Hot yoga craze comes with safety warning
Posted April 22, 2014
Yoga is a great way to get in shape and stretch those limbs.
Julianne Pepe has taken traditional classes for years, so she decided to change up her workout with Bikram hot yoga, where the heat is at least 105 degrees and the humidity around 40 percent.
"During the class, I felt lightheaded, fatigued, weak," she said. “I was completely exhausted."
Dr. Orly Avitzur, with Consumer Reports, suspects Pepe got dehydrated and was beginning to suffer heat exhaustion.
“While there is little specific research on hot yoga, we do know that exercising in extreme heat can cause a number of uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms," she said.
Some warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include feeling lightheaded or dizzy, nausea or muscle cramps.
Bikram practitioners say the heat and humidity promote health. Studio owner Rich Pike touts the benefits and said he hasn't had complaints about heat exhaustion.
"Heat allows you to bend safely and be more flexible,” he said. “What the sweating does is it eliminates toxins through your sweat."
Dr. Allen Mask with WRAL News says while the heat may help you stretch farther, don't go too far. Over-stretching could lead to joint and muscle damage. He also encourage hot yoga practitioners bring their own towels and mats to avoid picking up a virus or bacteria, to stop if they feel weak and to always drink a lot of water.
Mask said anyone experiencing serious weakness, fever, vomiting or confusion during or after hot yoga should go to the nearest emergency room.