Time to Heat Up your Yoga Workout?

Most people are familiar with yoga and its benefits. In recent years, hot yoga has become popular and although it offers the same benefits as traditional yoga, hot yoga can give your heart, lungs and muscles an even greater, more intense workout.

What is hot yoga?

Hot yoga is essentially just yoga in a room heated above normal room temperature. This is usually 90° to 100°F. Classes usually include music and interaction with the instructor.

Hot yoga is practiced in a similar way to standard yoga, incorporating a range of poses. The high temperature induces more sweating than traditional yoga, so stay hydrated.

Hot yoga benefits include:

Flexibility

The higher temperature of the room means your muscles loosen up quickly. One study found that after eight weeks, hot yoga participants had greater flexibility in their lower back, shoulders and hamstrings.

Cardiovascular

Working out in high heat increases your heart rate and your body works harder. Hot yoga is more strenuous and burns more calories than a traditional yoga class.

Bone density

You are building bone density while supporting your weight during a yoga pose. A 2014 study found that a group of premenopausal women who practiced hot yoga for five years increased the bone density in their necks, hips and lower backs.

Sleep

One sleep study found that hot yoga participants tended to fall asleep faster and if they awakened, they stayed awake for shorter periods.

Hot yoga isn’t for everyone.

If you have heart problems or breathing issues, you may want to check with your doctor first. Stay hydrated during the workout, wear lightweight clothing and pay attention to how you feel. If you get dizzy or lightheaded, leave the room and cool off.