Is Hot Yoga Better Than Regular Yoga?

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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

Jonathan Hansen Sep 09, 2020 at 11:55 am
It's interesting that you point out that doing hot yoga is good for your skin. I've been trying to take better care of my body this year, so I'm thinking about trying hot yoga. I'm going to search for a good business in my area that offers hot yoga classes.
Ron Booker May 01, 2020 at 9:36 am
I had no idea that yoga allows your muscles to be freer so that you can get into the right posture more safely with better results. If the point of pilates and yoga is to help your body stretch more then I would think that doing it with heat would be the only right way of doing it. If it lets you stretch more safely then why ever do it without heat.
socialbuddy Dec 22, 2019 at 5:57 pm
I had no idea about this. Pretty interesting subject for sure though.
debbiei2009 Oct 24, 2018 at 5:16 am
I love hot yoga I feel like I have been reborn after every class it’s so refreshing when you are done the class you have sweated out all the toxins
Stephanie Oct 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm
I'm a hot yoga fan
Rebecca Krum Oct 20, 2018 at 11:50 am
I love hot yoga! I have been practicing yoga for many years and recently decided to try the "hot" version. Evening classes leave me super relaxed and ready for a great night sleep!

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