Chad seen here on a Clean-Slate ridgeback® yoga rug
When you start practicing yoga, there are seemingly many decisions to make, like, class style, maybe the teacher, intensity, time of the day, how many minutes the class is, etc. Many classes list the temperature of a yoga studio listed class. A yoga studio may detail a heated/warm room and some will say hot, along with percentages of humidity. My personal preference is hot yoga, in whatever time slot works and the type of class I desire. Some yogi’s prefer a warm or gently heated environment. There is no wrong answer or way to practice, because it is just that, a practice – for you. Hopefully the following will help inform and guide you forward to decide what heat level is right for you on your yoga mat.
The Benefits of either hot or heated yoga:
For a deeper dive into the body's muscle and fascia and to build strength, flexibility, repair, flush out toxins in a naturally juicy sweaty way you; likely, you will want the atmosphere around you to be heated or hot and even with a touch of humidity.
- When the muscles are warm, this will make your body move safely and more mindfully.
- Practicing any type of yoga earns you the benefit of a better restful night’s sleep, a set amount of time to process your personal lives, and clear your mind perhaps, through the moving meditation.
- Working on your core and your ‘pranayama’ breathing (think closed mouth, unclenched jaw, and breathing a figurative ‘ha’ noise at the back of your throat after you breath in through your nose) insures your stomach to be not only tighter and stronger, but your body’s balance will strengthen.
- Endurance is also a key benefit to practicing your hot yoga, you will notice a marked difference in your other daily activities that require more effort or strength in the long run.
Reminder: you don’t have to be really flexible to practice yoga, because it will come - whether a day, week, month or years ahead. If you are nursing an injury, have soreness or a feeling of vulnerability in your body on a particular day, then the best course of action is modification – in other words, do what’s best for you.
Basic temperatures for heated yoga opposed to hot yoga:
Heated Yoga - typically called a warm room ranging from 80°-85°F. My two cents, I consider 90°-93°F still ‘heated’ yoga or ‘warm’ yoga.
Hot Yoga - ranges between 90° - 110°F, with 40-60% humidity. Studios with this capability have multifaceted ventilation systems to control heat and humidity. Sometimes studios will list their class descriptions with a hot room but no humidity, this too will be considered hot yoga.
Common Types of Yoga Style Names for Heated or Hot Yoga:
Original Hot (aka, Bikram): Classes consist of a fixed sequence of 26 postures that you repeat 2 times, some studios will refer to this as ‘26 and 2’, practiced in a room heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%, intended to replicate the climate of India. Traditionally the class lasts for 90 minutes, but now, most yoga studios offer a modified version of Original Hot yoga in a 60 minute class that will give you the same benefits and leave you feeling great. The absolute perfect game changer for hot yoga is the ridgeback® yoga rug. Think of it as your magic carpet, your space, where you can practice this moving meditation, process your life, or clear your mind, sweat, work, build and be in the now. The pools of sweat that inevitably pour out of you will soak up evenly and seemingly infinitely. Handwoven in India, tactile, grippy, no stink and no more bunching to take you out of your focus. Simply hang dry after each use and it will be ready for your practice tomorrow, you do not have to wash it every time, yep. We are loving what they offer at the authentic Bikram Yoga West Loop in Chicago’s studio that offers up beginner 26 & 2, private and virtual practices, don’t forget your ridgeback® you won’t regret!
Modo Yoga 60: A sequence of 40 held postures, as opposed to a ‘flow vinyasa’ with a room temperature of 100° - 103°F, typically with added humidity. The 60 indicated how many minutes you will be in the yoga class. You will often find me there, if you do please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to me, and ask to demo a ridgeback® yoga rug instead of your yoga towel – I usually have a few clean in my car. Modo Yoga Minneapolis offers a variety of hot yoga classes such as flow, Hatha & Barre.
Power, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Flow, Sculpt or Fusion: Usually, when the yoga studio lists their class with any of the words in this subtitle, the class will typically be in a hot room where the temperature ranges from 93°- 100°F. One of the great studio chains based in San Diego, YogaSix offers the following classes such as Y6 Hot, Y6 Power, Y6 Sculpt & Flow; these classes are in 100°F rooms with a humidity range of 30-40%. Prepare yourself for a hot, juicy energized flow with guaranteed glow. Don’t forget to hydrate & flow on your ridgeback® yoga rug because the ubiquitous issues with the yoga towel won’t cut it!
Baptiste Yoga: One of the main methods of the Baptiste yogic experience is building ‘Tapas’ or heat. This is done with your inner breath and a heated studio from 90°- 95°F. The founder, Barron Baptiste yoga methodology “contains 53 poses, or asanas, that are linked together by connective momentum and consists of five classical pillars: Drishti (gaze), Ujjayi (breath), Bandhas (foundation), Tapas (heat) and Vinyasa (flow).” This is an authentic inner deep dive of a sweaty, mind-body power yoga, that is juicy and resonates within. Find out where to locate your Baptiste yoga here, and learn more about how it all began with an open heart.
Hatha - Typically Hatha yoga classes are scheduled for an “end of the day” wind down to your day. This non-weight bearing, focus on stretching and slowing down, all while you are steeped in a 100°-103°F hot room on your grounding natural fibered ridgeback yoga rug. The word Hatha, is Sanskrit for ‘force’. Hatha is a branch of yoga, methods which focus on the raising of kundalini through energy channels and chakras. This ancient tantric yoga practice is more of a restorative practice, healing, alignment, mindful and meditative. This doesn’t make it easier per se, sometimes a slower pace means more challenging to meet you where you are today.
Hydrate! - Please prepare your body for any and all yoga classes, specifically with heated or hot yoga you will want to hydrate. Prepare by drinking plenty of water starting at the least an hour before to many hours before if possible. Bring water with you to class to drink along the way, and then of course hydrate after. Electrolytes are a perfect after yoga or during yoga additive that will leave you replenished and quenched after your much needed rinsing cleanse from the inside out!