Hot Feet Fitness Yoga is a 51 minute low intensity experience in a studio that is about 90 degrees with 35% - 40% humidity. HFF Yoga is not a religious experience unless, in your mind, you choose to make it one. HFF Yoga is an exercise of your mind, your body and your will. You will be stretched and challenged and you will surprise yourself with your results. HFF Yoga is a great place to think for sure but do not be intimidated by what you will experience. Some instructors play relaxing instrumental music while others prefer a quiet room. We do not hum or chant as a group at HFF. Some people prefer to close their eyes as they think, stretch and test their will. Others remain alert with eyes open. It is certainly ok to pray internally in your own way but the experience is not intended to be spiritual in nature any more so that any other activity in our lives. A peaceful time such as a HFF Yoga class certainly can be incredibly rewarding and spiritual for you however.
The warmth of the room is helpful in allowing the body to go deeper into postures safely, minimizing risk of injury by increasing elasticity of the muscles, ligaments and tendons, allowing greater flexibility with a lower risk of injury. The heat also facilitates sweating, detoxifying through the pores and skin – the body’s largest eliminating organ. Heat increases cardiovascular function. The intensity of the heat deepens the need for concentration and focus, strengthening willpower and self-control. The duration helps all of us get a great workout and take steps to fitness and health daily while also fitting into a busy schedule.
When you exercise and increase body temperature, your body produces more of an interesting compound called heat shock protein. Heat shock proteins are families of proteins that do several things including preventing other proteins from damage by infection, ultraviolet light, starvation, heat, cold, and other harsh conditions. Heat shock proteins are thought to mobilize immune function against infections and diseases, even cancer.
Improved ability to tolerate heat without discomfort, called heat adaptation, occurs fairly quickly - with large improvements within the first week of exerting in the heat. Exercising in heat is more effective to produce heat acclimatization than heat exposure without exercise. Aerobic fitness is a major factor in heat tolerance.
"Your body is engineered to exercise in the heat," said Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama. "This is why we sweat."
Olson, who is also an expert with the American College of Sports Medicine, said it's actually the evaporation of sweat from the skin that cools our bodies to maintain our normal body temperature.
Heat also speeds up the heart rate, increasing the circulation of blood around the body, including the muscles, decreasing friction and making it more comfortable to stretch, she said.
According to Dr. Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM:
Hot environments can improve your health in several ways. Done right:
- Exercising in the heat improves your fitness level and ability to exercise.
- Exercising in the heat increases your tolerance to heat, making life more comfortable in the heat.
- Exercising in the heat prevents the decreases in heat tolerance that otherwise occur with increased age, which can be unhealthy, even dangerous.
- Exercising in the heat makes positive changes in your body that improve your fitness. You increase blood volume, improve cooling ability, make changes in sweating, increase the vasculature that helps circulation, cooling and exercising at the same time, increase specific chemical compounds in the body that improve health and ability to exercise.
It is a myth that you must avoid sweating to stay healthy. Exercising enough to sweat makes you more flexible, increases many chemical reactions in your body that are healthy. Sweat itself has compounds beneficial for your skin and body. Don't worry that you must exercise only indoors in air-conditioning in order to do healthful exercise. A protective environment does prevent initial discomfort, but reduces benefits and the ability to be comfortable in the heat.
This all does not mean to go out and cause yourself heat injury by overdoing without thinking. It is to gain the many benefits of exercising safely in the heat.
More information about HFF yoga styles.
More information about kids & family yoga.