Hot Yoga vs. Yoga: Facts vs. Myths

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The first time I ever took a hot yoga class, these were the exact thoughts I had to myself - "I must have burned so many more calories than a regular class", "I have never sweat so much in my life" and "I am exhausted!" Taking a yoga class in a heated room can be invigorating, challenging and sweaty - but it got me thinking: Is this really better than a regular temperature yoga class? After testing this out with my own body and reading extensive research I am breaking down the biggest Myths & Facts about Hot Yoga:

Myth: Hot Yoga is a better workout and burns more calories than regular yoga.

Fact: If you did the same exact yoga class in a heated room and a room at regular temperature you would burn the same amount of calories. This is totally not what I wanted to hear after sweating my butt off in a hot yoga class, but it is scientifically the truth! Our bodies internal temperature is always the same, essentially by stepping into a hot room you are only increasing your bodies external temperature. By being hot, your body is trying to cool itself down which causes you to sweat more than you would in a normal yoga class; but you're still working the same muscles and burning the same calories. If anything, being in a heated room can make you work less than you would otherwise (because you're dehydrated and hot) and may have the reverse effects! 

Myth: Hot Yoga can help you detox & debloat.

Fact: Although we associate "sweating it all out" as a great way to detox, this isn't necessarily the case. If you had a night of drinking or a weekend of bad eating - don't think a heated room is your top solution. Essentially when you sweat as much as you do in a hot yoga class, you dehydrate your body which can result in water retention and can make you more bloated. Looking to detox or debloat? Get plenty of rest, drink water (add a lemon to it), eat nutritious food, and get in a workout or stretch (doesn't have to be heated). You will be feeling great in no time! 

So if these two myths aren't true, why take hot yoga? This isn't an article to bash hot yoga! I love going occasionally for certain reasons: 

1. The hot room does help your body eventually warm up to go deeper into certain poses. Please note that the hot room doesn't automatically make you more flexible, but can help your body get there quicker by continuous movement and flow.  

2. It's challenging, relaxing and feels good! I genuinely enjoy being in a heated room occasionally. I love how it feels after a long day and I enjoy how certain yoga flows feel in a heated room. 

In conclusion: Hot Yoga isn't a more advanced option of regular yoga - it really is personal preference! Many people feel defeated because they don't like the heated aspect of yoga. That doesn't mean you're not in good shape, it just means you prefer to practice at a regular temperature. Overall your yoga practice should feel best for YOU!

Now I want to know do you prefer hot yoga or regular yoga? Sound off in the comments below!