Thoughts on Hot Yoga: Did you know your legs could sweat?

I didn’t.  Not until I tried hot yoga.

Temperature of 100+ degrees.  Flowing from Down Dog, to Chataranga, to Up Dog…  Yeah, my legs sweated.  Everything sweated.

Everything sweated and I loved it.  It is kind of sick and twisted, if you think about it.  Doing a Vinyasa class is one thing, but one who does it in a 100 degree room could be considered a glutton for punishment.

But really, it wasn’t that bad.  I went into it thinking I’d surely pass out.  In fact, I never ever wanted to try a hot yoga class.  Never.  I don’t like hot.  And I heard it probably really wasn’t that good for you anyway.  But after having a baby and carrying around extra weight for so long, my body ached.  My knees hurt and my lower back hurt (aka my SI Joint).  After I began teaching at Yoga Revolution, I started to get curious about it.  I watched as participants came out happy and smiling  and talking about how good they felt; how it was good for joint pain and detoxing.

That’s essentially why I gave it a go: joint pain and detoxing.  I’m currently in the middle of a 60 day detox (or Reboot if you’ve heard of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead) and I figured I’d give my body a little boost for clearing out toxins.  I am literally drenched in sweat by the end of my workout.  I smell all sorts of funky. Yeah, I’d say I’m detoxing.

As a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher I must give some warning/advice on taking a hot yoga class.  If you haven’t heard, (as I have numerous times by a family member who happens to be a chiropractor) hot yoga can overstretch the muscles, and this is not good.  The other day I was approached by a beginning student who asked if hot yoga was good for beginners.

My honest opinion: no.  For the very reason that there is the danger of overstretching the muscles.  If you are a beginner and have never taken a yoga class or have been practicing for less than a year, I would say to avoid hot yoga for a while.  At least until you know what your body is capable of doing.  For example if you know you normally use a block in Wide-leg Standing Forward Bend, don’t touch your head to your mat just because you feel like you can.

Hot yoga is not for everyone, especially not pregnant women.  I overheard a teacher (not at YR) telling a pregnant woman it was ok to do hot yoga. Um? No.  Pregnant women do not want to get over heated.  It’s bad for them and their baby.

Otherwise, if you have been practicing yoga for awhile and want to give it a try, go for it!  Just hydrate well, don’t push yourself, stand up slowly from poses and take it easy.

And yes, your legs will sweat.

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