When it comes to hot yoga (or its even balmier counterpart Bikram), people tend to fall into one of two camps: love or hate. We fall in the former and actually enjoy how the heat forces us to sweat—there’s nothing more satisfying than leaving a class totally drenched (followed by a shower, obviously). Thus, our ears perked up when we started hearing about a new trend in the hot yoga space: infrared heating. We know infrared light is amazing for your skin and aids your body’s detox process, but were curious as to how it differs from traditional yoga studio heating. Sarah Larson, co-founder of the celeb-favorite Y7 Yoga, explained it to us: “At Y7, we practice heated Vinyasa and keep our studios around 90 degrees. At traditional hot yoga studios, which range from 105 to 110 degrees, the heating systems tend to be a classic heating system: in other words, circulating hot air throughout the room, which can make the air humid and dense. The infrared system provides a dry heat, which makes the experience a little more pleasant, especially when exercising.” She gives the example of Palm Springs instead of Miami, which—for anyone who’s been to Miami in the summertime, or any time, really—paints a pretty clear picture.
Other than providing a more pleasant experience, Larson says, the infrared system actually heats the molecules in the room, which in turn heats the body “from the inside out,” as opposed to just having hot air blown on your skin. “The infrared heat is able to reach layers of the muscle and tissue that hot air cannot,” she says. “It increases the detoxifying process, is great for your skin and pores, and increases blood flow.” There are a few other yoga studios that offer infrared heating in NYC, but Larson says it’s only a matter of time before more jump on the bandwagon. “I definitely see it becoming more prevalent, especially with the way society is embracing fitness as a daily routine in your lifestyle,” she says. Who needs facials when you have (infrared heated) hot yoga?
Tote your yoga mat around in the chicest way possible with Rebecca Minkoff’s Yoga Mat Bag ($95).
What do you think about this new fitness trend? Have you tried infrared yoga? Sound off below!