Students enjoy relaxing with beneficial hot yoga

Two years ago, interdisciplinary studies in social science senior Meghan Raycraft visited a local hot yoga business in her hometown of Kalamazoo, Mich. She’s been hooked ever since, stating that the great community and quality of the workout keeps her coming back.

“It’s fun to do; it’s relaxing,” Raycraft said. “It helps you focus on yourself and get a good workout easier than you would in the gym.”

Hot yoga steadily has gained popularity on campus. East Lansing Hot Yoga owner Patty Sutherland said that her business has grown since it opened 14 months ago. She said she averages about 70 clients a day and 500 during the course of a week.

“Hot yoga is so life-enhancing in every way that people want to share it with their family and friends,” she said.

What separates hot yoga from normal yoga is that it’s performed in an approximately 100-degree room. The heat has many added benefits, such as loosening the muscles and flushing toxins out of the body through the practitioner’s skin, because of the extra sweating.

The workout, however, is not easy, as Sutherland said that people can burn up to 1,200 calories in a 90-minute class, which she said is “wonderful for weight loss.”

“It works the entire body­ — every muscle, joint and tendon — which many workouts don’t,” she said.

According to general management junior Marc Colcer, hot yoga is challenging not only physically, but psychologically as well.

“If you’re stressed out, let’s say you have a few exams coming up, it mellows you out,” Colcer said. “When lifting weights, it gets the adrenaline flowing through you. Hot yoga challenges you in a different way. It’s challenging physically, but you also have to challenge yourself to stay calm throughout the entire thing.”

Though Colcer wouldn’t go as far as to say hot yoga improves a person’s character, he noted that people who practice hot yoga tend to be relaxed and friendly.

“The first time I went into East Lansing Hot Yoga, everybody was coming up to me, greeting me and asking me what I do,” he said.

Colcer, who is the campus ambassador for Muscle Milk, is hosting Muscle Milk Matness on Sunday at East Lansing Hot Yoga. The event will offer free hot yoga lessons for women and teach them about the claimed benefits of Muscle Milk after a challenging workout.

“Regarding the Muscle Milk Matness event, we are thrilled to be teaming up with Muscle Milk for this special class to educate young women about the importance of protein and to expose them to our studio,” Sutherland said.

Colcer, who admitted he never thought he would try yoga, said that he enjoyed it the first time he tried it.

“I know a few people who tried hot yoga, and they said once you start, it’s hard to stop,” he said. “It has a psychological part that’s from yoga, but it’s challenging, too. You feel great. You take a nice shower afterward, and you feel renewed.”

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