More and more innovative concepts are being applied to amp up the benefits and attraction of traditional yoga. Their target? The new-age fitness enthusiast who looks at the practice not just to meditate and de-stress, but to stay fit and energized as well.
It is quite an exciting opportunity for those located in New York and LA, where these trends tend to spring into action. One such is Infrared Yoga, which can be considered an off-shoot of Bikram (hot) yoga, and really has folks interested.
Why? Because let’s face it, hot yoga had its fair-share of controversy when studies by The American Council on Exercise suggested that intensely hot yoga classes like Bikram yoga run the risk of raising a person’s core body temperature and heart rate, to dangerously high levels.
That prompted us to rope in a yoga expert who recommended a few modifications for hot yoga loyalists to still enjoy their routine, without running the risks. So, let’s see if Infrared Yoga is a worthy alternate, too.
Practiced at Y7, New York, and a couple of studios in LA, it is anything but a conventional hot yoga class. The main difference is in the heating system, which uses infrared heaters over space heaters or radiators.
- The idea is to warm up objects, not the air, so you don’t leave the class drenched and gasping for air.
- The warmth has therapeutic benefits for those with muscle soreness, stiffness, DOMs, or joint pain.
- Like hot yoga, it aims to give your body and skin a complete detox as it flushes out the toxins through perspiration and synchronized exhales.
- It improves flexibility, increases circulation and reduces inflammations.
- It reduces stress by lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin.
Unsurprisingly, people cope better in moderated heat than in the dripping sweat puddles of traditional hot yoga classes. They can go on for longer and gain the same benefits, without being subjected to risks, unless a new study says otherwise (no contradictions until now).
Care to give it a go?