As the temperatures begin to shift from the chillier winter days into the more humid, increasingly hotter spring days, so our yoga classes transform as well. Hot yoga is a form of yoga as exercise performed under hot and humid conditions. Some hot yoga practices seek to replicate the heat and humidity of India, where yoga originated. While Londolozi is no where near India, the yoga deck during midday in the summer months is close enough. Hot yoga on safari is not only safe, it is also healing.
There is something truly wonderful about the euphoric feeling that comes from the release of happy hormones or “endorphins” that flush through the body following a fun and sweaty hot yoga session. The energised high, fuels the body with a sense of positivity and well-being, as well as providing you with a wonderful outlet for stress relief.
After being connected to the bush for around 5 years now, living and working through the changing seasons, one thing I have learnt for certain is that every single body thrives off of movement. Be it the cooler days in winter time, when temperatures average around 12-24°C/54-76°F or during the hotter spring-summer temperatures averaging 31-35°C/88-92°F, coupled with humidity, movement is the best medicine for all.
We are so privileged to be able to practice yoga at Londolozi throughout the seasons on our beautiful nature-immersed yoga deck. Be it to generate warmth from the inside out and stretch the body on our cooler winter days, or to find a stress-release through a sweat-inducing session during our warmer summer days, the practice of yoga provides the same framework for the individual to relax the mind and improve physical fitness.
During a typical hot-yoga class in a studio in the cities, the temperature is set to between 32-41°C/ 85-105°F, with 40-60 percent humidity. While the heat can create a more challenging environment to practice in, there are some enormous benefits that come through doing hot yoga, and there are many advantages of doing it while on safari…
1. Hot yoga on safari develops and improves flexibility
Muscles that are warm tend to stretch more safely and easily- allowing the person to stretch a little further and move through the yoga poses in a more effective manner. Overall flexibility is increased and range of motion becomes greater.
2. Provides a cardiovascular boost
Moving through the poses during a higher heat provides the heart, lungs and muscles with a more challenging workout than that during a lower temperature practice. Yoga in the heat also boosts ones respiration, stimulates the metabolism, and increases the body’s ability to circulate blood.
3. Increases lung capacity
Breathing in a heated environment forces the lungs to expand more than usual, through the individual taking deeper breaths. With each deep breath, the lungs are being trained to retain more air and become stronger. With this focus on the breath, the practice becomes a very mindful activity.
The heat causes people to sweat more than usual, and through this sweating, one feels a form of release. Along with this, the deep breathing allows your lungs to take in more air, thus stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. This takes your body out of ‘fight-or-flight’ and into the healing state of rest and repair.
5. Great for the bones
A heated yoga practice exposes bones to greater low-impact forces, as a result of one group of muscles working against another. It is a wonderful at correcting posture and known to enhance bone mineral density (BMD).
6. Hot yoga on safari means being surrounded by nature and the African wilderness
Hot yoga can be done outside while on safari in summer due to our warmer days. This means you are surrounded by a canopy of trees and can hear the Sand River flow. Look out for monkeys swinging above you and elephants drinking in the distance – a truly unique hot yoga experience.
While it is no secret that yoga classes bring a greater sense of ease and range of motion, the hot yoga becomes a meditative activity for the mind, as well as the body. The heat, the power of the breath, coupled with the sounds of the birds in the trees around the deck, with the occasional monkey or elephant visits bring an element that is wild and raw to practice amongst. It truly is a humbling gift being able to safely submerge ourselves into the beauty of the African bush, while choosing to intentionally work on ourselves in conjunction to the elements that nature provides. We look so forward to seeing you on our yoga deck this summer.