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Stay Safe Doing Hot Yoga

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An estimated 16 million Americans have jumped on the yoga bandwagon, according to statistics from Yoga Journal. And the ancient practice is likely no fleeting trend, as studies show that it has benefits for the mind and body.

In fact, many people appear to be taking the exercise one step further by practicing it in rooms heated to 90 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of hot yoga, sometimes known as Bikram, is thought to help practitioners sweat out toxins in the body while letting them deepen their poses.

However, exercising in such heat does not come without potential hazards. Yoga instructor Diana Zotos recently gave some tips on avoiding injury or dehydration during hot yoga.

“Yoga of any type is physically challenging, and the heated environment of hot yoga makes the practice especially demanding,” Zotos said.

First, the expert recommended becoming familiar with yoga poses before trying them in a heated room. Additionally, people should drink plenty of water before and during a practice and get clearance from a healthcare provider, because the exercise can be strenuous on the heart, joints and muscles. Individuals with heart conditions should consult their cardiologists before attempting hot yoga.

It’s a good idea to bring your own mat, a towel, a friend and wear shorts for hot yoga. Also, you should communicate with your instructor before class to understand what kind of poses will be performed, and don’t be afraid to ask questions during a practice if you feel concerned about something. Additionally, you should know your limits and recognize the signs that you’re pushing yourself too far.

Choosing a studio or instructor with a good reputation may also ensure a safe practice, as will paying attention to physical signs of fatigue or discomfort.

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