Is yoga in a heated room healthy or deadly?! Well, yes, practicing yoga in a heated room or high temperature is the new debatable millennial workout. If you’re wondering how hot is hot yoga, well, read on to know more!
So, what does hot yoga mean? Is it practicing yoga in hot water? Or practicing yoga wearing hot clothes? Is it yoga only for hotties? Or… Ok! I won’t bore you with my speculations on what hot yoga could be, rather I would let you read on to know everything about it!
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga originated from the popular Bikram yoga. It gained popularity after 2010 when the founder of Bikram yoga was associated with ugly sexual harassment scandals. Many of his students wanted to disassociate with the name Bikram. So, many other forms of yoga were popularised and hot yoga was one of them.
Hot yoga is practiced in a hot room and the poses vary in each class, unlike Bikram hot yoga. The poses are performed fast for a quick movement of the body and the poses are related or a continuation of the preceding pose. So, it is also called power vinyasa yoga.
Hot Yoga Temperature
The temperature for hot room yoga is between 28°C to 32°C to warm the muscles and sweat.
Difference Between Yoga and Hot Yoga
The regular form of yoga can be practiced at normal temperature but hot yoga is performed in a hot room. The concept of hot power yoga started in countries with colder climates. To practice yoga in such climate may be difficult and hence, to maintain the temperature of India where yoga originated, the concept of heat yoga started.
The poses for hot yoga are derived from hatha yoga, which is the basic form of yoga but the only difference is, it’s practiced in a hot room.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
Yoga has many benefits. From physical health to mental wellness, the advantages are endless. So, practicing in a hot room leads to more sweating, which helps in detoxification of the skin. It helps to push the toxins out and make the skin glow.
The heat also helps to perform the postures better. The muscles warm up due to the heat and the body will be ready to stretch easily. Since it’s practiced in a heated room, the heart rate increases.
This form of yoga is perfect for toning, flexibility and cardio workout, all together. I’m gonna definitely try hot yoga until I lose my belly fat! *dreams about every model’s waistline* Sigh!
Hot Yoga for Weight Loss
Hot yoga is a cardiovascular session that helps in toning, stretching and building strength. But yoga or any other form of exercise doesn’t help in weight loss alone. Always combine it with a cardio activity like playing a sport, aerobics, Zumba or anything that works well for you.
Also, according to an article HuffingtonPost, “People think the degree of sweat is the quality of the workout, but that’s not reality. It doesn’t correlate to burning more calories.” So, it’s another form of exercise where you can lose weight if you maintain proper diet, too!
How Many Calories Does Hot Yoga Burn?
Ideally, 600 calories are burned in a one-hour session.
Is Heat Really Necessary in Sweat Yoga?
Like I mentioned above, the temperature is maintained in colder countries but with the hype hot sweat yoga received, it is practiced widely now. Basically, the heat is to open up your muscles for the workout. So, if your surrounding temperature is 28°C, then there’s no need for external heat.
Dangers of Hot Yoga & How to Avoid Them?
Being in a hot room everyday and working out means you’re storing heat and sweating excessively. If the temperature gets uncomfortaly high, then it may result in heat injury or sickness. Dizziness, headache, nausea and muscle cramps are a few issues that one might face during hot yoga sessions.
It’s always suggested to drink enough water before the class. One needs to stay hydrated enough to tolerate the heat. Also, make sure you wipe the sweat with a towel so that you won’t end up getting rashes or any skin allergies. Heated rooms also allow overstretching the body, which may result in injuries. So it’s better to start with the help of an instructor.
Also, traditionally in India, it is practiced early in the morning or evening to avoid the heat during daytime. So, practicing hot flow yoga is fine if the temperature feels comfortable but not for a longer duration.
Finally, sweat-building in undergarments or yoga pant waistbands maybe a cause for rash or irritation. So performing yoga poses in quick-dry fabrics and changing into dry clothing, right after the session followed by a shower when your body temperature normalizes, is a must.
Hot Yoga Poses
Hot yoga doesn’t have set or strictly prescribed poses. It varies from class to class. But it is based on vinyasa power yoga, which means flow. One asana (pose) leads to other, hence, it is also called power vinyasa yoga. I suggest you join a class or practice it with the help of an instructor. You can also practice hot Bikram yoga poses for similar results.
Hot Yoga for Beginners
Start with a beginner’s class or a trial class as the movements will be slow and you will get used to yoga. Also, make sure you stay well-hydrated throughout the day. It’s ideal to drink 33 ounces of water to sustain the workout. Do not eat anything 2 hours prior to the class. Also, try to regain the lost minerals by drinking electrolytes or coconut water after your class. While practicing, if you feel tired or numb, take a break, it’s totally fine. Go at your own pace and level and there’s no need to rush.
If you’re suffering from any heart problem, it’s recommended to consult the doctor before pursuing hot sweat yoga. Also, people with low or high blood pressure should avoid practicing for long hours in the heat. Instead, they can practice any easier form of yoga like Iyengar yoga.
How to Prepare for Hot Yoga?
Here are a few FAQs about hot yoga:
How Much Water Should I Drink Before Hot Yoga?
You should stay well-hydrated throughout the day. So, you need to drink 33-66 ounces of water depending on your body’s requirements. Also, make sure you drink 2 hours before the class.
What to Bring to Hot Yoga?
A yoga mat and a towel to wipe the sweat are essential for hot power yoga. And of course, take a water bottle to rehydrate if you feel dizzy or uncomfortably sweaty!
What to Wear to Hot Yoga?
Comfort clothing is the key to sweat yoga. Shorts and a tank top in moisture-wicking fabrics are ideal for hot room yoga. Make sure the fabric is breathable. You can try yoga leggings with a tee shirt, too. The outfit should be comfortable enough to sustain fast movements.
What to Eat Before Hot Yoga?
It’s recommended not to eat right before practicing any form of yoga. Ideally, one should not consume food 2 hours before the practice.
Best Yoga Mat for Hot Yoga
Yoga mats are essential while practicing yoga. For hot yoga, choose a mat that has a better grip as you’ll be sweating a lot.
Can You Do Hot Yoga at Home?
If you can create a hot room temperature then you can practice at home, too. But only if you have been trained by an instructor. Do not practice on your own as excessive sweating may lead to dehydration, dizziness and even loss of consciousness in extreme cases.
Hot Yoga During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are restrained from practicing hot yoga. Instead, they can practice regular yoga after consulting a doctor.
Headache After Hot Yoga
Dehydration may be one of the reasons for a headache after the session. Stay hydrated by drinking loads of water. Also, if you have not eaten properly then that may affect your health, too. So never ever skip your meals before practicing yoga.
However, if it’s early morning, have a banana or a glass of warm water with lemon and honey. Also, make sure you rest after practicing yoga as your body would have gone through rigorous training in a heated room. Your body is not used to this and it’s important to rest well.
So, this was all about hot power yoga. Are you gonna try new forms of yoga? Or are you happy practicing the traditional form of yoga? Let us know! Tweet us @shilpa1ahuja!
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Sahana is a Senior Staff Writer at ShilpaAhuja.com. With an experience in fashion and lifestyle writing, Sahana is responsible for Indian and international fashion week coverage every year, and is developing an expertise in apparel trend forecasting. She also writes about health and fitness, having pursued yoga for 6 years now. She’s not a gym person at all but is all for “running in the park” and is an amateur cyclist. Books and coffee are her other passions. She’s also an amateur photographer. She’s a hardcore Bollywood fan and she loves to cover the nostalgic topics on the same. From fashion trends to famous characters, she can make anyone love Bollywood! Her best article has been 90s Bollywood fashion, a readers’ favorite so far! Prior to her experience with ShilpaAhuja.com, Sahana has written as a freelance author for online magazine, Mashup Corner, and interned at EventsHigh as a content writer. Her blogs on basic fashion, makeup, fitness and city’s food joints that gave her a chance to experiment with her writing. She also has voiced her opinions about feminism and equal rights for men and women at PolkaCafe journals and after quitting her job, she decided to take up writing as her full time career.
Sahana is an engineering graduate and has worked in an MNC, Tesco, for more than a year as an Operations Support. It was her sheer love for fashion that made her quit the monotonous 9 to 5 job to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She’s originally from Bangalore and is currently settled in Chennai (she’s loving the city)! For any queries and discussions, contact her at email@example.com. You can also tweet her at https://twitter.com/Sahana_17