Practicing Hot Yoga During the Cold Weather Months—January 10, 2013

There are benefits to practicing hot yoga during the winter months. Not only do you get a break from the chilly weather, but performing yoga in such a warm space makes the exercise extra challenging, so you feel like you get an especially good workout.

However, hot yoga also presents its own set of risks and may not be appropriate for everyone. Diana Zotos, physical therapist and certified yoga instructor with Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Department, gives her best tips to follow when you're thinking of giving hot yoga a try in the colder winter months:

Get your physician's okay. Practicing yoga in a hot room poses greater demands of your body than practicing in moderate temperatures, so it's important to check with your physician and see whether or not it's appropriate for you. This is especially true for people who are sensitive to heat, have rheumatologic arthritis, pain in their muscles or joints, osteoarthritis, or previous injuries of any kind. Consult a cardiologist if you have high blood pressure, low blood pressure or heart disease.

Eat light in the two to three hours before class. Keep your intake at or below 200 calories.

Get to class early. This will allow your body to adjust to the temperature.

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