Hot Yoga: The Dangers and Myths You Need to Know
There are many myths surrounding hot yoga that need to be dispelled. These include:
Myth 1 : Hot Yoga is dangerous because it will burn your skin or cause burns.
Fact : There have been no reports of any person getting burned due to hot yoga practice.
Myth 2 : Hot Yoga causes rashes.
Fact : There have been no reports of anyone getting rashes from hot yoga practice.
Myth 3 : Hot Yoga makes you sweat profusely.
Fact : There have been no reports of anyone becoming overheated due to hot yoga practice.
Myth 4 : Hot Yoga will cause you to lose weight if practiced regularly . . .
or gain weight if not practiced frequently enough.
Fact : There have been no reports of anyone gaining or losing weight due to hot yoga practice.
The following are some of the dangers associated with hot yoga:
1) Cold temperatures may increase blood pressure, which could lead to heart attack and stroke.
If you experience chest pain, dizziness, nausea or other symptoms related to high blood pressure, consult your doctor immediately.
2) Excessive sweating can result in dehydration and heat exhaustion.
If you experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms include:
-Loss of Appetite
3) During hot yoga, you may experience an allergic reaction to something.
If you experience hives or other allergic reactions, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
4) Hot yoga is not recommended for pregnant women or people suffering from serious medical conditions such as heart disease.
5) If you suffer from any type of mental illness or have a history of seizures, consult your physician before engaging in hot yoga.
6) If you feel dizzy or nauseous, stop practicing until you feel better.
The health benefits of hot yoga can be great for many people; however, it should not be practiced by everyone. People with the following conditions may be more prone to injuries or illness:
1) Recent Stroke
2) Severe Arthritis
3) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
4) Low Blood Pressure
5) Meigs Disease (a disease that affects the pelvic area and lower spine, causing severe pain in these areas)
Always consult your physician before engaging in any new physical activity.
You may also be interested in reading our comparison of Bikram and Normal Yoga, which outlines some of the benefits and dangers of both types of yoga.
Precautionary Measures for Hot Yoga:
If you choose to participate in hot yoga, here are several precautionary measures you can take to avoid injury or illness:
1) Do not practice hot yoga if you are pregnant or have a history of certain medical conditions (as mentioned above).
2) Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after you practice hot yoga.
3) If you feel dizzy or nauseous, stop practicing until you feel better.
4) Wear clothing that will allow your skin to breathe.
Try to avoid wearing clothing that is too loose (such as baggy track pants) because the material will most likely stick to your skin when you start to sweat.
5) Wear appropriate yoga mat towels.
You should purchase a towel that is specifically designed for use on hot yoga mats. These towels are typically made out of a material that will dry quickly so you will not have to wait an extended period of time before putting your regular clothes back on.
6) Consider the temperature of the room before you begin your session.
If it is too hot, you run the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion. If it is too cold, you will not reap many of the benefits because your body will be trying to keep itself warm.
7) Consider the temperature of the room again!
This time, we don’t mean temperature of the room that you’re practicing in. We mean your own body temperature. If you start to feel uncomfortably hot during class, do not hesitate to take a break.
Walk around for a little while and make sure your body is hydrated before you begin again.
Common Types of Injuries that Occur During Hot Yoga:
The primary types of injuries that occur during hot yoga are dehydration and heat exhaustion. The body is working much harder during a hot yoga session than it would be during a traditional yoga session because the body is consistently working to cool itself down. Furthermore, the temperature of the room is usually upwards of 90 degrees, which is a higher heat than most people are used to coping with.
The best way to avoid injury from dehydration and heat exhaustion is to make sure your body is well hydrated before practice and to stop the session if you feel dizzy or nauseous.
Additional Injuries and Precautions for Bikram Yoga:
1) During a Bikram practicing session, the same precautions that apply to hot yoga in general also apply to Bikram.
(See the list of precautions in the beginning of this article).
2) In addition to the common types of injuries that occur in hot yoga, there are also injuries and postural problems that are specific to the poses themselves.
One example would be ankle sprains. Certain poses, such as the “passé” in a fourth series sequence, require a lot of forward momentum. If you lose your balance while performing this pose and your ankle rolls slightly, you could potentially sprain it.
3) There are also certain postural problems that can develop from practicing Bikram yoga on a regular basis.
For example, if you practice this form of yoga without adequate hydration, there is a possibility that you could damage the cartilage around your knees. According to Elizabeth Kovar Skiba, “The stress of holding the kneeling and quad-stretch position in a hot room can wear down the capsular fabric surrounding the knee’s condyles, causing pain and inflammation.”
Final Thoughts on Bikram Yoga Injuries:
In general, the best way to avoid injury associated with practicing hot yoga is to listen to your body. Contrary to popular belief, doing more—such as holding a pose for an extended period of time or doing an extra series—will not necessarily produce faster results. If you push yourself too hard and ignore signs of fatigue or injury, you risk long-term physical harm.
Other Types of Yoga:
There are a wide variety of types of yoga. Each of these different types has its own variations and rules, but the main focus is generally, and for the sake of this article, the same. The following information will provide you with a brief overview of some other popular types of yoga.
This style of yoga is more commonly known as “Yoga Gymnastics” and focuses primarily on muscular flexibility.
This type of yoga, also known as “Hot Yoga,” occurs in rooms heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a combination of hatha yoga and tantric yoga.
This type of yoga was created specifically for Western practitioners. Its focus is on Asana, meditation, chanting, and devotion to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
This style of yoga was named after its founder, B.K.S.
Iyengar. Some of the focuses of this type of yoga are alignment, specific attention to each individual, and the use of props such as belts and blocks.
This is a holistic approach to yoga. It focuses on using yoga to increase energy levels, reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and much more.
You can find more information and types of yoga by searching your favorite search engine.
Yoga and Diabetes:
As of now, there is no scientific evidence that yoga can reduce the effects or symptoms of diabetes. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Yoga and Pregnancy:
Research suggests that prenatal yoga can reduce the severity of labor pain during childbirth by allowing women to work through natural pain instead of relying on medication.
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Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong–and what You Really Need to Know by H Corinna – 2007 – Da Capo Press, Incorporated
Healthy Living Made Easy: The Only Things You Need to Know about Diet, Exercise and Supplements by E Oster – 2013 – books.google.com
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Your Pregnancy, Your Way: Everything You Need to Know about Natural Pregnancy and Childbirth by EB Dehydration, MB Down – wpcontentladder.com
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