Hot Yoga Benefits: Increased Flexibility
The benefits of hot yoga are many, from increased strength to pain reduction to relaxation. In this special series we’re highlighting 10 of these perks, each separately, to give you more reason than ever to get into the hot room now that 2017 has arrived!
After discovering the benefits of hot yoga when it comes to weight loss, we’re turning our attention to flexibility – specifically, more of it. While everyone knows that doing hot yoga can help you get bendy, we’re focusing on the positive impacts it can have on your health:
Increased range of motion: When your muscles are tight they can cause a reduced range of motion throughout your body, and this can hamper even the simplest tasks, like bending down to pick something up or reaching for an object on a high shelf. Doing hot yoga to become more flexible (i.e., loosen up your muscles) can make these types of activities, as well as exercising, easier.
Reduced risk of injury: In the same way that it can increase your range of motion, doing hot yoga to improve your flexibility can reduce your risk of injury. In fact, research shows that flexible folks are less prone to injury of the muscles, tendons and ligaments, mostly because tendons around your muscles stiffen when you neglect to stretch and keep them flexible.
Improved circulation: Tension in the muscles affects circulation, which can prevent nutrients and oxygen from properly moving through your body. When your muscles are looser and more flexible, they relax and create improved circulation. The act of stretching your body in a hot yoga class also encourages circulation by helping blood move to your muscles and joints.
Better posture, less stress: Because tight muscles have an impact on your spine’s alignment, improving your flexibility through hot yoga can better your overall posture. According to the American Council on Exercise, flexible muscles also have less tension, so you may feel less stress than you would with a tight and tense body.
Lengthened muscles for a leaner look: Esthetically speaking, well-stretched limber muscles look leaner than shortened, constantly contracted muscles. Stretching in a safe environment like the hot yoga room also undoes a lot of the postural damage we do even when we’re not working out (i.e., sitting at a desk or driving).
A final note on flexibility: while our studio’s balmy climate will allow you to safely reach new levels of personal bendiness in beginner’s postures, always be sure to listen to your body and not overstretch past your personal limit on any given day.
Next up in our series: how hot yoga can help you heal from injury, aches and pains.