Learn more about this unique form of yoga, how to choose the best hot yoga mat, and how to properly care for it for long-term use…
Taking into consideration the popularity of yoga throughout the years, it is not surprising that more and more versions of yoga have entered the mainstream. One of the most popular types of yoga today is hot yoga. Unlike your typical yoga session, hot yoga is conducted in a room that has a notably warmer temperature that typically ranges somewhere from 90 to 105 degrees F. With that, let us dive deeper and understand the how and why of doing hot yoga – and learn how to take care of your hot yoga mat so that it will serve you well for many classes to come.
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is a form of yoga that is done in a heated room. While also sometimes referred to as Bikram yoga, hot yoga is not exactly the same as Bikram yoga as the latter refers to a specific set of yoga poses and positions while generic hot yoga classes may incorporate a wider variety of poses. Considering that the temperature is hotter than usual, hot yoga practitioners often wear lightweight and breathable fabrics and sometimes use specialized accessories such as gloves, socks, and a specially designed hot yoga mat that provides consistent grip and traction.
Benefits of Doing Hot Yoga
As mentioned earlier, hot yoga focuses on the physical aspects of yoga while establishing a hot and humid environment. The increased room temperature encourages sweating and a higher body temperature that may encourage weight loss. But what are the other benefits of hot yoga? Here are some of the most notable physical and mental advantages of doing hot yoga on a regular basis.
- Improve flexibility
- Burn calories faster than normal yoga sessions
- Build bone density
- Reduce stress and ease depression
- Improve cardiovascular health conditions
- Reduce blood glucose levels
- Nourishes and detoxifies the skin
Choosing the Best Hot Yoga Mat
If you haven’t tried hot yoga just yet but you’re interested in doing so, it is important that you have the best possible equipment to make your yoga session comfortable and productive. With that in mind, some of the things that you should consider when choosing the best hot yoga mat for you include the thickness and size of the mat, as well as the material used for the mat surface.
In our opinion, it is best to opt for a natural rubber yoga mat to use as a hot yoga mat as it offers the best non-slip resistance. Furthermore, we also suggest bringing several yoga mat towels so you have something to wipe your mat and your body. You could also choose a yoga mat that has a built-in towel.
Cleaning Your Hot Yoga Mat
Considering that hot yoga involves a lot of sweating, one of the most important things you should do after your workout is to clean your hot yoga mat to ensure its quality and longevity. With that, here is how you can properly clean your hot yoga mat.
- After every use, make it a habit to spot clean both sides of the yoga mat by using a yoga mat cleaner or a mix using a couple of drops of mild dishwashing liquid and 2 cups of warm water.
- With your cleaner in hand, spray the yoga mat with the solution and wipe the surface with a soft cloth.
- To rinse the mat, simply pat the surface using a damp cloth.
- Remember to lay the mat flat or hang it to dry fully before rolling it back into the yoga bag.
At times, even with the best hot yoga mats, spot cleaning may not be enough. Thus, it is also important to know how to deep clean your hot yoga mat. Once your yoga mat starts to smell or has a stain, it is important to deep clean it immediately.
- For hand-washable yoga mats, use cold water and mild soap in order to get rid of the stain and smell.
- For machine washable mats, simply clean the mat on a cold gentle cycle.
- For yoga mats that cannot be soaked, wipe the surface with a solution made using a mix of one-part white vinegar and three-parts water and rinse using a soft, damp cloth.
- To dry your yoga mat properly, remember not to put it in the dryer but simply lay it out or hang it to air dry.
Hot yoga is an effective workout activity that can both help your physical and mental well-being. Just remember that it is important to have the best hot yoga mat for your practice and to take care of it properly in order to make sure that you get the full hot yoga experience.