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Is hot yoga good for you?

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Quick Answer

Hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, is good for people who are looking to burn more calories and improve flexibility. However, there can also be drawbacks to this kind of yoga if the instructions given by trained instructors are not followed properly.

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Bikram yoga is much like traditional yoga, except that the yoga poses are done for 90 minutes in rooms reaching temperatures of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity levels in these rooms are often kept high, around 40 percent. Due to the high heat levels, participants may burn nearly 600 calories in just a 90-minute session. The high heat also helps improve flexibility by softening the ligaments in the body and allows the body to detox via sweating.

Critics of the Bikram yoga style state that the high heat can cause ligaments in the body to stretch further than they normally would, potentially leading to serious injuries. Also, since hot yoga can cause dehydration if practitioners are lax about drinking water during class, it can lead to heart attack or chronic fatigue syndrome in those with weaker constitutions. As of 2014, no official studies have been done on the positive or negative effects that this style of yoga has on the body.

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