This is an oldie but goodie: A few years back the NY Times reported about the dangers of Yoga. I really got into the classes when I lived in Los Angeles from the mid 90′s to early 2000′s. I even went to hot classes taught by Bikram himself before he was as famous as he is today. While my body could handle the heat then- I find now that 90 minutes straight stuck in a very hot room doing Bikram Yoga or nothing at all is just too much for me. I’m not sure if it’s the Lyme diagnosis or living in Florida but I had to step away from the hot classes.
At first it was tough on my ego as I was advanced and enjoyed a tough workout. But when I went to a severely fast paced overly packed overly heated class here in Florida (I’m talking countless sweaty bodies stuffed like sardine into a tiny room) going at such a fast pace it was so obviously unhealthy and dangerous.
I had further confirmation of this when I ran into my chiropractor (at a slow relaxed hour long unheated class) who has been practicing nearly 30 years. He said he’d injured himself in a hot class and didn’t recommend it – especially for me.
Even though there are slow paced classes at our studio, there also power yoga classes where Yogis then jump onto a bike for spinning afterward. I figured at least they’re not doing all this in a heated room.. At one of the local heated studios (not a Bikram facility) in town they had a DJ spinning (not on a bike music there the other day while young kids did yoga in a heated room. At least at this place they have infra red heat which is more gentle on the body than electric or even gas heated studios (God forbid it’s the other kind of gas- you might run into that too if it’s an after dinner class :-/
I’m all for exercising and for those who can do 90 minutes of fast paced moves (or hold the poses longer in Bikram) in the extreme heat – I take my hat off to them. But I must agree with my chiropractor that this can cause injuries as it did for even him. Take it easy at first and work your way up if you really need the heat. And I recommend smaller classes that are slower paced where you aren’t moving for 60 or 90 minutes like someone is hitting the fast forward button on the DVR the entire time!