Yoga has taken the world by storm. Nowadays, there’s some strange new form of yoga anywhere you look – Beer Yoga, Cat Yoga, Naked Yoga… Even Laughter Yoga. But when it comes to traditional yoga, Bikram yoga, and hot yoga (they’re actually different), which is actually the most effective?
Turns out, there may not be much of a difference at all.
The Guardian recently revealed that people who practised yoga experienced many of the health benefits attached to the exercise, but the temperature of the room actually doesn’t matter.
Despite the higher temperatures creating a seemingly more intense workout, the heat actually doesn’t make the exercise any more effective than it already is.
A study in Experimental Physiology tested a group of 52 participants over a 12-week period, and split them into 3 groups performing different activities: Bikram yoga at 40.5 degrees Celsius, Bikram yoga at normal room temperature, and an inactive group. They concluded that while yoga does provide improvements in vascular health compared to individuals who didn’t do it, doing it in a hotter room doesn’t make it better.
“The postures and the breathing exercises are enough in the absence of the heated environment to elicit some beneficial adaptations that could reduce the risk of heart disease,” said Dr Stacey Hunter, co-author of the research.
Next time you want to sign up for a yoga class, maybe save yourself some trouble and stick with the regular kind. Unless you really like sweating.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer