While there are all sorts of yoga classes to downward dog in, hot yoga has become a popular (and slightly controversial) practice among many.
So what’s better for your body – hot yoga or regular yoga? Well, we spoke with expert yoga instructors to break down everything you need to know about hot yoga.
What is hot yoga?
Hot yoga is pretty much exactly what you’d think – yoga in a heated, sauna-like room. The studio tends to be humid and warm so yogis sweat more heavily than they would in a regular yoga class (sweat towels and water are highly recommended).
What are the benefits?
There’s a reason hot yoga has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. “The heat in a hot yoga class has an added element that helps the skin detox, which leaves you with a refreshing glow,” says Lindsey Kaalberg, founder of Ritual Hot Yoga. “The warm air also softens your muscles so postures flow more naturally together. There’s also an extra cardio intensity from your heart pumping harder to keep the blood moving to cool the body.”
Are there any risks?
While the heated room can add a lot of perks to your practice, there are some risks that come with taking a hot yoga class like dizziness or dehydration. “The heated room often means you’re able to get deeper into poses, though you have to be careful to not overdo it. While it might feel good at the moment, make sure you’re conscious of not overstretching and causing injury,” says Amanda Shapin, Instagram fitness influencer. You might also find it hard to stay in tune with your body during a hot yoga workout. “I love to sweat it out, but I find that I have a clearer perspective of how my body’s feeling when I’m in an unheated room,” says Kelly Sterling, founder of Kore Kollective.
So, heated or non-heated?
Generally, it really just depends on what kind of workout you’re looking for, and it may be helpful to consult your doctor before diving headfirst into the intensity of hot yoga. If you’ve never tried yoga before, it’s probably best to start with regular classes, then eventually advance to a heated studio. Test the waters to figure out what’s right for you and what makes your body feel its best.
Do you prefer hot yoga or regular yoga? Weigh in on the comments below!
xx, The FabFitFun Team