Hot Yoga Melts Blood Pressure

Heat and sweat evaporate body’s impurities

Woman sweating after workout

Woman sweating after workout

Hot yoga is performed in a hot, humid atmosphere with ambient temperatures around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It is thought hot yoga replicates the heat and humidity of India where yoga originated; the excessive sweating is also a way to rid the body of impurities.

Taking hot yoga classes lowered blood pressure in a small study of adults with elevated or stage 1 hypertension, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.

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At 12 weeks of taking hot yoga classes, the investigators found:

Systolic blood pressure dropped from an average 126 mmHg at the study's start to 121 mmHg.

Average diastolic pressure decreased from 82 mmHg to 79 mmHg.

Average blood pressure did not change among the adults in the control group who did not take hot yoga classes.

Perceived stress levels fell among those in the hot yoga group but not in the non-yoga group.

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“The findings are very preliminary at this point, yet they're somewhat promising in terms of unveiling another unique way to lower blood pressure in adults without the use of medications,” said Stacy Hunter, PhD, study author and assistant professor and lab director of the cardiovascular physiology lab at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. “Hot yoga is gaining popularity, and we’re even seeing other styles of yoga, like Vinyasa and power yoga, being offered in heated studios.

“The results of our study start the conversation that hot yoga could be feasible and effective in terms of reducing blood pressure without medication.”

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