I’ve never taken a yoga that is hot, but I’ve always had an easy time imagining what it might be like—thanks, in part, to my roommate (a walking ad for the workout), and also since the A/C in our apartment broke once. After sweating through my sheets, I decided hot yoga belonged on the rear burner. However, in a current effort to turn up the warmth on my exercises (pun meant), I’ve been thinking about offering it a chance. Is it legit, however? Do 100-degree temperatures actually change lives? Or have always been we simply planning to end up slipping on my sweat for no reason?
An exercise physiologist at Northwestern Medicine, who walked me through the benefits and downsides of hot yoga before risking a fainting spell mid-downward dog, I checked in with Jorianne Numbers, MS.
You are made by it more flexible.
“Temperatures are usually up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Numbers, and also the humidity is way up there, too, at around 40 to 60 per cent.
The warmer room will ensure it is easier for your muscle tissue to stretch. The temps that are steamy you to increase their array of motion and stretch deeper within each pose,” since heat makes muscles more flexible, says Numbers. Unlike stretching it out in a standard cool yoga studio, the heat will have you feeling such as for instance a pro and extending further you could then you thought.
As an added challenge, the heat in a hot yoga studio will make your heart pump way faster, you feeling cool, says Numbers because it needs to push more blood toward the skin in an effort to keep. And more heart-pumping means a better cardio exercise than you’d get doing the same yoga sequence in a cooler setting. It will help kick stress towards the curb.
Okay, yeah, regular yoga practiced in air conditioning will help you chill away, but the heat’s an additional bonus. “Usually, hot yoga allows you to focus on your breathing more,” since it’s sweltering in those rooms, says Numbers. And breathing deeper is key to stress-relief and relaxation.
It ups your lung ability.
It harder to breathe, the breathing exercises in hot yoga can actually help train your lungs to retain more air, says Numbers while you might think a stifling room makes. Deeper breaths force them to expand more than usual, allowing for more air to enter the bloodstream and progress to one other organ.
It burns calories that are major.
“Any kind of movement that increases your heart rate will help burn off calories and promote diet,” says Numbers. And hot yoga is a pretty calorie-torcher that is good. Even though you’re not running and jumping around, again, that hot room gets the heart going. One study from the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found women burned the average of 333 calories during 90-minute slow-moving, hot yoga session.
The Downsides Of Hot Yoga
You risk heat exhaustion.
Even when you passed your last check-up with flying colors, in the event that you can’t stand the heat in a hot yoga studio, your “blood pressure may drop, making you feel dizzy or nauseated,” says Numbers.
And also this feeling can sneak up on totally you. So while you might feel great—all purified and sweaty—for the very first 30 minutes of class, it’s important to be aware of exactly how you’re feeling throughout the flow, especially if you’re a yoga newbie that is hot.
You might be dehydrated.
You’re going to sweat a lot out of water during a hot yoga session, and that means you need to drink sufficient water before and during class to compensate. “The hotter space temperature could cause fainting and muscle cramping,” according to Numbers, as well as vomiting. But staying adequately hydrated can help prevent these problems.
You might injure yourself.
“Due to the flexibility that is increased of muscles while the warmer temperatures, it’s possible to overdo it,” says Numbers. “You may push yourself too much in a pose or stretch and you may well not actually believe until after class.”
It’s not for everybody. If you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or suffer from cardiovascular disease, you should probably look for a different kind of workout. And if you do fall into any one of these camps, at least be sure to speak with your medical professional before attempting yoga which involves heat, suggests Numbers. Or, genuinely, if you merely don’t feel comfortable in a superheated, humid space, this probably is not the best workout for you—no matter how many of your buddies swear by it.