Atlanta may feel like a sauna for many months of the year, but a hot yoga class can make the outside temperatures seem downright cool.
Also referred to as Bikram yoga, it's performed in a studio that's heated to up to 105 degrees. Devotees of the practice believe that it helps relieve stress while increasing your range of motion, improving your balance and making you stronger. Although these benefits are also associated with regular yoga, the hot environment is thought to make muscles more flexible and less prone to injury.
If you'd like to try hot yoga, MayoClinic.com recommends that you check with your doctor first if you have any health concerns and pass on the practice if you're pregnant, have heart disease or have had a heat-related illness in the past.
In addition, make sure to stay well hydrated before, during and after class and take a break if you feel light-headedness, nausea, confusion or muscle cramping.
The following are some places to try hot yoga in metro Atlanta:
Atlanta Hot Yoga
2140 Peachtree St. NW No. 230 (Brookwood Square), Atlanta. 404-355-2652. atlhotyoga.com.
The studio has undergone a renovation to create an environment that's more Zen-like, and new infrared heaters have been installed to make sure the environment for hot yoga stays at 103 to 105 degrees.
Several types of hot yoga are offered, all suitable for beginners to advanced students. The signature Hot Yoga class lasts for 90 minutes, but shorter 60- and 75-minute classes are also offered. Hot Core Power focuses on building your strength as you focus on breathing, and Hot Vinyasa Flow combines upper body strength, cardio and flexibility with some of the postures from the Hot Yoga class.
Be Hot Yoga
730 Ponce de Leon Place, Atlanta. 404-636-7535. behotyogaatlanta.com.
If you're new to hot yoga, you may want to start with Be Hot (Lite), which teaches the basics.
Be Hot 90 classes last for 90 minutes and include postures combined with various breathing techniques. Be Hot 75 has a faster pace to accommodate the shorter 75-minute time but covers the same postures. Beginners are welcome at both of these classes, but more advanced classes require permission to attend.
Red Hot Yoga
3221-B Cains Hill Place NW, Atlanta, and 11550 Webb Bridge Way, Alpharetta. 404-474-7052. redhotyogastudios.com.
Hot yoga classes last for 60 or 90 minutes, and power yoga classes are also offered, including a Lunch Crunch class that starts at noon on weekdays.