Are you just becoming accustomed to the new “hot yoga” class that you joined a couple of months ago? Well, if you are the type that follows the latest trends, you might have to readjust to cold yoga.
Yoga has been around for centuries and even though its roots are in India, yoga is now practiced all over the world. The benefits of yoga are numerous and include the reduction of stress and high blood pressure, improved flexibility, balance and concentration, relief from pain and stronger bones.
Yoga: Hot or Cold?
The most common varieties of yoga include Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Bikram. Of these, Hatha yoga is considered the best for beginners and Bikram is one of the most popular forms of hot yoga.
Hot yoga is conducted in studios that are heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit because it is believed that the heat can increase the lubrication of the joints, improve the elasticity of the muscles and make the body more flexible. Profuse sweating is also linked to improved skin because it opens up the pores and removes toxins.
But if hot yoga claims to be so beneficial, why are people turning to cold yoga? The benefits of being exposed to the cold have been explored for ages and are now backed by scientific studies. It is believed that when you work out in the cold, the body may have to work harder to raise the body temperature, leading to an increased use of calories, which could lead to weight loss.
You may have also noticed that a cold shower after a hot workout feels very relaxing. This could be because a cold shower can improve circulation, stimulate the immune system, lower stress levels and increase the release of endorphins that can induce a positive and relaxed feeling in the body.
Following this principle, many yoga studios are now embracing the trend of cold yoga, which is done in ambient temperatures ranging between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is the practice of exposing parts of or the whole body to extremely cold temperatures. “Chillseekers,” as lovers of cold yoga and cryotherapy like to call themselves are ready to strip down to their bare essentials and stand in chambers that are at temperatures as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Studies have shown that exposing an aching limb or the entire body to icy conditions might be beneficial for overall health. Popular with athletes, cryotherapy is said to help with sports injuries, arthritis, migraines, skin problems and even sleep.
With all these benefits, cold yoga and cryotherapy may just become the hottest trends, especially during smoldering hot summers like the one we are experiencing this year.
Cold Yoga Exercise Craze. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/is-cold-yoga-the-next-exercise-craze#5
Breene, S. (2015, October 11). We Did It: Cold Yoga. Retrieved from https://greatist.com/fitness/we-did-it-cold-yoga
Yu, C. (2017, September 18). The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There. Retrieved from https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/