheajper prices- how can we all compete?



A NEW DAY


As we all move through this strange time. A time of hope and new beginnings, we must remember to help each other. Students who loved their small independent studios can help by returning to them when able. As lockdown eases its important to remember the feeling your studio and independent teachers have given you through lockdown and continue to support them. As far as studios and teachers go, i feel that on line classes are here to stay and if you are a studio owner you should try to incorporate this into your schedule for the near and later future. Teachers that have built their on line business should continue to do so, but not for £3, as for what your worth and that is the same as pre-lockdown rates. By doing this you value yourself and your students. Those of us lucky enough to make a living teaching yoga know just how amazing and rewarding it is, but it is WORK. Just because you love what you do doesnt mean you are not worth charging for it. I do think that the business of yoga is changing, and as it changs it brings us all new possibilities, but let's all help each other and stay together towards a bright and loving future.


If anyone needs any help or advice my door is always open. Please reach out and contact me.

Kathy Ran SYT MA I Owner I Teacher I Mentor I Lecturer

Kathy@blacklotusyoga.co.uk

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  • Kathy Ran

It's been a long year and dispite our best intentions, we ate a little more, rested a little more and perhaps partook in some bad habits. All of this has left some of us with unwanted pounds and a shape that we do not recognise. I call this my new Covid lockdown donut. The extra pounds are just around the middle and resemble a donut. I truley did my best to practice yoga 5 times a week and walked the dogs almost everyday for over 30 min. and I still gained weight. I think because the fridge and pantry was calling my name throughout the day and of course I was happy to answer.


So what can I do now? I have turned to the experts. Here are a list of top 5 tips to getting back our pre lockdown bodies from our very own Luisa Marie Quinn who is a personal trainer and certified yoga instructor:

1. Get a Training Partner to keep you motivated, in check and keep it fun.

2. Prepare your meals in advanced, keep your fridge organised with healthy food to avoid FAST GRABING those snacksAvoid refined sugars, keep to natural sugars eg. fruit and veg.

3. Try new fruit and make healthy snacks. Keep your snacks interesting each day

4. Treat yourself. Do not torture yourself regarding food. Everything is in moderation, just keep moving!


Throughout lockdown, we’ve all been waiting for the day we can get back to our local gym or yoga studio. However, as we reopen around the country, some of us might have felt unmotivated to return. We might need a new plan to get back into a regular fitness routine. There are a few things we can do to keep motivated and begin new healthy routines according to nutritionist and certified yoga instructor Martina Pokorna. Here are a few things you can do now to improve your health and to help with shifting that unwanted lockdown pounds:

  1. Have a portion of protein with every meal ( nuts, seeds, pulses and beans, avocado, olives, meat fish, eggs , poultry...) This will keep you fuller for longer and will assist to keep blood glucose levels balanced.

  2. Stop snacking between meals.

  3. Move your body daily (20 mins) walking, yoga , stretching, running, jumping, rebounding, weights.

  4. Sleep better - improve sleep by reducing caffeine & alcohol intake, reduce the exposure to blue light screens in the evening (TV, computer, laptop...) at least one hour before bed, have a bath or foot bat with Epsom/Magnesium salts before bed, read a real book, listen to calming music, meditate, practice gentle yoga (Yin).

  5. No late night eating- try to aim to have your last meal around 6/7pm to let your body digest and repair during the night.

  6. Stay hydrated- drink enough fluids daily (up to 1.5- 2 liters per day) water or herbal teas.

Even with our best intentions we have to realise that some things will have changed at our beloved fitness and yoga studios. Booking session times, limited member numbers, physical distancing, equipment not in use — these are all going to be the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future. All of this will be to our benefit as the level of hygiene will be extremely high and studio crews will be doing everything they can to keep members safe. And you’ll still be getting your workout in. Personally, I can't wait to see and visit with our amazing yoga community- it will be awesome to welcome you all back to our beloved studio and have some serious fun!


Take baby steps as you return to your fitness and yoga studios. It's important to stay healthy, but not push yourself to hard, kindness is key. You may have lost the drive but for both mental and physical health reasons, we all need to exercise. Exercise has so many benefits including: reducing the risk of health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, reducing stress and anxiety and improving your sleep. For these and so many more reasons its time to return to our routines and/or create new habits towards living our best lives- you don't have to do a lot, you just have to keep moving. We look forward to seeing you all again! Classes now available on: www.blacklotusyoga.co.uk


Resources:

Luisa Marie Quinn - instagram @luisamarie - personal trainer, fitness instructor and yoga teacher

Martina Pokorna - instagram @martinapokorna - helping men & woman to overcome anxiety naturally, mental well being support, nutritionist



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