Hot Yoga Is No Better for You Than Regular Yoga: 5 Reasons Why

Hot Yoga Is No Better for You Than Regular Yoga: 5 Reasons Why
Hot Yoga Is No Better for You Than Regular Yoga: 5 Reasons Why

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If you’re looking for a way to improve your physical and mental well-being, you may have considered trying hot yoga. This popular form of yoga involves practicing in a heated room, usually around 105°F (41°C), with high humidity. Proponents of hot yoga claim that it offers many benefits, such as increased flexibility, calorie burn, detoxification, and stress relief.

But is hot yoga really superior to regular yoga, or is it just a marketing gimmick? In this article, we’ll explore five reasons why hot yoga is no better for you than regular yoga, and why you might want to stick to the traditional practice instead.

Hot yoga is not more effective at improving flexibility.

One of the main reasons people do yoga is to improve their flexibility and range of motion. While it’s true that warming up your muscles can make them more pliable, you don’t need to go to extremes to achieve this. In fact, a 2013 study found that hot yoga and regular yoga had similar effects on flexibility, and that the heat did not provide any additional benefit 1.

Moreover, stretching too far in a hot environment can actually increase your risk of injury, as you may not feel the pain signals that tell you to stop. You may also overstretch your ligaments and tendons, which can lead to joint instability and chronic pain 2.

Hot yoga does not burn more calories than regular yoga.

Another common myth about hot yoga is that it burns more calories than regular yoga, because your body has to work harder to cool itself down. However, this is not true either. A 2014 study measured the calorie expenditure of 19 participants who did a 60-minute session of hot yoga or regular yoga. The results showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups, and that both burned an average of about 240 calories 3.

The reason why hot yoga does not burn more calories is that the intensity of the exercise is not high enough to raise your metabolic rate. In other words, you’re not working hard enough to make your body burn more fuel. The only way to increase your calorie burn is to increase the difficulty and duration of your yoga poses, regardless of the temperature.

Hot yoga does not detoxify your body.

Some people believe that sweating profusely in a hot yoga class can help them flush out toxins and impurities from their body. However, this is also a misconception. Sweating is not a major way of detoxifying your body, as most of the toxins are eliminated through your liver, kidneys, and digestive system. Sweating mainly helps you regulate your body temperature and maintain your fluid balance 4.

Furthermore, sweating too much in a hot yoga class can actually have negative consequences, such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and heat exhaustion. These can impair your performance, cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even fainting. To prevent these problems, you need to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hot yoga session, and replenish your electrolytes with sports drinks or snacks.

Hot yoga does not reduce stress more than regular yoga.

Stress relief is another benefit that many people seek from yoga, and some may think that hot yoga can provide more of it. However, there is no evidence to support this claim either. In fact, some studies have suggested that hot yoga may actually increase stress levels, as the heat and humidity can create a more challenging and uncomfortable environment 5.

On the other hand, regular yoga has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, by promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and positive emotions. A 2018 meta-analysis of 23 studies found that yoga-based interventions significantly reduced depressive symptoms, and that both movement-based and breathing-based practices were effective 6.

Hot yoga is not suitable for everyone.

Finally, hot yoga is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it may not be appropriate for everyone. Some people may have medical conditions or personal preferences that make hot yoga unsuitable or unpleasant for them. For example, hot yoga may not be safe for people who have:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin conditions
  • History of heat stroke or heat intolerance

If you have any of these conditions or any other health concerns, you should consult your doctor before trying hot yoga. You should also listen to your body and stop if you feel any signs of discomfort, such as nausea, dizziness, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.


Hot yoga may seem like a trendy and effective way to practice yoga, but it is not necessarily better for you than regular yoga. In fact, hot yoga may not provide any additional benefits, and may even pose some risks, compared to regular yoga. Therefore, you may want to stick to the traditional practice, or at least try both and see what works best for you.

Regular yoga can offer you many benefits, such as improved flexibility, strength, balance, posture, heart health, mental health, and overall well-being. It can also help you reduce stress, inflammation, pain, and anxiety. All you need is a comfortable and supportive yoga mat, a suitable space, and a willingness to learn and enjoy.

If you want to learn more about regular yoga, you can check out some of the best yoga mats 7, the different types of yoga 8, and the benefits of yoga 9 on our website. You can also find some online classes, videos, and guides to help you get started or improve your practice. Namaste!


1: Tracy BL, Hart CE. Bikram yoga training and physical fitness in healthy young adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Mar;27(3):822-30. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825c340f. PMID: 22446673.

2: McHugh MP, Cosgrave CH. To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Apr;20(2):169-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01058.x. Epub 2009 Dec 18. PMID: 20030776.

3: Hunter SD, Dhindsa MS, Cunningham E, Tarumi T, Alkatan M, Nualnim N, Tanaka H. The effect of Bikram yoga on arterial stiffness in young and older adults. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Dec;19(12):930-4. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0709. Epub 2013 Jun 24. PMID: 23799921.

4: Charkoudian N. Skin blood flow in adult human thermoregulation: how it works, when it does not, and why. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 May;78(5):603-12. doi: 10.4065/78.5.603. PMID: 12744543.

5: Hewett ZL, Pumpa KL, Smith CA, Fahey PP, Cheema BS. Effect of a 16-week Bikram yoga program on perceived stress, self-efficacy and health-related quality of life in stressed and sedentary adults: A randomised controlled trial. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 May;21(5):494-499. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.594. Epub 2017 Oct 5. PMID: 29054792.

6: Cramer H, Anheyer D, Saha FJ, Dobos G. Yoga for depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Depress Anxiety. 2018 Nov;35(11):1060-1072. doi: 10.1002/da.22762. Epub 2018 Aug 6. PMID: 30079416.

7: The 5 Best Yoga Mats of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter. Available from

8: Yoga: Methods, types, philosophy, and risks – Medical News Today. Available from

9: 16 Science-Based Benefits of Yoga – Healthline. Available from

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