Hot yoga is credited by many for extreme weight loss and a lean, strong body and an unshakeable core. But hot yoga also has it’s critics, saying it’s too much heat and unsafe for those who regularly endure the 90 minutes of heated poses.
What is hot yoga?
Invented by Bikram Choudhury, hot yoga is performed in hot and humid conditions with temperatures between 95 – 100 degrees.
Dangers of hot yoga
- Dehydration is a strong possibility during hot yoga as the room temperature is humid and your body is sweating constantly for 90 minutes with no break.
- During hot yoga, the joints and muscles loosen with the heat of the room and students are often able to stretch further than they would normally. This causes many to stretch beyond their real limitations and muscle stretches too deep.
- When in a hot environment, your body naturally sweats in an attempt to cool itself. When you are in a humid environment, your ability to lose heat from sweating is hugely decreased because the air is already saturated and your body becomes overheated.
Misconceptions of hot yoga
- Some say sweating during hot yoga rids the body of toxins. Truth is, the body releases very few toxins through sweat.
- Contrary to what you are told during hot yoga, it’s never good for you to feel faint. When you are exercising, your blood vessels expand to go to your muscles. The response is magnified when you’re doing it in a very hot environment. That’s taking blood away from the blood vessels that are going to your brain so you feel dizzy and faint.
Who should avoid hot yoga
- pregnant women
- people with heart conditions
If you still insist of giving hot yoga a try or are continuing to go to classes, here are some tips to help prevent dehydration and other ill affects:
- avoid eating for 2 to 3 hours before hot yoga
- drink plenty of water before, during and after class
- to replenish electrolytes lost, add a bit of lemon to your water.