To Sweat or Not to Sweat

By Aaron Goldberg

I see people cringe daily at my mere mention of practicing heated yoga in a 100 degree room. Unless you have already discovered the benefits of this practice, you probably think that people are crazy to stand in a room and exercise in that environment. And you might be right! But being a practitioner of heated yoga, I would like to give you some very sane reasons why you may want to reconsider such a practice.

Living in Arizona we are all acquainted with sweat on some level. But what is this response of our body’s. Is it good for us? What does it do? Sweating is our body’s natural way of cooling itself. Our body is constantly trying to maintain a general temperature that allows healthy function of cells. We can become too hot either because of the environment we are in or because of the activity we are engaged in is raising our body temperature. When this occurs we have sweat glands all over our body implanted in our skin to help us maintain a temperature that is healthy. What happens is that these glands exude tiny beads of water from our body that covers our skin. This sweat that is covering your skin begins to evaporate and this is the trick. This evaporation insulates you from outer temperatures. It creates a cooling layer around your body. The places in your body you get the hottest also have the highest concentration of sweat glands, like your forehead.

So this evaporative layer is formed around you that not only insulates you from outer temperatures but also cools you on the inside. Blood is moved to arteries closer to the skin, and as this blood passes through these arteries it is literally cooled by this evaporative layer around you. The blood acts like a heat exchange. Taking warmer blood towards the skin to be cooled and taking cooler into the body to control the temperature.

Now let’s get back to heated yoga. You are in a classroom that is 100 degrees, doing yoga. Stretching tendons and muscles. Compressing and cleaning joints while strengthening bones. Now you start to sweat. This puts a beautiful stress on the heart and arteries that convey the warm blood towards your skin as well as the veins that carry it back to your heart.

As this sweat pours, the body makes use of perspiration to help clean out toxins that may be in the skin. The heart starts to pump harder and now our breathing becomes faster to keep up with the oxygen demand of our physical body. An aerobic exercise has evolved.

Heated Yoga provides aerobic exercise. A stress that makes our tissues stronger whether we are dealing with skin, muscle, bone and heart. That is why heated yoga is perfect for someone who wants to regain their health or maintain it. Many say that yoga is not an aerobic exercise. These are people who do not practice heated yoga.

So you may want to give a heated class a try. You might be surprised how good you feel after your done. Inner Vision has many heated classes on our schedule that may work for you. Please come try one and experience these wonderful healthy effects for yourself.

Many blessings. Aaron.