There has been a lot of hype recently on hot yoga and bikram yoga. The studio is heated to about 104 degrees and 40% humidity with the thought that the heat helps you sweat out toxins and increases flexibility. A quick Google search will find articles telling you hot yoga is healthy, and just as many articles that telling you its not.
I decided to give it a try and last week participated in my first hot yoga class. I went to the Core Power Yoga studio in Minneapolis. The specific class was the Yoga Sculpt with Weights.
In a nutshell I would compare it to a body blast/boot camp workout, except doing it in a sauna and alternating high rep weight lifting with yoga moves.
I had heard that you sweat to the point where it looks like you jumped into a pool, so I dressed appropriately. I wore my Helo shorts, a pair of running shorts and a tank top and as I walked in realized I was wearing too much clothing. The hot moist air hits you as soon as you walk in, along with the sour smell of sweat.
The room was packed wall to wall with people by the time the class started. After the first 15 minutes everyone’s body heat was really boosting the room temp and it became uncomfortably hot at about 25 minutes in.
30 minutes in was soaked in sweat and did in fact look like I just got out of the pool. The heat and humidity really made it hard to get any recovery time during the class.
The actual exercise would have been a decent workout, but the heat made it grueling, and I couldn’t push it too hard for fear of passing out.
I would not do another hot yoga class again, but would consider doing a similar class not in a hot room.
I am glad I had my Helo shorts on though, they performed great – as always!
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