Hot Yoga Health Hazards

Potential dangers of Bikram yoga.

For many people, yoga is a relaxing and beneficial activity. However, the increase in the practice of Bikram yoga, more commonly known as hot yoga, has lead to an increase in injuries—not from the yoga itself, but from underlying medical conditions that are sensitive to heat.

Hot yoga is practiced in a specially heated room between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal behind the added heat is to increase circulation, flexibility, and strength, yet this physical exertion can be dangerous for people with high or low blood pressure, osteoarthritis, heat intolerance, or who have recently recovered from joint strain. The high temperature gives greater muscular flexibility, yet extends muscles and joints that can easily become damaged from being stretched too far.

While more research needs to be conducted about the actual health benefits of hot yoga, it appears to be generally safe for healthy individuals.