There are all types of yoga. Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Bikram, Yin and restorative are just a few. When you think of hot yoga, you’re often referring to Bikram yoga that was one of the first to be done in a room that’s sometimes 105 degrees. However, doing any style of yoga can be hot yoga. Most people often refer to Hatha yoga as regular yoga, since it’s one that’s often practiced throughout the US. Is there a benefit from adding heat to any style of yoga or is it simply smoke and mirrors?
Benefits of hot yoga.
The temperature in a hot yoga room can be between 100-110 degrees with 40% humidity to encourage sweat evaporation. The heat helps boost flexibility, warming the muscles and enhancing blood flow. That makes it easier to do many of the more difficult poses, so it can be a benefit for beginners and experienced alike. It also puts less strain on the joints.
For some, regular yoga is best.
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the hot yoga class. The biggest difference is simply the heat, since any type of yoga can be hot yoga and any type of yoga can be considered regular yoga. People who shouldn’t do hot yoga include those that are unfit or not seasoned in regular yoga. Body temperatures can rise during a 90-minute class of hot yoga, with some people participating reaching temperatures as high as 103 degrees. Doctors consider a body temperature of104 degrees dangerous. Heat intolerance can be a problem. Pregnant women, diabetics, people with cardiovascular disease and those with high blood pressure should avoid hot yoga.
Hot yoga does improve muscle mass, since it requires more effort than regular yoga.
It can help burn belly fat—visceral fat—the most dangerous type. It can help improve insulin sensitivity for those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetics. When done regularly, may make you feel less hungry. The heat may be beneficial for those with asthma and can strengthen respiratory function by increasing circulation and improving lung function. It can reduce the risk of COPD.
- All types of yoga help you burn calories and boost your mood. Practicing yoga can also help balance hormones naturally. It’s all about the poses used. Balancing hormones leads to improved moods, sleep cycles and weight loss or gain.
- Arthritis pain, headaches and backaches can be helped with all types of yoga, but arthritis and migraine pain in particular, may be helped more by hot yoga.
- Sweating clears out the waste in your body and boosts blood flow and your immune system. Hot yoga makes you sweat more, so it may help keep you healthier by boosting your immune system.
- The longer you do hot yoga, the more resilient you become, especially to working out in the heat. You’ll push yourself harder and see faster results with hot yoga.
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