The yoga we teach is the most therapeutic and effective yoga that exists. If you’ve already tried the yoga, you’ve felt some of the immediate benefits like weight loss, better mood, increased sleep, increased range or motion or lower blood pressure. The yoga optimizes your body’s health and brings everything into homeostasis. Here I will break down the most common therapeutic side effects in this incredibly healing series.
Reduced Stress- Feel like sighing during the day?
Overwhelmed much? 80% of people who practice yoga report an immediate decrease in daily stress. Scientific research told us a long time ago that all yogis have lower cortisol levels, but what about Hot Yogis? Increased Happy Hormones!
The heat increases the body’s internal temperature by about .5 - 1.5 degrees. This slight hyperthermia increases the production of your dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and GABA. Dopamine helps regulate movement, attention ,learning, and emotional responses. It enables us to see rewards and take action to move toward them. Low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, pms, obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, and alcohol abuse. As well as, negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers and their increase brings about feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is often talked about during childbirth and breastfeeding. It is associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building. It’s sometimes called the "love hormone," because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm and now you know from Hot Yoga! GABA is a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Low levels of GABA are linked to anxiety or mood disorders.
Increased Flexibility- Got weak muscles and still aren’t flexible?
Many people think flexibility is a product of stretching muscles. If I could just relax my muscles and stretch them I’d touch my toes! Flexibility only occurs with the help of your strength. In order to stretch a muscle, the antagonistic muscle must be contracted. Yoga increases muscle strength and flexibility due to this resistance and stretching. You increase your flexibility by contracting the muscles repeatedly, not just in the same class, but at least 2 -3 times per week. The more flexible you become, the less you are prone to injury and the less uncomfortable you are when you do yoga or any other movement. Again, the heated room increases your ability to move bring this to fruition.
Improved Muscle Tone- Feel tight and not strong?
Yoga strengthens your muscles, which improves their performance. Muscles are attached to bones and run across joints, which means that strong muscles (not tight ones) can improve your joint mobility which affects your overall health. For people with joint pain, the improved muscle tone that comes with yoga can be an immediate game changer. Increased range of motion in the joints, helps to relieve pain and tightness.
Synovial Fluid Benefits- Got knee pain? Hip pain?
Synovial joints are joints that release synovial fluid to remain lubricated, like your knees, hips, elbows, and ankles. These are joints where more free movement of the bones is allowed, unlike your spine.
Synovial fluid is the slippery liquid in joint systems that (with hyaline cartilage) allows smooth and painless movement of the bones. Movement of these joints is more limited than the others. Synovial fluid is also essential for delivering nutrients and oxygen to the hyaline cartilage which don’t have any sort of blood supply. Hot Yoga poses help to loosen and release synovial fluid, keeping these joints more lubricated and lubricate the cartilage where the fluid is circulated, therefore increasing circulation to both cartilage and joints. This process increases overall joint health and reduces pain.
Increased Bone Density
Bone density is a major predictor of osteoporosis, and women with low bone density are especially susceptible to this crippling disease. Resistance-based training can stimulate the production of new bone-building cells, and some yoga poses -- particularly Warriors and Chair -- force muscles to work against gravity. Over time, this can increase bone density. A small study reported in "Yoga Journal" found that people suffering from bone loss who engaged in a short yoga routine every day experienced increased bone density.
Decreased Arthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis of the spine is a painful condition associated with aging, though people of any age can suffer from this. Yoga may help improve the pain of arthritis and slow the progression of the disease. A study by Duke Integrative Medicine found that seniors who practiced yoga had decreased pain associated with their arthritis.
Decreases back pain- Ugh, my aching back!
The few joints that do not have synovial fluid are the discs between your vertebrae in your back and both sacroiliac joints in the back of your pelvis.
All the little BIG things!
improving balance, reducing fatigue, decreasing anxiety, cutting stress, lifting moods, improving sleep, reducing pain, lowering cholesterol, and more generally raised quality of life for practitioners. Physically we know it increases production of synovial fluid, improves flexibility, and more astoundingly slows or maybe even stops the breakdown of Telomeres, the end caps to our DNA who’s slow breakdown is responsible for our aging.
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