A popular style of yoga class, hot yoga is essentially a regular yoga workout in a hot and sometimes humid room. The different types of hot yoga classes range in temperature from 90 degrees F to 108 degrees F, with varying levels of humidity.
Some hot yoga studios have state-of-the-art radiant heat, while others simply add a few space heaters. Some also control the humidity of the room, with higher humidity resulting in an even sweatier experience. Each of these factors will affect how hot the room actually feels.
Many who enjoy this sweat-inducing class say the extra heat improves flexibility for better stretching, clears pores, and provides a more rigorous workout. Some believe the heat boosts metabolism, speeds weight loss, and detoxifies the body. However, a study published in 2018 found that hot or heated yoga does not provide any additional health benefits over traditional yoga.
Before taking a hot yoga class, it’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider to make sure that it’s an appropriate activity for you. Hot yoga may increase your core body temperature and could lead to dehydration or heat exhaustion. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after a hot yoga class.
Here is a heat index for six of the most popular hot styles.
The most well-known kind of hot yoga is Bikram, the original hot yoga class, in which the studios are heated to 105 degrees F with 40-percent humidity.
Created by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, Bikram yoga is a 90-minute class that goes through a 26-pose series, always in the same order. The specific workout is copyrighted, but it is often imitated. Classes that use Bikram’s sequence (and are prepared to be sued for it) will also turn up the heat to around 105 degrees F.
Baptiste Power Vinyasa
Headquartered in Boston with affiliated studios in more than 20 other U.S. states, Baptiste Power Vinyasa studios teach hot flow yoga in the style of Baron Baptiste. Studios are heated to about 95 degrees F to facilitate stretching.
The popular CorePower Yoga studio chain has a lot of different classes on their menu, each with its own preferred temperature. The CorePower Yoga 2 (C2) class, an all-levels hot flow class, is taught in a room maintained between 93 and 98 degrees F. Its Hot Yoga class involves 26 poses in a 105-degree F room, similar to Bikram.
This rapidly expanding style, co-founded by former senior Bikram instructor Mark Drost, boasts studios in the United States, South America, and Australia, with additional affiliates in Europe and Asia. Evolation teaches Bikram’s sequence under the moniker Primary Hot Series at 105 degrees F. Their other offerings range in temperature from 75 to 90 degrees F.
Moksha or Modo Yoga
This Canadian-based yoga franchise of Moksha Yoga, called Modo Yoga in the United States, keeps their “green” classrooms at 103 degrees F. The Moksha sequence is always the same 40 poses and takes about 90 minutes. Students who are short on time can take a condensed 60- or 75-minute version of the sequence, while those who like vinyasa can try the flow version.
Yoga to the People
This rapidly expanding chain of donation studios with locations on the east and west coasts settled a Bikram copyright-infringement suit out of court, agreeing to stop teaching Bikram’s series. Yoga to the People studios now offers Traditional Hot Yoga classes at 105 to 108 degrees F.