What is hot yoga?

December 21, 2020

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Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga may reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.

There are many styles, forms and intensities of yoga. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements. Prenatal yoga might help you prepare for labor and promote your baby’s health. For animal lovers, there are even goat yoga classes.

Hot yoga has become one of the hottest fitness trends of the past decade. It’s a vigorous form of yoga performed in a very warm, humid studio. Hot yoga is not for everyone. The intensity of the workout and the hot temperatures could cause heat-related illness.

Dr. Edward Laskowski, a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, and co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, explains hot yoga below.

Hot yoga is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a very warm and humid studio. There are many different types of hot yoga classes. During the Bikram form of hot yoga, the room is heated to approximately 105 F (40 C) and has a humidity of 40 percent.

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:

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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