If you are anything like me, you spend hours looking at Instagram models who seem to have the picture-perfect bodies. You then proceed to tell yourself you are going on an all-plant diet and will wake up at 6 AM every day for a breezy morning jog, followed by an overflowing bowl of acai. Well, I'll be the first to admit, there is a slim chance of me sticking to that for more than two days. I always seemed to be at square one when it came to healthy, active lifestyles. One thing that helped me to combat this constant inner-struggle, was yoga.
As the summer began, I decided I was going to start becoming a frequent customer at the local yoga studio. I decided I would commit myself by paying for all my classes upfront; therefore, forcing me to go in order to not lose money. This tactic, I will admit, worked quite well. After my first session of classes was over, I immediately signed up for more. Not convinced yet? Well, allow me a few more minutes and I'll get down to the nitty-gritty of why hot yoga is so great.
When you walk into the studio you immediately feel a burst of heat: at first, this can be alarming, but I promise that hot yoga is the only way to go. Within 10 minutes of class beginning, you can already feel sweat dripping down every part of your body: elbows, nose, back, you name it. In an hour-long class, you go through many different 'flows' which test your balance, strength, and endurance. There is a variety of classes, some tailored to abs, some to legs, etc. No matter what the class, you leave drenched in sweat and feeling good about yourself.
Not only is yoga great for strengthening mind and body, but if you decide to start Bikram or Hot Yoga, it can be an excellent tool for weight loss, due to the crazy amount of sweat you produce. I have found that a yoga class in the morning kick-starts my day and makes me think twice about the foods I put into my body that day and encourages me to make healthier choices all day long.
Yoga is also the ideal workout for all you folks who hate running just about as much as me. I know that forcing myself to go on a run, dragging myself to the finish line will never be an enjoyable workout for me. When I do things like pilates, yoga, or dance, I seem to forget I am even working out. The hour passes by so fast, that when the class is over I can't believe it! By the end of the hour I leave feeling refreshed and knowing that I have burned hundreds of calories, I am ready to tackle my day!
For any skeptics who wake up dreading the gym, I urge you to test out a yoga session. It is worth the hype… and the soaking wet workout gear afterward!