Hot Yoga: Benefits, Tips, and What to Expect

Hot Yoga: Benefits, Tips, and What to Expect

Hot yoga, a practice that has surged in popularity over the last two decades, involves performing yoga poses in a heated room. This form of yoga is not just about increasing flexibility or building physical strength; it's also about enhancing mental resilience and detoxification. In this guide, I'll delve into what hot yoga is, its benefits, the various types you can try, and essential tips for beginners.

What Is Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga refers to any yoga practice conducted in a heated environment. The temperature in the room is typically between 80 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of about 40%. This simulated warmth is intended to replicate the heat of India, where yoga originated. The heat serves multiple purposes: it helps deepen stretches, prevents injury, and promotes sweating, which is believed to detoxify the body.

The Origins Of Hot Yoga

Bikram Choudhury popularized the concept of hot yoga, which is accessible to all fitness levels, in the 1970s. Bikram yoga, a sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a 90-minute class, is done in a room heated to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Since its inception, various other hot yoga styles have emerged, such as Moksha Yoga (now known as Modo Yoga) and CorePower Yoga, each adding its unique twist to the practice.

Factor To Consider Before Attempting Hot Yoga Class

  • Clothing: Choose lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics instead of cotton, which absorbs moisture and becomes heavy and uncomfortable.
  • Equipment: Use special yoga gloves and socks to prevent slipping. A towel over your yoga mat will help absorb sweat and reduce slipping.
  • Yoga Accessories: Yoga tools like yoga block, yoga belt, meditation cushion, and yoga bolster.

Hot Yoga vs. Regular Yoga

Hot and regular yoga differ mainly in the temperature of the practice environment. While regular yoga is typically practiced at room temperature, hot yoga takes place in a much warmer setting, adding intensity to the practice. The heat can be beneficial for deepening stretches but also poses risks for overheating and dehydration, especially for individuals with certain health conditions like cardiovascular or respiratory issues.

Different Types Of Hot Yoga

Hot yoga has many different forms. Let's discuss them in detail.

Bikram Yoga

Developed by Bikram Choudhury, this style features a series of 26 poses practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This method enhances flexibility, detoxifies the body, and provides a cardiovascular workout. Bikram yoga sessions last 90 minutes and follow a strict sequence in a high-heat environment, offering a rigorous workout.

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga

Created by Baron Baptiste, this variation incorporates elements from various yoga styles, including Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Bikram. Unlike Bikram, each class can vary depending on the instructor, though all are practiced in a room around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This style emphasizes empowerment and transformation through its physically challenging flow.

Moksha Yoga (Modo Yoga)

Founded by Ted Grand, Moksha yoga is practiced in a heated room using a consistent sequence, which instructors may adapt based on the class's needs. Typically lasting 90 minutes, these sessions focus on strength, flexibility, and relaxation in an eco-friendly studio setting.

Hot Power Yoga

This dynamic and flexible style of hot yoga draws from traditional Ashtanga but allows for varied sequences. Practiced in temperatures between 85 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Hot Power Yoga encourages a vigorous workout through a Vinyasa-style flow, making it popular among those who enjoy variety and intensity in their practice.

Popular Hot Yoga Poses

Hot yoga is a great exercise that involves different yoga poses. You can try many poses, but we have listed a few easy ones to add to your hot yoga routine.

  1. Pranayama (Standing Deep Breathing)
  2. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
  3. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  4. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
  5. Dandayamana-Janushirasana (Standing Head to Knee Pose)
  6. Dandayamana Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pulling Pose)
  7. Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose)
  8. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  9. Tadasana (Tree Pose)
  10. Padangustasana (Toe Stand Pose)
  11. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
  12. Pavanamuktasana (Wind Removing Pose)
  13. Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
  14. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  15. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
  16. Poorna Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose)
  17. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Benefits Of Hot Yoga

  • Flexibility: The heat helps dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, loosen muscles, and enhance flexibility.
  • Strength Building: Yoga poses often involve supporting one's body weight, which builds strength. Hot yoga can particularly improve lower body strength and overall muscle tone.
  • Bone Health: Supporting body weight during various poses can also increase bone mineral density, potentially helping prevent osteoporosis.
  • Calorie Burning: The challenging poses combined with the heat can lead to a higher calorie burn than regular yoga.
  • Cardiovascular Health: The rigorous nature of hot yoga can boost cardiovascular performance, making it a suitable exercise for improving heart health.
  • Skin Health: Sweating increases blood circulation, which is beneficial for skin health and can promote a youthful appearance.
  • Mental Health: Hot yoga has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, which improves overall mental well-being.

Risks And Considerations

While hot yoga offers numerous benefits, there are also risks involved, particularly for beginners or those with certain health conditions:

  • Dehydration and Overheating: Excessive heat can lead to dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance: Sweating heavily without proper hydration can cause electrolyte imbalance.
  • Cardiovascular Issues: People with heart conditions should consult a doctor before attempting hot yoga.

Tips For Hot Yoga Beginners

  1. Stay Hydrated: Drink water before, during, and after hot yoga class to maintain hydration.
  2. Listen to Your Body: Avoid pushing yourself too hard; rest when necessary.
  3. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to help manage sweat.
  4. Eat Lightly Beforehand: Having a heavy meal before class can be uncomfortable. Opt for a light snack instead.
  5. Bring the Essentials: A yoga mat, large towel, yoga accessories, and water bottle are must-haves for a hot yoga session.


Hot yoga is a demanding yet fulfilling practice with numerous physical and mental advantages. However, it's crucial to approach this practice carefully, particularly if you are new to yoga or have pre-existing health issues. With proper preparation and attitude, hot yoga can be an excellent supplement to your workout regimen. Whether you want to enhance your flexibility, strengthen your body, or find a new way to relax, hot yoga offers a unique and refreshing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Do Hot Yoga? 

How often you should perform hot yoga depends on your fitness goals and schedule. Some practice daily, while others find 2-3 times per week sufficient. It's important to listen to your body and adjust your routine as needed.

Is Hot Yoga Better Than Regular Yoga? 

"Better" is subjective and depends on individual preferences and goals. Hot yoga offers specific benefits such as intense sweating and deeper stretching, while regular yoga provides a less intense environment, which might be better suited for some practitioners.