A Guide To Hot Yoga Class For Beginners: My First Hot Yoga Class!

by | Holistic Health, Strength Building, Yoga

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Hot Yoga Class For Beginners:

Do you want to relax, tone your muscles, burn a lot of calories, without having to jump and run? If so a hot yoga class might be for you! Today, we discuss hot yoga class for beginners. From expectations, to common poses, join us on our journey, that is Hot Yoga. In fact, a single hot yoga session can mimic that of a brisk walk or more. This equates to a “moderate metabolic response, and elevated core temperature“.

A hot yoga class owes its best known name to the fact that it is practiced in a temperature elevated environment. In fact, that temperature is 40° C (specifically, as we focus on Bikram Yoga). Simultaneously, the room is of high humidity, challenging both the body and mind, right off the bat. Now, to some, maybe this isn’t your cup of tea. However, hot yoga can offer benefits, no other style can match.

hot yoga for beginners

Why Hot Yoga?

Contrarily to belief, hot yoga is a relaxing activity that helps recharge both the mind and body. This elevated temperature is touted to help protect muscles, even allowing for deeper stretching, and avoidance of acute trauma.

Furthermore, the heat impacts the heart rate, improving cardiovascular exercise. In fact, it helps improve endurance, and by softening the collagen around the joints, increases freedom of movement.

Hot yoga is touted for it’s ability to not just impact deeper tissues, but glands, even organs. Many believe it to help release toxins through sweat, helping purify the body, naturally.

Increases Muscle Flexibility:

One randomized control trial included participants undergoing 24 sessions, in 8 weeks, of Bikram training (a form of hot yoga). Concluding not only improvements in strength, and decreased body fat, but also better hamstring, lower back, and shoulder flexibility.

Specifically, “Sauna Yoga” also has shown positive effects on improved flexibility in elderly people, in one study.

Increased Bone Density:

A 5 year study of Bikram yoga, concluded increased bone density in the hips, lower back and neck. This was a study limited to premenopausal women. The importance of a study like this suggests that performing yoga may help preserve or increase bone density, a potential countermeasure to osteoporosis.

Weight Loss Measure(s):

This research, thanks to Colorado State University, found a calorie burn could be as much as 460 calories for men in 1 session. Women had a potential for 330 calories burned for one 90-minute Bikram yoga routine.

Another study concluded Bikram yoga as a style that can help improve glucose tolerance in older, obese populations.

One particular study even suggested the potential for yoga to decrease arterial stiffness in younger adults. This same study found yoga to ‘significantly reduce insulin resistance” in older populations.


In general, yoga is known to help improve physical characteristics, like balance, strength and coordination. One such study on Bikram yoga suggested a short term yoga program can improve balance “substantially”. Simultaneously, improving leg strength, and leg muscle control for less steady subjects.

Stress & Depression:

One of the major considerations of many for part-taking in practices such as yoga and meditation is the well researched stress reduction benefits. Thus, potentially improving said mood.

For instance, this study of a 16 weeks Bikram yoga routine. Individual’s perceived stress was significantly improved, as well as general self efficacy & health related quality of life in sedentary, stressed individuals.

Other literature review has indicated anxiety and depression reduction in children and adolescents. Although some studies to be of weak to moderate quality.

hot yoga benefits

What Does A Hot Yoga Class For Beginners Consist Of | Tips?

An essential condition, however, to practice hot yoga is staying hydrated. This includes prior to, during and after a hot yoga session. A Bikram yoga session lasts 90 minutes in total. It consist of a fixed sequence of 24 asanas (yoga poses) plus two breathing exercises (pranayama). Each position to be assumed has been designed to put the body into play in a complete way.

Working through the asanas, some help by strengthening and sculpting, others by lengthening muscles. At the end of a hot yoga routine for beginners (yogis alike), all muscles will have been worked.

Having experienced first-hand the benefits of yoga, Bikram Choudhury has established a sequence of positions particularly beneficial to be performed in this environment. Furthermore, the asanas are interspersed with precise breathing techniques typical of pranayama.

Firstly, with an abdominal breathing exercise proceeding with asanas (both seated and standing) ending with another breathing technique. The sequence initially involves standing positions. Then, we move to the ground. Targeting, and strengthening the spine and back muscles. Continuing with the remaining poses consisting of both forward and backbends.

A Bikram yoga class lasts a maximum of 90 minutes. In addition to the muscles, the internal organs and glands are also stimulated. The body releases toxins through sweating, emphasized by high temperatures, and therefore are eliminated from the body.

Clothing is also very important! Dress comfortably for the environment. Lean toward lightweight clothing. For example, breathable fabrics.

Final Thoughts!

Recap: The hyper heated environment allows the practitioner to perform flexions and twists safely. Kind of of like an “elevated” stretching session. Consequently, those whom are just starting out can increase there stretch in a timely fashion. Importantly, is having patience. Patience for both the body and mind. Flexibility will increase considerably with consistent practice.

Practice the discipline with perseverance and patience, but do not expect miracles from one day to the next, the results will only come with time.


  • https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/fulltext/2014/05001/Acute_Metabolic,_Cardiovascular,_And_Thermal.450.aspx
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22592178/
  • https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ad1b/43b2d9ec325f9dcefa0f71fbab565c3a6dfd.pdf
  • https://source.colostate.edu/researcher-hot-yoga-yields-fitness-benefits/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18714217/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24138995/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23738677/
  • https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/19/3721
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28866110/
  • https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fped.2020.00078/full
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them to purchase items, then we may earn a small commission. Hope you find something that you like!
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