We chatted to Elly Codiroli, one of our yoga teachers here at The Secret Space, about hot yoga, what to expect from a class, and the potential benefits.
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How long have you been practising hot yoga?
I have been practising hot yoga for around 4 years. I find that the heat allows me to work deeper into the poses. After the class I feel rejuvenated and invigorated, like I’ve had a good workout and my body has really been cleansed.

What are the benefits of practising in the heat?
The hot environment allows for the body to be more open, and therefore allows for deeper work. Practising in the heat means the overall body temperature is raised. This means it is safer to work deeper into poses due to the joints being more lubricated, though it is important to stay aware of your personal ability and limitations. In the heat, you sweat a lot, which is great for detoxing and cleansing the body. It is harder working in a heated environment and therefore the cardiovascular system gets a good workout as it gets the heart working harder. Whilst all yoga practice leaves you feeling like you have worked hard, in the heat, the practice can feel even stronger. The focus is the same as in any other yoga class, so you get all the usual benefits of yoga as well.

  Hot_yoga    Becky hot yoga

What would you say to people who have never tried hot yoga before?
Try it!
It is common in hot classes for people to sit out and rest for a few minutes, or to leave the room. It is important to stay hydrated so make sure you bring water with you. Also be prepared to sweat!

Is hot yoga suitable for people completely new to yoga?
Yes, it is. However it would be best to try a gentler class to begin with as opposed a class like hot power yoga for example which is more challenging.

What should people wear to a hot class?
You will definitely sweat, so clothes you are comfortable in, and preferably ones that dry quickly. You can buy specialist quick dry clothing for practice in a hot environment but the main thing is you are comfortable, and the clothing allows for a full range of movement, same as in any other yoga class. It is also a good idea to bring a change of clothes for after the class to travel home in.

What should people bring to a hot class?
Water is a must. It is very important to stay hydrated. It is a good idea to have a towelling mat over the top of your yoga mat to help prevent slipping. At the Secret Space these are available to hire for hot classes for a nominal charge.

Are there any health conditions that would mean practising in a hot environment was not suitable?
Women who are pregnant should not practice in the heat, and any people with pre-existing heart or other health conditions should speak to their doctors, same as for any other form of new activity you take on.

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And finally is there anything else you would like to say about hot yoga?
Some people may be concerned about how hot it is in the room, and that it may feel claustrophobic, or constricting. It is actually the opposite. In a properly heated studio, the heat is not uncomfortable, and as already said, allows the body to open up more easily. It is however extremely important in a hot class that if you feel unwell in any way at all, for example if you feel dizzy or light headed, that you leave the room for a few minutes. We always have someone available outside the room in case people need to sit out for a short time. No form of yoga is a competition. It is about working with your body. It is especially important to stay very body aware in a hot class and be honest with yourself about your limits. As stated earlier, it is very common to sit out for a few minutes, or leave the room for a time during a hot class.
Following a class, it is important to replenish minerals, electrolytes and nutrients. When we sweat, we don’t just lose water, so some form of sports drink may be useful after a class to help keep everything in balance.
The other big benefit of hot yoga is the added emphasis on mindfulness and body awareness. Being encouraged to listen to your body even more, and pay attention to what you do and don’t need, and where your limits are, are extremely useful skills for all aspects of life. This increased awareness and active practice of coming into a centred place can help to decrease stress and increase focus.
 
We have hot yoga classes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, as well as on Saturday mornings. For more information on our timetable or to book, please go here: Book Online Or call us on 01992 503141, or email info@thesecretspace.org.uk