Simple, But Effective Yoga Moves Anyone Can Do During Their Infrared Sessions
By: Your JNH Lifestylist
People are not performing yoga in the heat just for the sake of sweating. Hot yoga comes with plenty of health benefits, which you too can gain through simple yoga moves in an infrared sauna. Research shows hot yoga can improve your overall body strength, range of motion, balance, blood sugar levels, bone density and artery health, as well as decrease stress . If you are ready to start incorporating yoga poses into your infrared sauna sessions, try beginning with the moves outlined below.
Move #1: Mountain Pose
To be fair, this pose doesn’t involve a lot of movement, but it can help you manifest better body awareness and posture. Correcting your posture can be particularly important for those who work at a desk all day. Working over a desk or computer seven to eight hours a day can lead to various postural dysfunctions and eventually pain. Use this pose to help remind yourself to pay attention to your posture - it matters more than you think!
1. Stand tall with your feet together and press into the ground with all ten toes
2. Tighten your quads, the front of your thighs
3. Engage your abdominals by pulling them up and in
4. Lift your chest and relax your shoulders back and down; you should feel your shoulder blades slightly come together
5. Relax your arms at your sides with your palms facing inward
6. Hold your head high and stay in this pose for about five breaths
Move #2: Standing Side Stretch
This yoga move elongates one side of the body while also engaging your abdominals for balance and stability. As a result, this pose can help with digestion as it engages the muscles near your digestive organs, which can get things moving. Not to mention this one feels oh-so-good.
1. Stand tall
2. Extend your right arm over your head, then grab your right wrist with your left hand
3. At the same time, lean to your left side while slightly leaning back to open up the chest
4. Hold for about five breaths, then repeat on the opposite side
Move #3: Tree Pose
Now that you’re all warmed up, try a balancing move. Balance and stability are important to practice, especially as you age. Research indicates that balance deficits increase as you get older, leading to an increased risk of injury due to falls . The tree pose is perfect for beginners or those new to performing yoga in a heated space.
1. Start in mountain pose
2. Slowly shift your body weight to your right foot
3. Bend your left knee and grab your right ankle
4. Slowly bring your left foot to the inside of your right shin or thigh; do not rest your foot on your knee joint
5. Check your hips and ensure they are aligned and that you aren’t leaning too much to one side
6. Place your hands on your hips or at your heart center
7. Inhale and extend both arms high to the sky with your palms facing inward
8. Hold here for five breaths and repeat on the opposite side
Move #4: Child’s Pose
It is time to take a break from standing. Child’s pose allows you to sink down and fully relax while stretching the hips, ankles, thighs, and back. It provides an easy move to let your stress melt away and to just be in the moment.
1. Begin on all fours. Your knees should be under your hips, and your hands can begin directly under your shoulders
2. Slowly bring your buttocks back toward your heels. Go back as far as you comfortably can
3. Sink into it while extending your arms out in front of you
4. You can leave your arms in front or gently rest them at your sides
5. Stay here for 5-10 breaths
Move #5: Standing Forward Fold
The standing forward fold sounds challenging, but yoga is not about being able to touch your toes. It is about improving your body and mind and moving toward peace and calm from within. Do not feel bad if you cannot reach your toes. Instead, just try to reach as far as you are able to. The entire backside of your body will thank you!
1. Start in a mountain pose
2. Exhale and bend forward at your hips
3. Allow your entire torso and top of your body to relax and hang
4. If it feels good, use each hand to grab the opposite elbow
5. At the same time, make a conscious effort to push your tailbone toward the sky; this will deepen the stretch, which you should be feeling along the entire posterior part of your body
6. Tighten your quadriceps (front of your thighs) to further help your hamstrings (back of your thighs) fully relax
7. Stay here for 5-10 breaths
How Did It Feel?
If at any point you feel pain, gently ease off of the movement or adjust accordingly. Pain is your body telling you something is wrong, and you should not try to push through it. Make sure you bring water with you for your infrared sauna yoga session – you will need it! All in all, these poses should feel like gentle and comfortable stretches/poses. Yoga provides you with relaxation, movement and deep breathing, which help you relax and also obtain additional health benefits. Treat your body to an infrared sauna yoga session today!
 Hewett, Z. L., Cheema, B. S., Pumpa, K. L., & Smith, C. A. (2015). “The Effects of Bikram Yoga on Health: Critical Review and Clinical Trial Recommendations. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5 October 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609431/.
 Osoba, M. Y., Rao, A. K., Agrawal, S. K., & Lalwani, A. K. (2019). “Balance and gait in the elderly: A contemporary review. Laryngoscope investigative otolaryngology.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology, 4 February 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6383322/.