Have you tried using an infrared mat for yoga? An infrared mat looks and feels just like a regular yoga mat. However, they generate infrared heat that gently warms the body, eases tense muscles, and relaxes the mind. Many are equipped with additional alternative medicine features such as crushed amethyst and tourmaline crystals, negative ion therapy, and even PEMF.
Why not switch out your traditional yoga mat for an infrared mat and take your session to the next level? An infrared heating mat will loosen tight muscles, enable better stretching, and feels great. This article explores how to use an infrared mat for yoga and the benefits you can expect.
Can You Use an Infrared Mat For Yoga?
Infrared mats work great for yoga. In essence, they look and feel just like a regular yoga mat – but with the added benefit of deep penetrating infrared heat. This heat gently warms your body to the core and complements your yoga session by relaxing muscles and relieving residual tension in the body.
Infrared heat is used not only to relax the physical body but also to calm the mind and relieve stress. And, by putting the two together you can experience a unique yoga session unlike anything you’ve tried before.
The combination of yoga stretching and deep heat penetration works wonders for the body. Let’s begin by taking a quick look at what is an infrared heating mat and how they work.
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- What Is an Infrared Mat?
- The Benefits
- The Drawbacks
- Tips for Using an Infrared Mat for Yoga
- Safety Advice
- What Is Yoga?
- What Is Hot Yoga?
What Is an Infrared Mat?
An infrared mat is a portable home heating device that looks very like a yoga mat. It uses electricity to power a heating element built into the core of the mat. This heating element emits infrared heat that gently heats the body when you lay on top of the mat. They are very easy to use and are one of the most popular infrared heating devices on the market today.
Infrared heat is considered a safe form of heat. And, it is the same heat used in hospitals to warm newborn babies. It penetrates the skin and gently warms the body right to the core. Many of the Best Infrared Mats contain additional alternative medicine therapies such as – crushed crystals, negative ion therapy, and pemf therapy to complement the infrared heating effect.
Benefits of Infrared Mat & Yoga
Now we know what an infrared mat is and how it works, let’s take a look at the benefits of using an infrared mat for yoga. What are the advantages you can expect? And, is it a good idea for you?
The key benefits of using an infrared mat for yoga relate to its ability to relax the body and mind using heat energy. This allows you to stretch better and more safely. It also has some unique potential health benefits relating to system detox, increased cardiovascular activity, and muscle recovery. Below we take a closer look.
• Deep Penetrating Heat
The first benefit of using an infrared mat is deep penetrating heat. These mats are designed to release far-infrared heat that gently penetrates the body and heats you right to the core. Introducing heat to your yoga session comes with a wide range of benefits. More on this below.
• Increased Muscle Flexibility
One of the first advantages you’ll notice from using an infrared mat is how it helps loosen tight muscles. Deep penetrating heat is highly effective at easing muscle tension and relaxing muscles. Heat therapy is often used to treat sore muscles and joints. And, it is an effective treatment for short-term pain relief.
• More Effective Stretching
As your muscles and body warm up they will become more flexible. The infrared energy promotes muscle relaxation and relieves tension in the body. This allows you to stretch more effectively and achieve complex yoga positions with a lower risk of pulling a muscle or picking up an injury.
• Boosts Circulation
Infrared mats may play a role in boosting blood circulation. As the infrared energy penetrates the body and begins raising core body temperature, the body gets to work regulating temperature. One of the changes that takes place is increased cardiovascular activity. Heart rate increases and the body begins pumping increased levels of blood throughout the body.
• System Detox
Infrared mats are great for stimulating an all-over intense sweat. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature. It releases sweat droplets on the skin for a cooling effect. And, sweating is a great way of detoxing the body. As sweat droplets are pushed through the pores to the skin surface they help remove toxins and contaminants from the body.
• Muscle Recovery
Infrared heating mats are great for muscle recovery. If you’ve just had an intense workout and want to do some stretches to fast-track your recovery – reach for an infrared mat. Even better, by combining yoga with an infrared mat you can get the best of both worlds and quickly relieve muscle stiffness and tension.
• Deeply Relaxing
Yoga is practiced not just for its physical benefits, but for its relaxation and restorative effect too. It rejuvenates body and soul. And, by coupling yoga with an infrared mat you can boost the relaxation effects of your session.
Infrared mats work wonders for calming the mind and relieving stress. And when used to practice yoga – they encourage a deeply relaxing experience.
• Feels Great
One of our favorite benefits of infrared mats and yoga is the feel-good factor. Putting aside the physiological impacts of infrared heat – yoga on an infrared mat just feels great! There’s a deeply warming and calming feel from laying out and performing stretches on an infrared mat. You just don’t get the same feel from a regular yoga mat.
Drawbacks of Infrared Mat & Yoga
What are the disadvantages of using an infrared mat for practicing yoga? Are there any drawbacks to combining the two? Here’s what you need to know about the cons of yoga using an infrared mat.
The first drawback is the cost of an infrared mat. They are significantly more expensive compared to a toga mat. Yoga mats retail for between $10 to $20. And, you can expect to pick up a good quality mat in this price range. A good quality full-size infrared mat costs between $500-$700. That’s a big step up in price tag.
• Requires Electrical Connection
Infrared mats require an electrical connection. The heating element is electrically powered and does not function without an electricity supply. This limits your options in terms of where you place your mat. While a yoga mat can be rolled out on any flat surface – an infrared mat is for home use.
• Only Heats Contact Points
Another consideration of using an infrared mat for yoga is that it only heats the area of the body that is in contact with the mat surface. This means if you are laying flat on the mat – one side of your body will receive full coverage. However, if you are sitting on the mat, only the areas in direct contact will experience a heating effect.
• Takes Time to Preheat
An infrared mat takes time to preheat. When you roll it out, hook it up, and power it on – you’ll have to allow some time for the heating element to become warm. You won’t have to wait long. Anywhere between 5-10 minutes will do the trick. And, you can use this time to get changed and get ready.
How to Use an Infrared Mat for Yoga
How do you use an infrared mat for yoga? It’s simple. And, pretty much the same as using it for heat therapy. Here are our top tips for enjoying yoga on an infrared mat.
1: Roll It Out
To begin, choose a suitable flat surface and roll out your infrared mat. Ensure the mat surface is facing up. You should use a heat-resistant surface – something that won’t be damaged or warped by infrared heat. It should also be spacious enough to ensure the full mat fits in.
2: Power Up
The mat will need a power source. Make sure there’s an electrical socket within easy reach. Then, plug the mat in and switch it on. Depending on the mat you have, you may need to connect a power lead to the device before plugging it into an electrical socket.
3: Select Temperature & Session Duration
Most infrared mats allow you to set both the temperature level and duration of the session in minutes. Use the handheld control panel to set your preferred operating conditions. Our advice is to start with low temperatures and work your way up if you feel comfortable doing so.
4: Prepare Yourself
The mat will take some time to preheat. This gives you 5-10 minutes to prepare yourself. You’ll need to change into something comfortable for your yoga session. And, you should choose clothes that cover your body from foot to neck. This will prevent direct contact between you and the hot surface of the mat.
5: Start the Yoga Session
Once you’ve changed into suitable clothing and the mat has warmed up – you’re ready to begin your yoga session. Our top tip is to control the infrared temperature so the surface does not become uncomfortable to touch. Otherwise, you can perform your regular routine on the heated mat.
6: Relax & Enjoy
Now that you’re up and running – relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the experience. Combing yoga and infrared heat can be a deeply rewarding experience. If you’re new to the dual therapies, take your time. And, when you’re done, you can simply lay back and allow your body to absorb the deep penetrating heat while you recover.
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If you’re planning on using a heated infrared mat for yoga, there are some safety precautions you should be aware of. Here are our top safety tips to make sure you have a positive experience and avoid any common pitfalls of using an infrared mat.
Start with a low temperature. If you’ve never used an infrared mat before you should start with a low temperature. Avoid jumping to a high setting if you’re a beginner. Begin with a low to medium heat. See how it feels. Then, if you feel comfortable you can gradually increase the temperature for your next session.
Don’t Get Too Hot
Don’t get too hot. Never set the mat to a temperature that feels uncomfortably high for your session. If you feel too hot you should switch the device off and allow your body time to cool down naturally. The mat should always be comfortable to touch. If your bare hands or feet are in contact with the mat – choose a temperature that feels pleasant against the skin.
Seek Professional Medical Advice
And, perhaps most importantly, if you have any concerns at all you should seek professional medical advice before using an infrared mat. Especially if you are pregnant or have any underlying health conditions. The best approach is to err on the side of caution.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient holistic practice that originated in India thousands of years ago. It involves adapting a series of physical postures designed to enhance balance, strength, and flexibility. It also involves the practice of breathing exercises that help relax the mind and body. Yoga is believed to play a role in balancing energy levels, relieving stress, and promoting mental clarity. It has become incredibly popular around the world in modern times.
What Is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is yoga that is practiced in a heated room. For hot yoga, the temperature is cranked right up to 90-105° Fahrenheit (32-40° Celsius). Things get very hot and an intense sweat quickly kicks in. This is believed to promote a body detox by flushing toxins from the body during the session. The heat can promote greater endurance levels and increase individual flexibility.