Beating the winter blues with HOT YOGA.

The benefits of heated yoga: C86D869F-6F6B-49B8-899A-93EC4AA410CF

Glowing skin, toned muscles, weight loss, detoxification, better immunity, better moods, better focus, better sleep patterns, better flexibility, less chronic pain, less stress, less depression are only some of the benefits of this practice.

No wonder Yoga has taken the world by storm with it’s “mind, body and relaxation” benefits. With the likes of celebrities like David Beckham, Jennifer Anniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron all swearing by this ancient practice and its “all round” effect. 

00B11D6F-8814-4FE4-9A31-E52754CBC86BBut what happens when the heat gets turned up?

Here are 10 benefits of heated YOGA and why to opt for a heated Studio near you this winter:

  1. Cleansing and detoxifying the body:The more you sweat, the more toxins you release. If toxins don’t get released they can be detrimental to our health by interfering with our normal physiology and bodily functions. Causing gout, allergies, headaches, low energy, depression, skin issues etc.
  1. Increasing flexibility: Warm muscle readily stretch more deeply, which aids in better flexibility.
  1. Relieving chronic pain:                                                        A combination of the heat and certain yoga postures can ease pain such as arthritis, joint aches, knee injuries and back pain.
  1. Assisting with weight loss: Hot Yoga increases heart rate, boosts the metabolism, improves digestion and stabilizes ones appetite.

Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible and it makes your body burn some major calories! During a heated class, one can burn as many as 2500kj in a session. 

Increasing your core body temperature through heated classes also helps you burn fat more easily. 

  1. Menteal clarity:                                                                  Hot Yoga promotes mental concentration and strength due to the intensity of the heat.

You will feel lighter, happier, sleep better and enjoy a more energetic and toned physic. 

After regular practice, you will also have overall improved mental, emotional and physical health.

  1. Internal Warmth: Not only do heated yoga classes provide the external warmth from the heaters, but it also helps create that internal heat from the Yoga poses and increased circulation that you intern carry with you throughout your day.
  1. Yoga Helps You Stay Healthy:   Studies have shown that the postures used in hot yoga, alongside the heat, assist in stimulating the thymus gland – the part of the body which improves the proper functioning of your immune system. It is also proven that exercise leads to a healthier body.

8. Connectivity:                                     Staying connected to like minded people in a healthy environment, out of the comfort of the winter hibernation have proven to have a positive effect on the mood.

9. Glowing skin: Board-certified dermatologist, Leslie Caudill, M.D., says, “With increased heat and sweating, hot yoga opens up the pores and allows impurities to be removed from the skin. The humidity adds moisture which maintains the skin’s hydration status giving it that natural glow. The exercise itself increases circulation in the body. By increasing circulation, you increase oxygen delivery which leads to better skin health and better appearance of the skin.”. Achieve a more efficient and effective workout in less time- just being in the heat is a physical benefit. It’s heating your body from the outside in. As you’re moving through the practice, you’re heating your body from the inside out. It gets your muscles ready faster to stretch and work.

10. Deepen mindfulness: Exercise helps to develop not only physical strength but also mental and emotional strength. 

Exercising in a heated room requires a deep level of concentration, one in which the world outside has to dissolve so that your undivided attention is brought to your breath and your body. In that space, the mind can begin to tune out to find the present moment. The heat also benefits the lungs with a lung expansion of 50% in a heated class , where a regular yoga class used only 35-40% of total lung capacity. 

Our tips for a healthy heated practice: 


Stay hydrated: Drink at least 3l of water when practicing heated yoga as you will sweat out toxins. 

Stay warm: Take warm clothes for after the class and during savasana. 

Go on an empty stomach: Don’t eat a big meal at least 2h before yoga. If you have low blood pressure , a fruit should do the trick. 

Don’t over stretch: The heat allows your body to push yourself more, be mindful and connected to what feels right.

Listen to your body: Back off if anything gets to much and you feel dizzy or light headed. There is no competition in Yoga. Everyone has a different body  compositions, flexibility and fitness levels. 

Breath: take deep breaths, this will calm the central nervous system, regulate your heart rate and keeps you grounded. 

Consult your doctor: If you are suffering from high blood pressure, have heart conditions or are pregnant. 

What style of Yoga to choose?

Easy vinyasa :

Roxy offers a deep, slow restorative vinyasa flow in a heated room to stretch and relax after a  day of work. All fitness levels welcome.

Energetic power flow: 

If you’re less of a yogi and more of a fitness freak, Roxy teaches a power yoga class that combines both.

It integrates yoga with strength training and cardio which forms a full body workout in a relaxed manner with restorative yoga inbetween poses. She also adds her renown core session. 

“I try to hit all of the major parts of the body in a high intensity interval style “flow” for a real cardio blast, which really gets your heart rate up.” says Roxy.

Contact greenleafvitality today for more info.

Instagram: @greenleafvitality

Facebook: @greenleafvitality

Twitter: @greenleafvital


Article written by yoga teacher and owner of greenleafvitality: Roxy Louw



Roxy found herself doing yoga in costa Rico back in 2007 with the Oakley international surf team as a surfer but it wasn’t until 2014 that the spirit of yoga really grabbed her.
“I don’t know why I didn’t take to teaching earlier as there is nothing more rewarding than leading a yoga class and watching the transformation happen.
I get the exact same mind, body, soul connection on my mat that I get when I’m in the water.”
She now surfs her breath and energy in the natural ease that she rides the waves.


After deciding to take it a step further in Thailand where she qualify for her YTCC 200 hours in in all styles of yoga. She transitioned into the Yoga world.

Coming from the health background alongside Kauai health food as an Ambassador and the original face,
Roxy has now started her own company embracing this lifestyle “Greenleaf Vitality” where she host retreats, corporate yoga events, workshops and surf & yoga retreats. She has come to bring all her passions under one roof and has recently opened a leg of her business in the Cape wine lands.
Here you can find juice cleanses, customized diet plans, a tranquil Yoga Studio and a whole lot of fun.

If you catch one of her classes, she teaches an energetic fitness flow along with a gentle restorative vinyasa.
She uses the interval training techniques in her yoga class to maximize weight-loss, fitness and heart rate to help sculpt, tone and relax those under her guidance.

Also having qualified as reiki healer and nutritional therapist after dealing with her father, ex rugby player Rob Louw’s battle with cancer.
Roxy found her calling and love for healing.

She believes healing happens when the correct elements are in place.
This is the base of all her retreats and her studio environment.

At her retreats you will find healthy freshly squeezed cold pressed juices, yoga, hikes,massage  and of course wholesome food set in a relaxed environment. The retreats are hosted at discrete venues over pop up weekends.

You can Find roxy on Instagram : @roxylouw or @greenleafvitality for her latest where abouts or keep an eye on for a retreat near you.


Coverage in the latest Wellness Magazine


Sunday 1 January 2017 by Wellness Warehouse

True yoga prioritises the training of the mind as highly as that of the body. While it is by no means a religion, it can be seen as a form of spiritual practice, serving to help us self-actualise and live our lives in a state of balance and union.

There’s no denying the fact that #yoga has become a pop culture trend, and it’s great that the practice is being made available to the masses. But although many of the proponents of today’s myriad new ‘brands’ of yoga (think Easy Yoga, Desk Yoga, Yoga for Lovers and Yoga for Pets) are indeed sincere in their teachings and trying to promote yoga in their own ways, many of their methods have eliminated some of the most essential (and beneficial) elements of the practice.

The physical poses, or asanas, that most of us have come to know as ‘yoga’ actually represent only one of the eight limbs of the traditional yogic path.

It’s true that these postures are ancient, tried-and-tested exercises developed over thousands of years to purposefully exercise every muscle, nerve and gland in the human body, and that a committed asana practice will make your body strong, elastic, light and grounded. But yoga is so much more that an exercise routine. It does train the body, but it does so in an attempt to make it a fit vehicle for the soul. The fitness benefits are really just the side effects.

B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world’s foremost yoga teachers and the founder of Iyengar yoga, is famous for asking: “Where does the body end and the mind begin? Where does the mind end and the spirit begin?” The answer he found through his yoga practice was that, “They cannot be divided as they are interrelated and but different aspects of the same all-pervading divine consciousness.”

Through its often rigorous exercising of the body, yoga aims to train the mind to concentrate and turn inwards. The asanas teach us to pay attention to what is happening in the moment. If we don’t, we could put our bodies at risk. We are invited to direct our minds (and our breath) to the core of each posture, where they are joined in harmony with the body. This kind of symbiotic union can turn our minds – which for many of us are our worst enemies – into our best friends.
While the mind is stilled by the asanas and the breath, the moving meditation of yoga also encourages us to accept things as they are, exactly as they come and go.

If considering the practice of yoga as a bridge to your inner world and energy feels a bit too ‘woo woo’ for you, you might resonate better with the fact that yoga works on several levels to improve brain function and balance. It removes impediments from the musculoskeletal and circulatory systems, increasing blood flow to the brain. It has also been proven to change negative brain chemistry, balancing and reducing caustic acids and decreasing the sympathetic nervous system (also known as the fight or flight response).

Whether you respond better to the idea of universal life force or pure brain chemistry, if you can use the state of mind created in your yoga practice to sustain you until the next session, you will surely come to understand how true yoga is actually simply the science of living correctly.

The Eightfold Path of Yoga

  • Yama – the practice of universal moral principles
  • Niyama – the practice of personal discipline
  • Asana – the practice of physical postures
  • Pranayama – control of the breath
  • Pratyahara – the practice of withdrawal of the senses
  • Dharana – the practice of focused attention
  • Dhyana – the practice of meditation
  • Samadhi – self-realisation/enlightenment

Did You Know?

  • The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning to yoke or join together.
  • According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is considered to be the first teacher of yoga.
  • Ancient yogis believed that we only have a limited number of breaths in each life. So it made sense to stretch our life out a bit longer by taking slow and deep breaths.
  • Swami Vivekananda is credited for being the greatest proponent of Yoga in the West.
  • A 2013 study claims that yoga therapy could benefit people living with depression, schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions.
  • Yoga poses stimulate the regular secretion of hormones from the endocrine glands, promoting overall physical and emotional health.

My Journey into the Essence of Yoga
by Roxy Louw

Famous local surfer and model Roxy Louw has recently found a new love in yoga. She tells us about her move towards yoga.

I began my yoga journey about three and a half years ago. As a spiritual person, I have always been attracted to it but somehow just never managed to get myself onto a mat until then.

When I stepped out of my first class, I experienced an unprecedented clarity of mind. I felt as close to my idea of spirit as I do when I’m surfing an incredible wave.

Hungry for more of this feeling, I finally enrolled in a yoga teacher training in Thailand last year. While I’d enjoyed the ‘power’ classes at the studio I attended in Cape Town, I loved the more traditional yoga I experienced on my training.

I feel that a lot of people tend to do physical exercise from a very ego-driven state. We need to learn to be more gentle with ourselves, seeing yoga as a holistic system of healing rather than a means of achieving an exercise goal.

As I’ve also studied nutrition, I’ve come to focus a lot on the idea of how we can nourish ourselves on all levels. I’m proud to say that my journey has led me to create Green Leaf Vitality – my contribution to holistic health and the vehicle through which I will be offering my highly customised yoga and wellbeing retreats throughout South Africa this year.

If you’d like to walk alongside Roxy on a journey towards true (rather than surface-level) health, follow her Facebook page (@greenleafvitality) for updates on retreat dates and venues for the year.

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