25 Q & A – Hot Yoga

Swami circa 1800

25 Q & A Hot Yoga

#1. Q: Do I need previous yoga experience to start hot yoga? A: No, your very 1st yoga class ever can be a hot class. (Click to→ Beginner’s Guide to Hot Yoga.)Namaste45

#2. Q: Does hot yoga benefit weight loss? A: Yes, but just like everything else, you’ll need to do it several times a week to see any weight loss. (Click to→ Hot Yoga for Weight Loss.)

#3. Q: Can I do hot yoga if I’m pregnant? A: Most likely, yes, but check with your doctor first, and you’ll need to modify some postures. (Click to→ Beginner’s Guide to Hot Yoga.

#4. Q: Can hot yoga be dangerous? A: For people in general good health, hot yoga is not dangerous if you go to a reputable yoga studio with qualified instructors.

#5. Q: Isn’t it true that hot yoga can raise your core temperature to unsafe levels?

Dangerously hot?
Dangerously hot yoga?

A: If the studio you attend keeps the hot yoga room at the correct temperatures, i.e. 105° and under, and you do not practice for longer than 90 minutes there should not be a problem. Your body is smarter than you think, if you really need to leave the room, no one is locking the door! If you have a previous history of heat induced conditions, you’ll probably want to give hot yoga a miss.

#6. Q: Where does hot yoga come from? A: Yoga is a 5000 year old practice originating from eastern cultures.

Swami circa 1800
Swami circa 1800

Adding heat and humidity to the practice is an development that is attributed to Bikram Choudhury starting in the early 1970’s.The theory is that India, considered the mother of yoga is already a temperate climate, therefore no additional heat is needed to practice there. Those of us living in the northern hemisphere are known to flock to the heat whenever we can get it, therefore the practice of hot yoga has gained favour in many cold weather climates.  (Click to→ Bikram Yoga)

#7. Q: Some yoga teachers are against hot yoga, why? A: As with anything that deviates from the original version, there will be those that feel that more traditional ways are better. There are yoga professionals and practitioners who do not like hot yoga because they do not see the benefits, however like anything else, each individual should be free to decide what feels good for their own bodies and not anyone else’s.

#8. Q: Is it true that you sweat out toxins in hot yoga? A: Surprisingly, No. Your liver and kidneys are the main organs doing most of the actual detoxification work in your body. That doesn’t mean that sweating isn’t good for you. It does help clear pores, giving your skin a healthy glow, but no, the sweat dripping into your eyeballs does not contain any toxins.

#9. Q: Can children do hot yoga? kidyogaA: Children do not have a fully developed heat regulation system and are therefore susceptible to overheating, so hot yoga is generally not recommended for children 12 and under. However, non-heated yoga is absolutely wonderful for kids of all ages. To read more about children’s yoga (Click to→ Not Hot Yoga)

#10. Q: How about teenagers, can they do hot yoga? A: A resounding YES. Once they have gone through puberty, teenagers are physically the same as any adult. Mentally, they’re a little different and it’s here that hot yoga is very beneficial for them. Once you get them into the hot room there’s no checking text messages or chatting online. Being in the hot room build’s mental focus and physically improves their flexibility. Just make sure they are properly hydrated, as they tend to forget to drink afterwards.

#11. Q: Is hot yoga more expensive than normal yoga? 256px-Dollar_symbolA: Yes, it usually is due to higher operating costs. If your are attending a dedicated hot yoga studio such as Bikram or Moksha (Moda) it could be between $20-$30 more per month for a membership. In my city the Bikram studios charge between $100-$130 per month for unlimited memberships and Moksha is slightly higher, but only by a few dollars. If you choose a yoga studio that offers only limited hot classes, you may find there is no cost difference. If you choose a higher end yoga studio with more amenities (steam room, massage, etc) you’ll pay more at a higher end studio than the average hot yoga studio.

#12. Q: What time of day is the best for taking a hot yoga class?

Best Time for Yoga?
Best Time for Yoga?

A: Morning is the general consensus amongst my fellow yogi’s, although this is an answer that is up for debate. It depends on your body clock and daily schedule, really. For many people practicing in the morning is logistically easier (1 shower needed as opposed to 2) and many people feel an energy surge after a hot yoga class and that works well into the rest of the day if you practice in the morning. Occasionally when I’ve practiced in the evening after 8:00 pm, I’ve had some trouble getting to sleep. Again, you need to know your body clock and how it ticks. Evening classes do work well for many people as well.

#13. Q: Can I practice hot yoga at home? A: Probably not, unless you have some kind of special set up at home (like a sauna or steam room), raising the heat and humidity levels in any room of your home could cause damages to the building, so for the general public, hot yoga is not an at home practice. However there are many other options for a variety of styles of at home yoga practice. Read more… (Click to→ Not Hot Yoga)

#14. Q: Can it be bad to do too much hot yoga? A: Depends on what you would consider too much. For most people 3-4 hot yoga classes a week is a full plate. As long as you are careful to stay sufficiently hydrated you can practice as you please. I practice 5 times a week, but I do sometimes intersperse with reduced heat and non-heated classes when I feel like I’ve had enough of the heat. Again, only do what feels right and good for you.

#15. Q: I am underweight, is hot yoga still ok for me? A: If you’re slightly underweight, and in general good health, hot yoga is fine. If you suffer from Anorexia, Bulimia, or other eating disorder, please talk to your doctor before beginning a hot yoga practice.

#16. Q: Can I start hot yoga in menopause? Yoga,_double_exposure_by_Victor_Tondee_1A: Menopause is not a disease, it’s just another phase of life, but many women do suffer from hot flashes so it’s logical to think you wouldn’t want to add hot yoga into that mix. However, that assumption for many women does not match the experience. For this question the answer is too long to answer in a brief Q & A format, to read more (Click to→ Hot Yoga Over Fifty)

#17. Q: Will hot yoga aggravate my skin condition? A: Possibly, yes. But it might also work wonders. You would need to check with your doctor before trying a class, but in hot yoga circles we hear of people’s eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis improving after taking up hot yoga. It’s essential that your skin condition is non-contagious. Also make sure there is no medication on your skin during a hot yoga class because it can run into your eyes with your sweat and cause stinging. (Click to→ Beginner’s Guide to Hot Yoga)

#18. Q: What should I bring to my first hot yoga class? A: Bring your yoga mat, a mat towel or just a big towel to put on your mat, another towel to shower with, and a water bottle. Those are the bare basics. (Click to→ Stuff you need)

#19. Q: I have previous injuries, can I still try hot yoga? A: Most likely not a problem. Speak to the instructor before the class and let them know your concerns. They should show you how to modify your postures if needed. Many people find yoga a very healing practice, whether it’s hot or not. Hot yin maybe a good place to start   (Click to→ Types of Hot Yoga)

#20. Q: I’ve heard you can overstretch in hot yoga and hurt yourself, is this true? A: You can overstretch and hurt yourself in any activity, this isn’t specifically to do with hot yoga. Just because the room is hot and you feel like you can might be able to stretch a little more than usual doesn’t mean you leave your common sense at the door. If you are mindful of what you’re doing, and follow the instructions of a qualified instructor, this should never happen. 

Don't over stretch!
Don’t over stretch!

#21. Q: But injuries do happen in yoga, don’t they? A: Yes, they do but yoga injuries, for the most part, are completely avoidable. First, don’t follow any instruction that doesn’t seem safe or right for you. Second, don’t try full inversions unless you’re one on one with an experienced instructor. Finally if you’ve lost your breath, you’ve lost the yoga, back off and re-group. If you’re interested in some of the main safety cues instructors should be calling (Click to→ Teacher’s Corner)

Hot yoga men
Hot yoga men

#22. Q: Are there any men doing hot yoga? A: Hell, yeah! Conservatively speaking I would estimate the rise of men participating in hot yoga classes to be well over 100% in the last five years. To define what that means: say in 2010 you might have seen 5 out of 25 participants in a hot yoga class being male. Today, it will be more like 10 out of 25. Especially in the more strenuous classes like Bikram yoga, I’ve been in many classes where the gender ratio is more like 50-50. 

#23. Q: I’m over 50, is it safe for me to do hot yoga A: Being over fifty does not have any bearing on whether hot yoga will be suitable for you. Just like anyone else you will need to be aware of your own body history and listen to your body once you enter the hot room. If you have any special health concerns, speak to the instructor prior to the class and ask their recommendations regarding any concerns particular to your body. To read more about this (Click to→ Hot Yoga Over Fifty)

#24. Q: I’m over 60, is it safe for me to do hot yoga A: See answer above. Case in point, a few of the most avid, long time devotees of hot yoga I’ve seen were in people in their 70’s. I can think of at least 4 practitioners I’ve met that put many in the class to shame with their prowess in the hot room. Although yoga isn’t really like that, it gives me a thrill to watch a septuagenerian perform a pose with such strength and grace that it makes me want to crawl under a rock. 

#25. Q: Can you do too much hot yoga A: Yes, and your body will tell you how much is too much. You just need to make sure you listen. One person may find the heat overstimulates their immune system, while it has no such effect on another person. Know you’re body, listen to it and learn what it’s telling you. 

If you a general hot yoga question that hasn’t been answered here or in any of the related posts please leave you comments in the box below. Cheerio, Connie.