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.
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:
- Were divided into a hot yoga group and a control group.
- The 10 yoga group participants attended 3, 1.5-hour Bikram Yoga classes per week for 8 weeks.
- 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 the amazing physical benefits of hot yoga?
The results show 5 findings:
- Hot yoga significantly improves balance and knee extensor strength
- The yoga group showed significant improvement in balance
- 90 percent of the Bikram Yoga group increased the amount of time they could balance on one leg with their eyes closed
- A “modest” 14 percent increase in the maximum voluntary contraction force of the participant’s knee extension
- No significant improvement in knee or elbow flexion force
References for 2 Important Benefits of Hot Yoga
2. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research; Yoga as Steadiness Training: Effects on Motor Variability in Young Adults; 2008
Photo credit: Sombilon Photography