Hot yoga is described as yoga in a setting that uses heat to increase a practioner's flexibility in poses. In colder climates, hot yoga may seek to re-create the heat of India, yoga's birthplace. Different forms of yoga, might be "hot", including:
Proponents of hot yoga say it increases your body's flexibilty and flushes out toxins. But those against say these are myths. They say that In 75-90 minutes, your body does not detoxify. All that sweat is just your body losing its water weight. Not necessarily such a bad thing, but dehydration can be a side effect.
In relation to increased flexibility, heated rooms increase your blood flow and make you feel more flexible than you really are. What's wrong with that? Well, it takes a way your body's natural stopping points, allowing you to move past what is safe for your body.
The overall shift to yoga in the U.S. is to that of a rigorous, athletic,competitive style, and that often means in a heated environment, where everyone is pushing to go further, deeper. This shift has brought a documented increase in injuries -- from torn tendons, ripped hamstrings, back strains to herniated disks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which monitors yoga injuries, reports that there were about a dozen reported yoga injuries observed in the U.S. in 2000, and 7,369 in 2010, the most recent year studied.
I don't believe that's all due to hot yoga. There are millions more people practicing yoga now than there was a decade ago, and more participants mean there will be more injuries.
But, If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of agressively heated rooms. I'd rather build my own heat through activity. What do you think? Have you changed your viewpoint on hot yoga from pro to con, or vice versa? If so, why?