There are many health benefits of Hot Yoga for PCOS. It’s such a fun practice… well, saying that, the first class I ever attended I thought I may just pass out, but from then on in, I found it such a relaxing form of exercise. And sleep… I slept like a log on the nights I attended.
The Hot Yoga Difference
Hot yoga departs from typical yoga exercises in that it is performed in much warmer, humid conditions. Generally, the thermostat is turned up to 40 degrees celsius (that’s 105 degrees!) and the humidity level is at least 40 percent. This form of yoga is also referred to as Bikram. Sessions last ninety minutes and involve a level of intensity that is often more challenging than typical yoga sessions. This form of yoga will give your body a great workout, involving all of the major muscles in the body, and elevating your heart rate. Put your body through the rigours of hot yoga and you will truly feel as if you have had a workout, but usually without the muscle pain. This is great for women with PCOS who commonly have increased levels of pain. It should be noted that this form of yoga is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, has a heart condition, or suffers from a health condition that is adversely affected by increased temperatures. That being said, hot yoga offers many benefits for those who can handle the heat.
Hot Yoga and Increased Flexibility
Regardless of the type of yoga that you practice, it is recognised as a wonderful form of exercise that will improve your flexibility, and allow you to maintain freedom of motion, now and throughout your life. Hot yoga makes it even easier to achieve greater flexibility. Warm conditions help to loosen your muscles and become more limber and supple than you may have thought possible. I remember going from not being able to even touch my toes, to being able to place both palms on the ground.
The Wonders of Detoxication
As you delve into a lengthy session of intense yoga in hot, humid conditions, you will perspire heavily. The man in front of me in my first class was literally dripping, with a pool of perspiration under him and not a dry patch on his body. Sweating engages the body in a natural cleansing process. Studies show that sweat collected on the towels of people who’ve been in a sauna contain heavy metals and toxins, released from the participant. Hot yoga is pretty much like yoga in a sauna 🙂 This is very important for women with PCOS, as toxicity can contribute to weight gain and obesity, infertility and irregular cycles, and high levels of the acne and excessive hair producing hormone, testosterone. In addition, the poses chosen during hot yoga are specifically designed to detoxify your body. Focus is brought to your organs and your muscles in an effort to improve your well-being.
Enjoy Improved Mental and Physical Health
Hot yoga is beneficial for your entire well-being, helping you to achieve a level of relaxation that will reduce your stress throughout the day. You’ll also find that your strength, breathing, and cardiovascular health are improved as well, thanks to the targeted poses performed during each session. Your heart, body, and mind will be put to the test when you embark on the journey of hot yoga. You’ll also reap the therapeutic benefits of this ancient form of exercise as old injuries are healed.
Prepare To Avoid Injuries
Women with PCOS often sweat more than women without PCOS. This is related to higher testosterone levels. It’s important to completely enjoy your practice, to get lost in it and feel secure! There are some great accessories to help you do this. My favourite is a super high quality, absorbant not slip Yoga towel. The Ultimate Hot Yoga Towel will help you avoid future injuries, cushion your body and suck up the excess sweat to stick your poses.
Hot yoga is such a great way to help your body, mind and soul and I think it’s one of my favourite pass times!
The PCOS Expert
Nutritionist, Author, Chiropractor