🔥The science behind feeling great🔥

You’ve probably noticed you feel pretty amazing after taking class in the hot room, but...WHY?

The combination of exercise and heat increases the release of what we refer to as “happy hormones.” The heat increases the body’s internal temperature by about .5 - 1.5 degrees. This slight hyperthermia increases the production of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and GABA.

The result? You feel better!

These happy hormones are all neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are often referred to as the body's chemical messengers. They’re the molecules used by your nervous system to transmit messages between neurons, or from neurons to muscles.

Each of these happy hormones has a role to play in helping you feel calm, content, joyful, in-love, and happy:

Dopamine is a “pleasure” hormone and is stimulated when we strive towards a goal. It helps motivate us to take action to achieve the goal so we can experience the pleasure of the reward. The dysfunction of the dopamine system leads to numerous diseases, the most common being depression.

Serotonin boosts our mood and makes us more agreeable and sociable. Lack of it can cause irritability and depression. Low serotonin levels are often attributed to a long list of issues including: anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, PMS, obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Endorphins block pain. They are the body’s natural painkillers and increased release brings about feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Endorphins activate the body’s opiate receptors and therefore have an analgesic effect. This easing of pain makes you feel calm and happy.

Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter known to facilitate bonding. We hear a lot about oxytocin in regards to childbirth and breastfeeding. It’s associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building. You may have heard of it referred to as the "love hormone" because oxytocin levels increase during hugging and orgasm.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter known as an inhibitor. It blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. It helps regulate brain function in adults. It contributes to motor control and vision, and also creates a sense of calm. GABA can help with feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear. It may also help to prevent seizures. Working out & practicing yoga in the hot room has amazing benefits for both your physical and mental health! Understanding how hot fitness supports the production of our happy hormones is a GREAT motivator for showing up on your mat and taking care of yourself. So...when are you taking your next class?