Hot yoga can be performed in your home or a studio. All you need is a way to raise the temperature of your room and enough water to remain fully hydrated at all times. When you are ready to start, gradually build up your tolerance to the heat.
Hot yoga isn’t for everyone. For those who love it, it offers an intense workout that burns an abundance of calories without putting too much pressure on the joints. It is great for relieving stress and allows you to extend your boundaries gradually.
You can achieve a higher fitness level much faster than with traditional yoga. Working in a hotter room intensifies the workout and dramatically increases the number of calories burned. But, do not attempt to do it at home without guidance – especially if you’re a beginner.
What Is Hot Yoga?
There are different types of hot yoga. The first type, known as Bikram yoga, involves using 26 unique poses and two breathing exercises performed in a room heated to 105°F and has 40% humidity. All of the movements and exercises are performed in the same order every time and take about 90 minutes to complete.
With hot yoga, there is no specific amount of time, and any yoga poses can be included. While Bikram is more serious, hot yoga allows participants to relax and interact with one another.
You might also be interested in our evening yoga guide.
Is Hot Yoga For Everyone?
Hot yoga is not an exercise for someone with pre-existing health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease.
While many people enjoy traditional yoga, hot yoga can cause serious health issues, especially if they don’t handle the heat very well. If you have suffered any heat stress in the past, the odds are high that you will not be able to tolerate hot yoga for any length of time.
You might find our guide on how to recover from yoga helpful.
Hot Yoga Vs. Traditional Yoga
The key difference between hot and traditional yoga is the heated room and increase in humidity. Unless you are doing Bikram yoga, you can use any set and order of poses you like when doing hot or traditional yoga. You can perform hot yoga anywhere you want, as long as you can increase the room’s temperature.
Traditional yoga can be performed anywhere you choose, either inside or outside. Most hot yoga sessions are performed indoors, where you can control the temperature and humidity.
However, beginners should not attempt hot yoga at home – especially unsupervised. If you go to a yoga class, the instructor can intervene if you feel unwell.
When you warm up your muscles before exercising, you reduce your risk of injury and increase blood flow throughout the body. The warmer the muscles during a workout, the stronger and more flexible they become. This allows for an improved range of motion and more resilience during recovery after a workout.
Melts Away Calories
During hot yoga, the body will naturally burn more calories due to excessive heat. If you can burn between 170 and 190 calories with traditional yoga, Bikram yoga can burn over 330 calories for women and over 460 for men.
Increases Bone Density
When muscles place small amounts of force on the bones during exercise, it increases bone density, making your bones stronger and more resilient.
As you age, you lose bone density throughout your body. The more you do in the way of exercise, the stronger your bones become. Hot yoga offers that gentle pressure your bones need to maintain sufficient bone density.
Balances Your Mood
Hot yoga, as with most other forms of exercise, releases endorphins that can elevate your mood and minimize symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Performing yoga for a few minutes each day is the best way to maintain a balanced mood.
Hot yoga is extremely beneficial at eliminating stress. If you’ve had a stressful day, hot yoga can be performed in the comfort of your own home. This lets you burn off all the stress and frustration built up throughout the day.
Kickstarts Your Heart
Any work you do in high heat has an effect on your heart and lungs.
This, in turn, makes your other muscles work harder as well. Hot yoga pushes your body to the limits and will give your cardiovascular system a boost that will help it function more efficiently. This causes you to breathe deeper, bringing more oxygen into your lungs.
Stabilizes Blood Glucose Levels
Exercise requires fuel. Glucose in your bloodstream is used as you exercise. This helps to maintain balanced glucose levels throughout the day.
Gives Your Metabolism A Boost
The more you push your body, the stronger it becomes. Hot yoga makes your body work harder in many ways, as people with more muscle mass generally have higher metabolisms.
If you liked this post, you might be interested in our explainer on why hot yoga is so expensive.