Practicing hot yoga strengthens knees and improves balance, according to a study from the Colorado State University published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

2 Important Benefits of Hot Yoga

2 Important Benefits of Hot Yoga

This study examined the physical benefits of a type of hot yoga developed by B. Choudhury that consists of a 26-asana series.

Students typically bring a small towel and a large bottle of very cold, sometimes frozen, water to class. When you go to a hot yoga class, look forward to:

  • a physically demanding style of yoga
  • a highly qualified instructor
  • serious yoga students
  • a really hot room kept at 105 degrees Fahrenheit with about 40 percent humidity

Hot Yoga Beginners Just Like You

This pioneering, hot yoga study is the first-ever “controlled description of the effects of short-term hot yoga practice on strength and steadiness.”

The 21 participants were just like you:

  • Between 19 to 33 years old
  • Living minimally active lifestyles
  • Had little prior experience with yoga

These hot yoga beginners:

  1. Were divided into a hot yoga group and a control group.
  2. The 10 yoga group participants attended three, 1.5-hour Bikram Yoga classes per week for eight weeks.
  3. Researchers collected data at the beginning and end of the study.

*To measure balance, the researchers timed how long the participants could stand on one foot with their eyes closed.

What are some physical benefits of hot yoga?

The results show 5 findings:

  1. Hot yoga significantly improves balance and knee extensor strength
  2. The yoga group showed significant improvement in balance
  3. 90 percent of the Bikram Yoga group increased the amount of time they could balance on one leg with their eyes closed
  4. A “modest” 14 percent increase in the maximum voluntary contraction force of the participant’s knee extension
  5. There was no significant improvement in knee or elbow flexion force

References for 2 Important Benefits of Hot Yoga

1. Bikram’s Yoga College of India; What is the Recommended Room Temperature for Bikram Yoga?

2. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research; Yoga as Steadiness Training: Effects on Motor Variability in Young Adults; 2008

Photo credit: Sombilon Photography