Hot Yoga is one of those practices that can mean a lot of different things, depending on the class, instructor, and what they’re looking to accomplish.
If you’ve already heard of the term, one of the main things you’ll probably be wondering about is quite how hot these classes get. Do they really reach insane temperatures that can make you pass out or even worse?
If you’re considering getting into hot yoga, these are good questions to ask. It’s hard to know if this intense form of practice is right for you. That’s where we come in! In this article, we’re going to be taking you everything to do with hot yoga.
We’ll explain some of the most popular types, the average room temperatures, and whether or not this will suit you.
What Is Hot Yoga?
Firstly, we’re going to define exactly what hot yoga is, as there are many misconceptions about it. In short, hot yoga is an intense version of yoga that is practiced in a very hot environment.
Whilst it follows some of the general forms, poses, and principles of other more popular kinds of yoga (Such as Hatha) it can more easily be compared to something like an aerobics class.
There are a lot of different types of hot yoga, and it first boomed in popularity in the late 1970s, all the way through to today.
A typical hot yoga class will consist of various poses (whether these be a fixed series or varying postures) that are performed in sequence over a 90-minute session. It’s important to note here that the timing can vary massively depending on the type of class you join.
The main benefits of hot yoga are to do with dynamic movement, weight loss, and perceived detoxification properties. The intense heat causes practitioners to sweat,, which is the perfect environment to lose weight.
This is one of the main reasons that it boomed in the west – as it was a quick way for people looking to lose weight fast or get a unique cardiovascular workout.
Whilst it can be difficult to give exact temperatures for other forms of hot yoga, when we look at Bikram Yoga we have precise specifications for how hot a room should be and the sequence of movements undertaken at each class.
Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga (which some consider to be the first) that was created by Bikram Choudhury.
Classes are strict and predictable – with each session consisting of the same sequence of 26 defined postures for practitioners to move through. As well as this the humidity of a room is always set to 40%, with an average temperature of 41 degrees Celsius.
You’ve probably noticed that this is quite a high heat – and you wouldn’t be wrong! Bikram Yoga is one of the most intense forms of hot yoga and can be difficult for a beginner. That said, it gained a lot of popularity in the early 1970s.
How Hot Do Other Hot Yoga Classes Get?
When it comes to other hot yoga classes, it can be difficult to put a real number on the average temperatures of these classes.
You can expect a typical hot yoga class to range anywhere from 27 degrees celsius all the way up to 40, depending on the intensity of the class and the instructor you’re learning under.
Whilst Bikram might have a defined humidity that all classes attempt to create, other hot yoga classes can vary.
Some of the other key differences between general hot yoga and Bikram yoga are the poses and sequences you’ll be performing, lighting (Bikram always uses bright lights and mirrored walls,) music vs silence, and general interaction between instructors and students.
Typically, Bikram Yoga teachers will simply call for adjustments or tips as the lesson goes on, whilst a general hot yoga teacher might manually come and help.
How Safe Are Hot Yoga Classes?
Because of the high temperatures and thick climates created within hot yoga classes, you may be wondering how safe it is to practice.
It’s important to say that the main focus for hot yoga is to give you a good workout where you will sweat a lot – which is quite different from other more traditional forms which focus more on static poses and mindfulness.
So with that in mind, you should know that hot yoga is more of a workout than a meditative exercise.
One of the biggest concerns around hot yoga is the risk of dehydration. With such high temperatures and vigorous exercise, your body is going to lose a lot of water through sweating. This means that you run the risk of becoming dehydrated if you don’t take care.
Another concern is if you have either low blood pressure or blood sugar. Both of these can cause a lot of issues if you’re practicing hot yoga. The intense environment can make it more likely for you to faint, which is not something you want when working out!
The most important thing to remember with hot yoga is to take it slow on your first session. If you ever feel lightheaded or sick then you should stop, leave the room, and make sure to drink an ample amount of water.
You can also take precautions before class, ensuring you’re completely hydrated before beginning the session. If you’re already feeling light-headed or worn out it can cause problems for you when you get into the middle of a session.
So there you have it! Hot yoga classes typically range from 35 degrees celsius all the way up to 40.
This can change depending on the level and intensity of the class you’re attending, but generally, you’ll want to make sure that you are picking a class that is appropriate to your skill level.
Hot yoga can be a great addition to your life and has a lot of positive benefits, but it is a very vigorous kind of yoga that can be difficult for beginners.
We hope that this article has told you everything you needed to know and that you now feel a lot more confident about what hot yoga is and just how high the temperatures can get.
We wish you the best of luck on your yoga journey – no matter which kind you end up choosing!