The Science of Hot Yoga and it's Health Benefits

By: Tim Rigby (courtesy of Inside Fitness)

The practice of yoga has exploded in recent years due to its many health benefits including flexibility, strength and endurance.  The “hot” version of yoga is designed to be performed in a very warm room (about 105 degrees Fahrenheit) such that your muscles will more easily become more pliable and a sweat can be readily reached.  At the 2019 “Scientific Sessions” of the American Heart Association (AHA), a presentation was given that suggested hot yoga is effective for lowering blood pressure among adults with elevated blood pressure and Stage 1 hypertension.  After three months of hot yoga classes, it was observed that systolic blood pressure dropped an average of five points, while diastolic pressure dropped an average of three points.  Subjects did not take any blood pressure medication during the study.  “The findings are somewhat promising in terms of unveiling another unique way to lower blood pressure in adults without the use of medications,” said Dr. Stacy Hunter, study author and Lab Director of the cardiovascular physiology lab at Texas State University in San Marcos.  “Hot yoga is gaining popularity, and we're even seeing other styles of yoga, like Vinyasa and power yoga, being offered in heated studios.”

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