How Hot is Too Hot? Hot vs Not

Hot yoga — many of us have tried it. Or practiced it for years. Or still practice it. Some of us won’t practice anything but hot yoga. I mean, c’mon, San Diego could even be called a hot yoga town! But there are plenty of San Diegans who have never practiced in a blazing hot box – and have no earthly desire to do so. Others have made the transition from practicing with artificial heat to practicing without the heat — to creating their our own internal fire. Many who have can’t believe they waited so long to escape the heat.

But is one better than the other? And how hot is too hot? Are 100+ degree heated yoga classes dangerous? Or good for you? Does the heat promote flexibility? Or increase your chances of pulled ligaments? Is all that sweating detoxifying? Or does it leave you overly dehydrated?

Numerous articles have been written from both perspectives, and unsurprisingly, they leave you with opposing answers. From my perspective – and I’ve practiced both – one isn’t necessarily better than the other. As long as you’re careful and know the risks of practicing in super hot studios, both heated and non-heated asana practice is a good idea. Yoga is a good idea!

But as someone who started out in the hottest of hot and now finds herself practicing in a lovely non-heated environment, there are some definite completely non-scientific benefits to NOT hot – offered below.

Top 14 reasons to ditch the heat:

  1. You don’t have to take shower after class — you’re not dripping wet, you don’t stink, your hair looks fine.
  2. Consequently, you can go anywhere directly after class. No more blow drying your sweaty hair in a time crunch.  
  3. Your yoga clothes aren’t smelly and disgusting post-class. They don’t immediately need to be thrown in the washer. (Furthermore, if you do forget to immediately throw them in the washer — which, let me repeat, you no longer need to do — you don’t need to dowse them with vinegar to get the stench out.)
  4. No more scary, scary, red bloodshot eyes from practice. No Visine necessary.
  5. You can wear body lotion again! It won’t melt off you body during class. And your grip won’t slip.
  6. The clothes you practice in don’t get wet and unbearably heavy. No need to bear all. (Unless, of course, you want to.)
  7. The studio doesn’t have a constant funky foul odor, and the floor isn’t wet and slippery upon arrival.
  8. Your home practice and studio practice mirror each other. (Unless you’re so committed to hot yoga that you heat a room in your home to 100+ degrees for home practice. Note: you may need professional help if you do so.)
  9. You don’t leave the studio completely dehydrated. Going out for a beer afterward would not be the stupidest thing you’ve ever done.
  10. You don’t get overly fatigued by the aggressive heat; ie, you don’t leave the studio with a “yoga hangover.” (I know you hot yogis know what I’m talking about.) I mean, really, if you’re going to have a hangover, at least go out for the beer first.
  11. Any weight loss from a consistent practice in a non-heated environment is NOT due to dehydration and water loss. It’s real, baby!
  12. You don’t need to spend money on a high-tech yoga towel that ends up slipping around on your mat for the first third of class.
  13. You don’t need to go get the stupid spray bottle and spray your high-tech yoga towel in the hopes that this will help the towel not to slip around for the first third of class.
  14. You no longer dread going to class when it’s hot outside. It’s still awesome!

Come be awesome with us at The House of Yogi! No aggressive heat, no stench, no slippery floors. Just a sweet spot to develop a safe and sustainable practice.

Blog Comments

What a great blog post! Funny and true! I love house of yogi temps! I tried a extreme heat class once, and the ENTIRELY class I kept envisioning myself running to the bathroom sink to put my head under the cold water spout, not a good experience!

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