Hot Yoga 101

We’ve seen yoga’s popularity explode in recent years, but today, we aren’t talking about your typical yoga session. Instead, we’re turning up the heat and filling you in on hot yoga.

What Is Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga describes any yoga done in a heated room. The exact temperature is up to the instructor, but it’s typically between 80 and 100 degrees. The instructor also determines the flow of the class: Some focus on holding a single pose for a minute, while other classes will move quickly from pose to pose. The moves and breathing techniques don’t differ from other yoga classes; the only difference is the room’s temperature.

Is Hot Yoga Safe?

Yes, hot yoga is safe. But there are some safety considerations involved. Our muscles become more flexible with heat, so while this may feel great in the moment, it makes overstretching muscles easier, which can lead to injury.

Something else to consider is dehydration. Since hot yoga entails a lot of sweating, you’re more likely to become dehydrated. If you are sensitive to heat, keep that in perspective before attending a hot yoga class because you may be at risk of experiencing a heatstroke.

You shouldn’t partake in hot yoga if you have cardiovascular issues or are pregnant. Increasing your core temperature can endanger a fetus.

As with any new workout, it’s important to be aware of the safety precautions and tips before you get started.

  • Hot yoga can be overwhelming to beginners, so ease into it.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after your class.
  • If you’ve never done yoga before, try a regular class before trying hot yoga.
  • During a hot yoga class, pay attention and listen to your body. You can always step out to get some fresh air and cool off during your session.
  • Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics that will wick away your sweat.
  • Bring a towel to lay over your yoga mat so you don’t slip.

The Benefits of Hot Yoga

Increased Flexibility

Stretching when your body is warm improves muscle flexibility and increases your range of motion. This increased flexibility makes certain yoga poses easier. This deep stretching strengthens your muscles.

Burn More Calories

Because of the increase in temperature, you may burn more calories than you would in a traditional yoga session. So if you like to feel the work you’re putting in, hot yoga may be just the thing for you.

Greater Lung Capacity

Yoga focuses heavily on breathing techniques, which can help you train your lungs to retain more air. Allowing more oxygen into your bloodstream keeps your lungs healthy and increases your lung capacity.

Builds Bone Density

As you get older, your bone density decreases, which could be bad news if you take a tumble one day. A 2014 study found that a heated environment reduces the effects of osteoporosis in women by improving circulation, respiration, and perspiration.

Eases Depression

Yoga is designed to help you relax and improve your mood. According to the American Psychological Association, it can also act as a type of therapy to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Improves Skin

Increased sweat improves blood circulation, drawing oxygen-rich blood to your skin cells. This is basically a fancy way of saying you will be positively glowing after hot yoga. Sweating while exercising can reverse signs of skin aging because your body will produce more collagen and sag less.

Have you tried hot yoga? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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