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what is hot yoga
What Is Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga is a form of yoga that involves turning up the temperature in the studio. Practicing yoga posture in a hot and humid room increases heart rates and loosens muscles for a more vigorous workout. 

A hot yoga program consists of various standing and stretching postures that require sustained and forceful contractions of all major muscle groups. The nature of the poses can be demanding, and when combined with the heat, it creates the ideal scenario for the perfect exercise session. 

Below, we’ll discuss all there is to know about hot yoga by answering the following questions:

  • What to expect from a hot yoga program?
  • What are the benefits of hot yoga?
  • How hot is the room in hot yoga?
  • What to wear to hot yoga?
  • How many calories do you burn during hot yoga?
  • Can you do hot yoga while pregnant?

What To Expect From a Hot Yoga Program?

When you join a hot yoga program, you should expect to sweat. During sessions, the instructor will turn up room temperatures and humidity levels. As a result, your internal body temperature rises as you are guided through a brief warmup session. Warmups in hot yoga classes are shorter than regular yoga since less time is needed to loosen your muscles, thanks to the hot and humid environment.

After the warmup, the instructor will walk you through a series of poses. The movements and speed depend on the type of yoga the class performs. Bikram, vinyasa, and ashtanga are among the most popular forms nowadays, with sessions lasting 60 to 90 minutes. 

What Are The Benefits of Hot Yoga?

The reason why hot yoga gained immense popularity is due to the benefits it offers. The practice is more rigorous than regular yoga classes, but the extra sweat is worth it. Here are the five significant benefits of hot yoga:

Promotes Flexibility

The hotter the room, the easier it’s for muscles to stretch, allowing them to increase their range of motion and stretch deeper in each pose. Some positions become more accessible when doing hot yoga due to the increased laxity. A study by Bikram Yoga discovered that participants have greater flexibility in their shoulders, lower back, and hamstrings after eight weeks of practicing hot yoga.

Improves Blood Circulation

The heat improves the body's ability to circulate blood. Since the heart pumps faster, the body can send blood to the muscles more efficiently. According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, one hot yoga session is enough to get the heart pumping at the same rate as a brisk walk. 

Reduces Stress

Hot yoga can reduce stress - it can even help keep stress and anxiety levels. The practice focuses on breathing and allowing your mind to relax. Taking constant deep breaths for a couple of minutes daily is key to relaxation. 

Enhances Lung Capacity

The breathing exercises during hot yoga help train the lungs to retain more air. Deeper breaths allow the lungs to expand more, allowing more oxygen to enter the bloodstream. 

Burns More Calories

Hot yoga is a great calorie burner. Even though you're not running or jumping, being in a hot room gets the heart rate going. The increased heart rate from any movement will help burn calories and promote weight loss. 

How Hot Is the Room in Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga is yoga in elevated temperatures. Depending on the class, temperatures range from 90 degrees F to 108 degrees F. For example, Bikram Yoga is hotter than other varieties since it must be performed in a 105 degrees F room. Others are less challenging, making it more suitable for those still new to the practice.

What To Wear to Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga is physically demanding, so it’s best to be dressed appropriately to avoid discomfort. If you're sweating a lot, you want your workout clothes to be moisture-wicking, lightweight, and fast-drying. Avoid cotton at all costs - it soaks up your sweat, making your garment heavier and can make you feel hotter. Thinner clothes with a silkier feel tend to dry more quickly.

Make sure you are wearing the following clothes on your next hot yoga session:

  • Leggings - Full-length or 7/8-length fitted leggings will absorb the sweat on your legs, so you don't slip up on your mat.
  • Shorts - Shorts are ideal for those who wish to keep cool. Leggings can be uncomfortable for some, especially those prone to overheating. Ensure you have a small towel to wipe away sweat while working out. 
  • Tank top - Wearing loose tops is usually discouraged by yoga instructions since it hinders them from taking a good look at your form. Instead, a light, fitted tank top made from mesh and sheer materials is recommended. This type of clothing will give you breathability while staying in place as you do your poses. 
  • Sports bra - For women, sports bras are a necessity in every workout. Look for one that is stretchy and contours the body well. 


Aside from your clothes, you should also have other essential items for the best hot yoga experience. A solid yoga mat, towels and a bottle of water are crucial. Also, for those with long hair, it's ideal to style it in ties and headbands to keep your hair away from your face while doing the positions. You are setting yourself up with all of these items for a great workout. 

How Many Calories Do You Burn During Hot Yoga

The calories burned highly depend on the type of hot yoga practiced. As mentioned above, each type has a different temperature and number of poses to be executed. The more intense the workout, the more you burn. However, a study from the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal states women burned an average of 333 calories in a 90-minute hot yoga session. According to the same research, men burn 460 calories per session. 

Can You Do Hot Yoga While Pregnant?

There are no published studies on the safety of hot yoga for pregnant women. For this reason, most yoga clubs don't allow pregnant women into hot yoga classes. Heat and pregnancy are a dangerous combination, especially in the early months of gestation. 

However, yoga that doesn't involve heat is safe. It’s encouraged since it's been proven to increase flexibility, strength, and endurance of muscles for childbirth. It's best to consult an OB-GYN first to know the safety precautions.

Get Ready to Sweat!

Hot yoga is more challenging, but if you plan on enrolling in a class, doing some initial research on what is hot yoga and if it's right for you is ideal. It’s safe for most people, but risks exist for people with certain health conditions. For example, people with an existing heart condition or who are suffering from asthma are advised against joining a hot yoga class. 

Attend a few classes first to see if it’s the right fit for you at ALIVE Studios. We are a premier boutique fitness provider in North Texas, offering hot yoga, barre, pilates, and high-intensity interval training classes. Call us at (214) 999-8987 or visit our website to learn more about sessions!

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