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What is hot yoga?

Medically reviewed on Sep 6, 2018

Hot yoga is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a studio that is heated to 105 F (40 C) and has a humidity of 40 percent. Hot yoga is also called Bikram yoga. But any type of yoga in a heated room may be known as hot yoga.

Bikram yoga is a 90-minute program that consists of a series of different standing and stretching postures. The postures require lengthy, forceful and sustained contractions of all major muscle groups. The demanding nature of the poses and the heat are designed to raise your heart rate and exercise your muscles.

Researchers continue to study the pros and cons of hot yoga, including its effects on body fat and heart health.

Hot yoga is not for everyone. The intensity of the workout and the hot temperatures have the potential to cause heat-related illness. Be sure you check with your doctor before trying hot yoga, especially if you have any health concerns or if you are pregnant.

It's probably best to skip hot yoga if you have:

  • Heart disease
  • Problems with dehydration
  • Heat intolerance
  • A history of a heat-related illness (such as heatstroke)

If you have no health concerns and you want to try a hot yoga class, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Stop if you feel dizzy, lightheaded or sick in any way.

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