Hot room yoga cleanses, calms, and conditions participants at a level unmatched by other similar classes. With all the additional potential for improvement, however, comes some cause for concern and caution with hot room yoga. Most experienced yoga participants can safely migrate into a heated class without issue while novices are not encouraged to jump into the advanced setting.
Hot Room Yoga Risks
As with any physical activity, there are inherent risks with yoga. In many studies, this practice has been well tolerated for healthy people. Those who are pregnant, breast feeding, recovering from injury, and others who wish to avoid high impact activities are typically able to participate in yoga classes without incident. Rarely, nerve damage may occur due to vertebral disc damage during yoga for persons who are predisposed to such an injury. The increased eye pressure caused by being head down in certain poses has been associated with blurred vision and the worsening of glaucoma. Also, in extremely rare instances, stroke or blood vessel blockage may be caused by decreased blood flow to the brain in a particular posture. All yoga participants should have the permission of a primary care physician to pursue the practice.
Other side effects have been reported, but not confirmed. These include: pneumothorax, obstructed breathing, inflammation of the lips, and persistent reflux. Yoga is safe for people with the following conditions under the supervision of a doctor and experienced yogi who can provide necessary modifications to some poses: disc disease, fragile neck arteries, history of blood clots, severe osteoporosis, ear problems, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and poorly controlled blood pressure (either high or low). In many cases, such disorders will require elimination of certain poses and/or modifications to the class in total. Most experienced hot yoga instructor will be able to guide individuals through a safe and effective class, even with these complications.
Heat can pose a few risks as well. The very young and the very old are most at risk for heat related illness and should be specifically excluded from hot room yoga unless expressly permitted by their physician to participate. For persons who are not acclimated to warm environments, a slow introduction to the hot practice of yoga may be appropriate. Once healthy individuals have developed a tolerance for the temperature, the true training effect of the discipline will begin. All participants in warm activities should be well hydrated and have a water bottle nearby during class. Also, proficiency with Hatha yoga should be accomplished before attempting hot room yoga. Beginners are not advised to start in the heated room.
Hot Yoga Instructor
Dehydration is the greatest risk in hot room yoga or any other warm environment activity. It is imperative that participants and hot yoga instructor alike are aware of the warning signs of dehydration:
dry lips and tongue
If any of these should occur during class, the participant should leave the heated environment, stop all exercise, and slowly replace lost fluids with room temperature water. Cold water may induce further cramping, nausea, or vomiting. If the symptoms do not subside within a few moments, consult a physician as intravenous fluids may be required.
Tips by Hot Yoga Instructor
For the empirically challenged study of yoga, there is much support to be found among practitioners around the globe. Everything from stamina to skin appearance has been improved among the faithful adherents to the discipline. Hot room yoga in particular, yields the added benefit of increased metabolism, fat burning, and improved flexibility. Most yogis make little or no claim to their healing abilities. Rather, this practice is about uniting the mind, body, and spirit for the purposes of greater health and wellness. Yoga in a warm room provides a unique challenge to the mind and body while rewarding the efforts of participants with results more quickly than other modalities. For the healthy participant, hot room yoga is safe, fun, and effective while also being challenging, relaxing, and freeing. Adding heat not only has an impact on the work of the mind and body, but it requires the spirit to engage and provide the strength to endure. For a well trained hot yoga instructor with an appropriate class of participants, hot room yoga is more than a trend, it is a blessing.
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