This website is all about giving you ALL of the information out there – not just the good stuff.
I practice hot yoga myself and so thought this would be really beneficial for me to look into, and wanted to share what I found with you.
What Is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga originated in India and is a form of yoga that is practiced in a room that is heated to 36-37 degrees celsius. Just like conventional yoga, there are many different forms of hot yoga – hot yin, hot hatha, hot restorative yoga.
Hot yoga is becoming more and more popular, and seems to be a growing trend on social media these days.
So what do we need to be careful of if we want to practice hot yoga?
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body gets too hot, or when your internal temperature reaches a certain point. During your hot yoga class, you’ll need to keep checking in with your body and see if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Muscle cramps
- Cold skin
- Feeling sick/vomiting
Your hot yoga teacher should be aware of this risk and should be looking out for if any of these symptoms do occur for anyone in the class.
If you do start to feel dizzy, or faint or like you might be sick, it’s important that you leave the room and sit or lie down for a few minutes. Give yourself a bit of time to re-adjust to the temperature outside the room. If you feel like you’d like to go back in then do but don’t feel obliged to. This is your body and your practice and your health is always the most important thing.
One benefit of stretching in a hot room is that you can begin to take your stretches further and get a lot deeper into the stretch. This is great if you’re really looking to improve your flexibility with yoga, or just take your practice to the next level and go beyond your limits.
However this just means you may need to be a little more mindful when you are stretching. Ideally you want to be able to feel the stretch, but you don’t want it to be painful in any way. If it does feel painful, then you should come our of the stretch a little.
If you are in a stretch and you’d like to see how far you can take it, then take a deep inhale, and as you exhale go deeper into the stretch and hold for a few minutes.
Sometimes teachers in classes will offer hands-on adjustments where they can help you to get deeper into the stretch. This is great to show you how you can push yourself, and align you into the right position whilst doing so. However you are the only one who knows how your body feels, and so it is important to let them know if it feels painful or too much.
Where is the research?
It’s no secret that research says yoga can lower your stress levels and promote relaxation.
However, all of the research is conducted on conventional yoga, and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of hot yoga research.
Now, this could be just because hot yoga is fairly up and coming and is only a recent trend, or it could be that the research does not follow the same trend that conventional yoga does in terms of lowering stress levels.
So, the lack of research means that there is not yet much scientific evidence for the benefits of hot yoga. This means that we can’t be sure that it is as beneficial as conventional yoga.
But this isn’t putting anyone off…
So clearly there are some things you might want to consider if you’re thinking of adding hot yoga into your weekly routine. However, I don’t think any of these potential risks are putting anyone off.
It’s clear that there are no real known risks of practicing hot yoga itself. The potential risks just suggest that you need to be mindful of these things when practicing – there is no guarantee of them happening.
Personally, I LOVE hot yoga. Maybe it is a fad, maybe it isn’t as beneficial as people say, however all I can go off is how I feel after doing it.
After practicing hot yoga, I feel clear, I feel peaceful and most importantly, I feel calm – which is something we are all searching for in our busy modern lives. I would recommend anyone giving hot yoga a try, and just see how you feel.
Different things work for different people. You might feel that it is too hot, you might feel dizzy or feel like you want to stop – it’s all okay, just try out a different style. The great thing about yoga is that there are so may different styles to choose from, you are bound to find something that you like. So don’t give up on the first try if you try it and it doesn’t feel good.
Yoga is about finding what feels good – and if that isn’t hot yoga, then move on from it and try something different!
Would you like to know the benefits?…
Hopefully this post has introduced you to some of the potential risks of practicing hot yoga. I would also like to do a contrasting post of the potential benefits of hot yoga.
I think what this article really sums up is that we don’t fully know all that we need to about hot yoga yet – we are waiting on the research, but until we have it, we can take our own precautions and listen to our body whilst we are practicing.
I’d love to hear how it all goes for you. And I’d love to share more of my own hot yoga journey on this website, as that is where my passion for hot yoga really grew!
All the best