If you’ve been practicing yoga for at least a year, chances are you’ve taken part in a hot yoga class. These sweaty yoga classes take place in a heated room, ranging any where from 75 degrees heated to 104 degrees heated. At one point in my yoga journey I was addicted to these hot yoga classes. For whatever reason, I didn’t feel satiated unless my yoga was hot, and I was leaving class dripping sweat. I felt like I had worked a lot harder after one of these hot yoga sessions. You could say, many yogis today are still addicted to hot yoga. Many studios accross the country offer hot yoga, and yogis pack in like sardines for these classes and their supposed health benefits.
But what are the actual health benefits of hot yoga? It seems many are under the impression that there are many, though there isn’t much science as proof. One of the more popular benefits that yogis believe in is that you are burning more calories during these heated yoga sessions, than you would say, in a normal temperature yoga room. According to a recent study done by a team at Colorado State University, after measuring the metabolic rates (how many calories were burned) in a group of people in a 104 degree, 90-minute heated yoga class, the metabolic rates were found to be similar to that of people walking briskly. In other words, not nearly as high as one would assume, considering how depleted your body feels after a 90 minute hot yoga session. Of course, the hot yoga proved to be good for increasing heart rate, though this can be done in any yoga class.
For some that are addicted to the perspiration, many non-heated vinyasa classes can offer the same amount of sweaty satisfaction, without the high temperatures. I know recently, during my intermediate vinyasa class with Laura Joy DeBolt at Sanctuary yoga I was sweating immensely, and the class was not heated. If you’re looking for a sweaty, detoxifying work-out, look no further than any vinyasa class, the harder you work, the more benefits you will receive, hot yoga class or not. After all, there is something even more satisfying about building your internal heat, or prana, all on your own during a yoga class.