After spending New Year’s Eve apart, everyone’s favourite ‘on-again-off-again’ celebrity couple – Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber – were spotted heating things up again at a hot yoga studio in LA.
The childhood sweethearts looked relaxed and carefree as they left the gym class in matching white fitness gear, sporting sweat-drenched hair and a post-workout glow that only pulling poses in sauna-like temperatures could illicit.
But ‘Jelena’ aren’t the only celebrities in LA to swear by the healing benefits of hot yoga. Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Beyonce and David Beckham have all sung its praises in recent years.
If you’re not au fait with the trendy practice, let us enlighten you: hot or ‘Bikram’ yoga involves drilling through a series of 26 postures that are designed to contract all of the major muscle groups, in a room that is heated to 40C. The vigorous and demanding nature of the poses, coupled with the heat, are intended to raise your heart rate and tire your muscles.
So why is Hollywood so obsessed with it? Here are just a few benefits you can expect from turning up the dial on your next vinyasa flow…
It can help with weight loss
All that searing heat isn’t just good for relaxing your muscles – increasing your core body temperature also helps you burn fat more easily. In fact, a single session can burn anywhere between 500 to 1,000 calories. Yoga might seem like a gentle form of exercise, but researchers in one U.S. study followed more than 15,000 healthy men and women and found that practising yoga regularly had some serious slimming results. Those who started out overweight but did at least one session of yoga a week lost about 5lb over ten years, while those who didn’t gained almost a stone.
It can boost your immunity
The best way to avoid a winter cold? Crank up the heat. Studies have shown that the postures used in hot yoga, alongside the blistering heat, assist in stimulating the thymus gland – the part of the body which improves the proper functioning of your immune system.
Detoxify your skin
There’s a reason why Selena’s skin always looks flawless – sweating away a pound of water in a 40°C room is a brilliant way of accelerating the body’s natural detoxification process. Because your circulation is increased during sweating, dirt and impurities on the surface layers of the skin are able to exit your body through your pores. It’s, naturally, a very cleansing and low-cost way to remove wastes and toxins from the body – leaving skin softer and glowing.
It can improve muscle tone
Traditional Bikram yoga’s 26 excruciating postures demand a full body workout. Standing postures like Triangle Pose use body weight to build leg muscles, while Asanas that place weight on the arms and upper body put both small and large muscles to work. The result? Lean, toned and rock-hard limbs to rival a multi-millionaire pop star power couple.