Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Your Hot Yoga Class Might Not Be as Beneficial as You Think

Your Hot Yoga Class Might Not Be as Beneficial as You Think

Myth busted! A study has recently found that practising yoga in a room heated to 40 degree Celsius is no longer effective at improving the vascular health in people. While the yoga practice-founded and popularised in the 70s by Bikram Choudhry-has always been a favourite of people seeking to add an extra level of difficulty to their practice, there's new evidence to suggest the addition of 40°c heat does nothing to make it more beneficial than other forms of yoga.

However the USA study is the first to determine if it is the heat or simply the yoga itself which provides the health boost.

Study leader Dr Stacy D Hunter, an assistant professor at Texas State University, said: "Previous studies have shown that sauna therapy and various forms of heat therapy can improve vascular function". Unsurprisingly, the group who remained sedentary saw no change in their vascular health.

If the measure rises, it can indicate delayed development of atherosclerosis, which is a condition wherein arteries narrow and get stiff due to plaque build-up.

Some express concern over hot yoga's dehydrating conditions, but there have been few incidents, with most experts agreeing it a safe exercise regimen with mild risks.

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To answer that question, the investigators focused on 52 sedentary but healthy adults aged 40 to 60. But, which typically involves going through a strenuous 26 poses over 90 minutes in a warm and humid room, also makes people sweat intensely - which some take as a sign that it's better for you.

They were divided into three groups, two of which did yoga three times a week for 12 weeks, and a third "control" group which did none.

In the normal-temperature Bikram group, 14 participants completed the same classes except that their rooms had a normal temperature of 23°C.

The findings were important, they added, "given the increased propensity toward heat intolerance in ageing adults". The researchers noted that it is not necessary for the yoga to be performed at a hot temperature with the effects also being seen at room temperature. While the yoga practice has always been a favorite of people seeking to add an extra level of difficulty to their practice, there's new evidence to suggest the addition of heat does nothing to make it more beneficial than other forms of yoga.

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