What is infrared heat and what are the benefits in yoga?
Yoga classes at Thrive are heated with infrared heat, which is the same type of heat provided by the sun. However, indoor infrared heaters are safe for because they do not emit UV rays like the sun, they only provide the same comfortable, sun-like warmth. In fact, this technology is so safe, it is used to keep newborn babies warm in the hospital.
In the last 25 years, extensive research has been carried out world-wide regarding the numerous medical and health benefits of far infrared heat therapy. Here are just a few of the amazing benefits and great reasons why you should get heated up and refreshed in our far infrared heated mind/body studio.
Increased Flexibility– Because Infrared heat is directly warming the muscles, it opens them up allowing for a greater range of motion. A study at Auburn University compared athletes stretching in a training room to how far they were able to stretch in an infrared sauna. Researchers concluded participants were able to stretch as much as three times their normal amount in the infrared environment. This will allow yoga students to open up, melt deep into the poses and gain confidence in their practice.
Increased Circulation- Infrared heat has been shown to stimulate blood flow by opening up the body’s capillaries. This has an incredible affect on the body and offers a variety of benefits. It can help lower blood pressure, oxygenate the organs and rid the body of toxins (read more below).
Detoxification– Simply put, infrared heat will make you sweat, which is a good thing because it is your body’s natural way of flushing toxins. As your body absorbs infrared heat, water molecules begin to vibrate, which causes them to wring out impurities from the cells and expel them into the blood. These impurities will then be released from your body as you sweat, creating a deep, detoxifying cleanse on the cellular level.
Weight Loss– The human body has an impressive temperature regulation system. It wants to stay at a consistent temperature and its willing to work very hard to ensure that happens. As the body heats up, its natural cooling systems kick in, which take energy and burn calories. Infrared heat also increases metabolism between the blood and tissue, which also burns calories.
Pain Relief– Infrared heat directly penetrates tissue, muscles and joints, allowing them to heal and regenerate. This is accomplished through a combination of the aforementioned increased circulation, oxygenation and detoxification. Infrared radiation incredibly useful for pain relief for both minor injuries and chronic ailments. It’s no surprise then that infrared heat is often the preferred method of many physical therapists, saunas and state-of-the-art yoga studios around the world
Boosts Immunity- Far infrared heat can be used in the prevention of colds and flu. Studies have shown that far infrared heat boosts your immunity allowing it to mount a vigorous attack against unwanted invaders including viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells, by significantly increasing the production of white blood cells and killer T-cells. Far infrared heat creates an inhospitable environment in our bodies for these germs and foreign invaders to grow and multiply, causing them to die off.
Healthier Skin- By stimulating blood flow and increasing collagen production, infrared heat improves skin tone and reduces the signs of aging, ultimately improving the appearance of your skin. The increased circulation and collagen production has been shown to accelerate the healing of soft tissue injuries, scars, wounds, and cuts. In a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, far infrared energy had positive effects on human fibroblasts, the cells that rebuild connective tissue. The study also showed that far infrared energy significantly stimulated cell growth, DNA synthesis, and protein synthesis in cells.
It has also been shown to improve skin texture, as well as reduce pore size and the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles. In addition, by eliminating pore-clogging toxins which are often responsible for certain skin conditions including acne, eczema, and psoriasis, far infrared therapy can keep your skin looking healthy.
Increased Metabolism- By penetrating deep into the skin, infrared rays heat the muscles, connective tissue, and internal organs stimulating tissue cells via vibrational energy. This energy activates the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of the cell, which results in increased energy production, revving up your metabolism.
Depending on the intensity of the class, you can expect to burn anywhere from 600-1200 calories or more in a one-hour session, making infrared heat a great way to torch calories and burn fat. Toxins and waste are primarily stored in your fatty tissue/cellulite. As metabolism increases, fat and cellulite are more efficiently broken down releasing the toxins for elimination.
Improved Cardiovascular Health- Numerous studies in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology have shown that infrared sauna therapy improves blood vessel functioning, increases circulation, significantly lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars, all of which help support weight loss.
How is infrared heat different from traditional heating systems?
What makes infrared radiant heating feel so different than traditional forced air systems is the way the heat is distributed.
Infrared light waves are longer than those of visible light and consist of invisible radiant energy. These invisible energy light waves gently warm your body from the inside out, penetrating deep into the cellular level. It’s similar to the feeling you get while lying on the beach and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. Our specially designed far infrared heating panels emit the same invisible infrared energy as the sun, without the UVA/UVB rays to damage your skin.
Conventional heating methods use combustion to heat the air. As the blower system pushes the hot air into the room, the blowing action inundates the air with dust and allergens. For people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems, this can lead to an increase in symptoms and allergy/asthma attacks. Poor indoor air quality can also increase susceptibility to cold and flu viruses.
In addition, conventional forced air heating systems must run at higher combustible temperatures in order to provide adequate heat. This depletes the oxygen levels in the air making you feel tired and drowsy. In contrast, radiant far infrared heat helps you feel energized and alert because it does not rely on fossil fuels. It is an efficient “green” way to heat the indoors. Because radiant heat warms you from the inside there is no need to heat up the air around you which means there is more oxygen to breathe when you need it most – during a hot yoga class!