Hot Fusion Yoga is the merging of the practice of yoga in a hot room with Vinyasa, or in some cases, other yoga styles. As with most exercise types, there are pros and cons. For those who enjoy yoga, adding a hot fusion class can be invigorating. Bikram Yoga is type of hot yoga; however, for a class to be called Bikram Yoga, it must be certified as such. Vinyasa is a popular, flowing style of yoga that is often performed in a hot room to produce a hot fusion yoga. For those new to yoga, starting out in a hot class may be overwhelming at first. Talk with an instructor and your doctor to determine what type of class is best for you.
Hot yoga, or Bikram Yoga, was founded by Bikram Choudhury and is based on the belief that performing yoga in a heated room -- up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit -- can increase flexibility, strength, lung capacity and blood circulation. Heated yoga can also help the body flush out toxins, increase heart rate for a better cardio workout and keep muscles in an optimal state for yoga, according to Bikram Yoga of Tempe.
Vinyasa is a Sanskrit word that, when broken up, means "to place in a special way." Used to describe all modern yoga, Vinyasa basically means any type of movement where breathing is linked to a specific sequence of poses. Most hot fusion yoga classes use Vinyasa techniques, which, unlike Bikram Yoga, are not copyrighted. Also, Vinyasa poses are held for a shorter amount of time and can be done in a gentle manner, making it ideal for those looking to rehabilitate injuries or other issues.
Benefits of Fusion
The holding and subsequent releasing of muscles helps blood circulate throughout the body. Bones are strengthened by the increased levels of blood and calcium flowing to them. Working against gravity also strengthens bones, according to Bikram Yoga Tempe. Proponents also maintain that the stretching and compression of various organs allows toxins and waste to be eliminated from the body. The nerve system can also be stimulated by the continual compression and extension, helping fresh oxygen and nutrients get to the brain and the rest of the body.
Potential Negative Consequences
The high heat of Hot Fusion Yoga practice can cause heat stroke -- a condition where the body's temperature rises over 105 degress Fahrenheit. Signs of this illness include confusion, dizziness and nausea. Drinking water doesn't always help the condition as the loss of salts and potassium can't be replaced with water alone. Physicians in India, according to Stern, advise against yoga headstands and other positions that can cause a rush of blood to the torso and cut off circulation to the arms and legs. Too much stretching can also cause tears in the muscles, according to Robert Gotlin, director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center. Various positions might cause more damage to the lower back, groin, knees and ankles, he says, rather than improving them.