If you’ve ever been curious about hot yoga, there’s no better time to give it a shot.
Hot yoga studios are popping up like daisies in many cities and towns in the U.S. and abroad. In my small town of Columbia, I’ve found at least two places that offer hot yoga classes regularly. I go to hot yoga at a studio here in town that offers a variety of classes including basic yoga flows, vinyasa, and sometimes fun classes like sound baths.
However, hot yoga might not be right for everyone, and as an experienced hot yogi, I wanted to share some reasons why hot yoga might or might not be right for you.
Why you might love hot yoga
If you believe that yoga is a passive workout that doesn’t really do much for you, then it’s time to rethink things. Normal yoga without heat is already a full-body experience that often uses several major muscle groups, requires intense focus and balance, and builds mental endurance. Flexibility takes time. I’ve been doing yoga regularly for more than a year now and just this last month I was finally able to rest my heels completely on the mat in downward dog.
Yoga is challenging, and hot yoga even more so. In many studios, you’re working out in a room that is 105F degrees. That’s nothing to scoff at, folks. It is tough stuff. If you’re looking for a work out where you’ll feel challenged, you might love hot yoga.
You might also love hot yoga if you prefer exercise that lets you toggle between a community and individual experience. Depending on the instructor, a hot yoga class can be very group-oriented, but many yogis prefer to focus on their own thing. Hot yoga allows you to do both.
Why hot yoga might not be right for you
Hot yoga might not be for you if you can’t stand being sweaty or being around other sweaty people. I mentioned it’s 105F degrees in there, right? You’re going to sweat buckets, and so will Billy Bob next to you. And Billy Bob doesn’t always wipe up his sweat as well as you do.
You might also want to skip if you prefer an environment where you can talk. Many studio rooms are silent rooms and believe me, as a regular, there’s nothing worse than coming into the room early to meditate and hearing two newbies chatting with each other. There’s often music playing to help you focus on your flow, so it’s not completely silent, but you are expected to respect the peace of others.
Lastly, you might have medical conditions that could make hot yoga dangerous for you. The heat in the room can make you dizzy and put stress on your heart if you’re not hydrated enough or if you’re working too hard. A key part of getting the most out of hot yoga is taking your time and listening to your body when it tells you to slow down. But if you have a medical condition, it might not be worth it to put added strain on your body.
Have you tried hot yoga before? What did you think?