The fitness world is constantly evolving. One minute, pundits tout the benefits of the Paleo diet, the next minute they claim that elliptical machines are the best thing since indoor plumbing.
Recently, hot yoga (a vigorous type of yoga done in a humid studio) has become all the rage. If the notion of sweaty, slimy and sweltering bodies repulses you then read on.
Hot yoga shouldn’t make you hot and bothered if you understand the science behind it.
Whenever you feel uncertain about a new fitness practice, always look at the research. That’s right! Sports science has taken the fun out of those endless debates with your friends.
In this study, the authors worked with members of a field hockey team to measure performance benefits of hot yoga. They found that the subjects’ cardiovascular output improved thus enhancing their performance after doing hot yoga.
Not only does hot yoga boost blood volume/ cardiovascular output, it also does the following:
- Enhances flexibility – muscles stretch more when hot
- Improves cardio workout – causes the heart to pump more blood
- Keeps off stress – you get to work more on your breathing and thus relax
- Burns lots calories –This was verified by the following study
Now that you know the benefits, a yoga mat is crucial in making the most of your workout. It prevents slips and falls from the excess sweat. It supports your body from impact and protects your skin from direct contact with hard surfaces.
Here are some exercise options you may want to consider:
Best Yoga Mats for Hot Yoga
Most people love this product for moisture resistance, which makes it ideal for hot yoga. The product is lightweight, comes with a strap and has double-sided grips.
They charge different prices for different colors. It is still slippery for hot yoga, so you need a towel to use it.
Some customers complain about shreds from the product. When you wrap it in certain ways, it gets dents. With time, it even forms holes. It also has a plastic smell when unpacked.
You will love Heathyoga’s mat for its alignment lines which give direction on where to focus your limbs. It also has an extra-large size. Therefore, anyone can use it without worrying about overextending.
Further, the mat has a non-slip texture above and below for body and floor grip. The mat has a vicar strap for easy carrying.
The product does not have many colors and patterns to choose from. The product is sensitive to direct heat. Do not leave this mat out in the hot sun.
You will still need a hot yoga towel to use this mat for an additional slip. It has a rubbery smell after unpacking but it fades after some time.
TOPLUS ‘s mat has a non-slip texture, is lightweight and 6 mm thick. The mat has anti-slip texture on both sides for extra grip. It does not stretch so you won’t struggle to stay in one place. The product is sweat proof and quite stable.
You need to use it with a towel for hot yoga but the towel comes with the mat upon purchase. The product does not have many color choices.
Gaiam’s mat is thick (6mm) yet lightweight, so your joints will be properly cushioned. However, you do not have to carry around a heavy mat. It is non-slip thus giving you sufficient grip during those hot and sweaty moments in the class.
As a bonus, you get a free downloadable yoga lesson to give you ideas. There is a range of colors and beautiful patterns. You will not experience movements with this mat.
The mat has a mild chemical-like odor when new. It is advisable to leave it open to get rid of the smell. The mat still has a modest amount of slippage. Some buyers suggest washing it to add grip.
IUGA’s product is perfect for hot yoga because of its no-slip, no slide feature. You can do pushups and other stretching exercises with sweaty hands and you would still not slip. Unlike other brands, this one is odorless even when fresh out of the packet. The mat is extra-large for those who need the space.
Since most competitors are 6mm, this 5mm thick product is slightly less cushioning. It still has a plastic smell that should be air-dried for removal. The product is twice as expensive as other competitors.
What to Consider When Buying
A solid mat should not shred, dent or from holes shortly after use.
Thickness and size
Go for yoga mats that are extra thick to cushion your body parts.
This is the most important quality because hot yoga causes a lot of sweating and slipperiness. Choose mats that have a firm texture (preferably on both side), do not slip or stretch as you use them.
A mat should be in $20-$50 range; anything extra is an overcharge.
Does it have many colors and patterns? Does the mat come with a towel? Is it odorless when new? Does it have alignment lines? Go for brands that give answer yes to these questions.
After considering these factors, choose the brand of your choice and hit that hot yoga studio!