Hot yoga classes have become extremely popular for their ability to provide a challenging, invigorating, revitalizing, and sweaty workout. But what if you can’t make it to a studio? Can you practice hot yoga at home? Absolutely! With a few simple adjustments and a little creativity, you can turn up the heat and enjoy all the benefits of a hot practice in your own home.
What is hot yoga?
Hot yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated environment, typically in a room with temperatures ranging from 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (33°C to 40°C) at 40 percent humidity. Yoga studios that offer warm or hot classes use specialized heating systems to create these conditions. While it is ideal to practice at a studio set up for heated classes, with the right equipment and preparation, you can also practice hot yoga at home.
10 Tips to practice hot yoga at home
The key to practicing hot yoga at home is to create a suitable environment that mimics the conditions of a professional hot yoga studio. While it may seem challenging to recreate the heat and humidity necessary for a heated class, with some thoughtful preparation and the right equipment, you can certainly practice hot yoga in your own home. Here are a few tips to get started.
1. Choose a small room
A smaller room is best for hot yoga at home, allowing you to maintain comfortable heat and humidity levels more easily. Bigger rooms will require more energy to heat and can make it harder to adjust the temperature. A smaller room will also be easier to add insulation to further retain heat and humidity. Consider using a spare bedroom or even your bathroom—just make sure to clear out any obstacles and create a serene space where you can fully immerse yourself in the practice.
2. Seal any drafts
To keep the heat in, make sure to seal any drafts or openings in your space, especially through any gaps under doors. This helps maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level for your practice. You can use weather stripping, window film, thermal curtains, or draft stoppers to seal windows and doors.
3. Invest in an infrared heater
An infrared space heater is a convenient and affordable way to replicate the temperature of hot yoga studios in your home. Infrared heaters are also energy efficient and safe to use. These use infrared heating panels to heat objects and surfaces, rather than just the air. This method mimics the natural warmth of the sun, creating a comfortable, even heat throughout the room. Infrared heaters also warm up spaces faster than ceramic heaters.
4. Consider a hot yoga dome
An eco-friendly option is using a hot yoga dome—a specially designed, enclosed, inflatable yoga studio. After 60 seconds of turning on the fan to inflate it, you turn on the heater and humidifier, allowing the enclosed space to warm up to 105F in 10-15 minutes for your practice. Inflatable domes also have the added benefit of being portable—when fully packed, it is slightly larger than a yoga mat—so you can take your hot yoga practice with you wherever you go, a big win for hot yoga instructors who teach private classes.
5. Adjust the humidity
The ideal range for hot yoga is between 40% and 50% humidity. Some yogis even go up to 60%. You can use a humidifier or a spray bottle filled with water to maintain the humidity levels in your hot yoga room. Getting a digital hygrometer to monitor indoor humidity is also a good idea.
6. Drink some hot tea
Drinking warm or hot tea before your practice can help raise the body’s internal temperature and help you feel warmer faster while also keeping you hydrated and relaxed. Herbal teas with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric or chai can provide an extra boost of warmth.
7. Take a hot shower
Taking a hot shower, bath, or soak in a hot tub before starting your hot yoga workout can help loosen up your muscles and get them warmed up for your practice. This will raise your body temperature, requiring less external heat to achieve the desired hot yoga experience. Plus, it can be a great way to relax and mentally prepare yourself for the session ahead. Some yogis recommend starting your session while still damp from the shower.
8. Layer up
While wearing lightweight and breathable clothing is recommended for a heated practice, you may want to add layers to your outfit as you set up and get ready. If you are struggling to get your space hot enough, extra layers can help you retain body heat and enhance the intensity of your hot yoga session. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to prevent excessive sweat absorption and discomfort during your practice.
9. Practice outside
If you live in a climate with warm temperatures, you can take your practice outside during the hot summer days. Practicing in the sun will create the hottest experience but will also expose you to harmful UV rays, so choose a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin or find a shaded area in your backyard or a nearby park.
10. Use warm-up movements
At the start of your session, take a few minutes to perform some gentle warm-up movements. Use simple vinyasa movements, like moving between cat and cow, to warm up your spine and activate your core. Warm-up movements help increase blood flow to your muscles and joints, and help build some internal heat to prepare your body for a warm practice.
Safety tips and precautions
While hot yoga offers many benefits, it’s crucial to take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable practice. Hot yoga can be a challenging and intense workout, and it’s essential to listen to your body and take breaks as necessary. You need to learn how to recognize signs of overheating or dehydration. Some common symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and cramping. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to take a break, drink some water, and cool down.
One of the most vital safety precautions for hot yoga is staying hydrated. As your body sweats more during hot yoga, you need to replenish the lost fluids by drinking plenty of water. Always remember to have a water bottle with you and to drink water at regular intervals during your practice. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty since that is a sign you’re already dehydrated.
Imagine no more rushing to the studio, battling traffic, or squeezing into a crowded room. By choosing the right space, sealing drafts, and using tools like an infrared heater or a hot yoga dome, you can embrace the transformative power of heated yoga classes in the comfort of your own home. While it requires some work and investment upfront to set up your space and purchase any essential equipment, the benefits and convenience you’ll reap from practicing hot yoga at home are worth it.