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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Hot Yoga: the ultimate test

Hot+yoga+offers+a+variety+of+benefits+including+muscle+recovery%2C+pain+relief%2C+stress+reduction%2C%26%23160%3Bweight+loss+and+detoxification.
Photo by Courtesy of Brandon Miller

Hot yoga offers a variety of benefits including muscle recovery, pain relief, stress reduction, weight loss and detoxification.

As I walked into a hot yoga studio, I did not know what to expect, other than knowing how to do a pose called downward dog.
With two locations in Bryan-College Station, HOTWORX is a 24-hour, infrared sauna fitness studio which offers a variety of classes to members including hot pilates and Hot High Intensity Interval Training.
As I walked into the studio, I noticed the professional setup of the facility. With
many individual saunas, multiple people can do different workouts at the same time without being in the same room.
Each sauna has a self-regulated thermostat monitored by employees and individuals can adjust the heat in their selected sauna to turn it up or down as needed. Each sauna also has a television where workouts are shown, so guests can follow along.
With many questions and a few nerves, I chatted with Alonzo Nelson, Jr., a yoga
instructor from St. Louis, Missouri, to get a feel of what exactly I was getting myself into.
“You are definitely going to be tested mentally and physically when it comes to
hot yoga,” Nelson said. “Hot yoga has a slew of benefits but one of the best benefits is that it not only transforms your body, but most importantly, it transforms your mind.”
I was looking forward to seeing if I could not only challenge myself, physically and mentally, but also see if I could notice the benefits of hot yoga in infrared lights including muscle recovery, pain relief, stress reduction, weight loss, detoxification, according to their website.
With the good, comes the bad. There are some risks to working out your body in extreme heat, around 120o F. Dehydration is a risk from pushing your body in the heat and not drinking enough water before, during or after the exercise. Thus, it is best to hydrate before you go. Hot yoga can also lead to overstretched muscles becoming unnaturally loose. In extreme cases, hot yoga can even cause heat stroke and exhaustion, according to Insider.com. Individuals who have cardiovascular disease, back pains, asthma, diabetes or women who are pregnant should consult their doctor before attending hot yoga, according to WebMD.com.
As I went through the 30-minute session HOTWORX offers, I tested myself in ways I have not been tested before. I sweat profusely on the yoga mat and towel that was offered to me and found myself in yoga positions that I didn’t know existed — stretching muscles that I didn’t know I had. At times I found myself wanting to step out of the sauna to get a breath of cool fresh air — which is encouraged by the staff — but I kept pushing through and I was glad I did.
I left the studio feeling a sense of accomplishment knowing I challenged myself and finished the task I set out to complete. I also felt really good physically leaving the studio with my muscles loose and feeling refreshed. Most importantly, I accomplished something I put my mind to.
Things to Know Before You Go:
I recommend you bring your own mat, a towel to go over the mat, a foam roller and a water bottle, preferably an insulated one.
The first session is free of charge. HOTWORX memberships are $59 per month and include a personal account and code for 24/7 access to the studio. Each sauna can fit up to three individuals at a time. If you prefer to go alone, you can book all three spots in that room so you can be by yourself.
Hot yoga has a multitude of benefits, but you should consult your doctor before
you attend a class if you are pregnant, have diabetes or any heart condition. For more information, visit hotworx.net.

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