Have you ever moved to a new city and felt uncomfortable or completely out of place? I recently did, exchanging the beachy, moderate city of San Diego for hot and humid Austin, TX. We’ve had weather above the 90s since March, and while it may not officially be summer yet, it certainly counts as that time of year in my book.

Considering that I’m the kind of girl who brings a sun-blocking umbrella to the beach, it’s fair to say that hot climates are not my comfort zone.

However, since there’s no chance of moving back to a beach town any time soon, out of my comfort zone is where I am. So instead of complaining about it, I finally decided to seek out a solution to the problem and came upon this: hot yoga.

I know, I know. Hot yoga for someone who hates the heat? What problem does that solve? Doesn’t it just make it worse? Well, let me tell you, it solves more problems than you’d think:

-Helps with heat acclimation and tolerance by helping us control our internal body temperature.
-Improves circulation and blood flow to limbs.
-Increases athletic performance in all weather conditions.
-Builds up immune function by reducing stress.
-Promotes unity between mind and body, contributing to higher levels of self-awareness and self-acceptance.

As with all kinds of exercise, it’s important to listen to our bodies: drink plenty of water, take it slow, stop if any pose is painful, and return to child’s pose or a simple resting position when the temperature feels too confrontational.

Hot yoga is a new practice for me, but one that is already producing powerful results mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m getting stronger, feeling more comfortable in the Texas heat, and even starting to have more positive self-talk about my body. The best part? No shoes required.


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