Can I Do Hot Yoga While Pregnant? (Important Safety Tips)

The decision to practice hot yoga while pregnant ultimately comes down to you and your healthcare provider. It will depend on your previous experience with hot yoga, whether your pregnancy carries any risks, etc.

To help you make that decision, we will look at the risks of hot yoga during pregnancy, whether you should continue hot yoga after becoming pregnant, and tips to practice hot yoga safely.

Plus, we reveal the safest style of yoga to practice during pregnancy!

What Is Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga is an increasingly popular style of yoga that’s practiced in a room heated to between 90 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The added heat makes for a sweaty class that might allow you to stretch deeper into poses than you would normally.

Bikram yoga is slightly different in that it’s a fairly challenging style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of 26 postures that are practiced in the same order every time.

Risks of Hot Yoga During Pregnancy

As with all forms of exercise during pregnancy, there are some risks to practicing hot yoga.

Dehydration

Because the heat inside a hot yoga room is significantly increased, it becomes much easier to become dehydrated during class. Add to that the fact that you’re constantly moving and growing a baby, and you may find that classes are a bit too much.

Overheating

While practicing hot yoga, you’ll raise your core body temperature. If your body temperature rises above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 10 minutes, there’s a risk to your baby of neural tube defects [source].

Increased chance of injury

During pregnancy, the hormone ‘relaxin’ increases and loosens the ligaments around your pelvis to prepare your body for childbirth. Practicing hot yoga can also increase your flexibility and, therefore, your risk of injury.

Dizziness

Reduced blood pressure is common during pregnancy and can make you feel dizzy in normal temperatures. Hot yoga can increase the chance of feeling dizzy and potentially fainting.

Can You Continue Hot Yoga During Pregnancy?

You can continue to practice hot yoga during pregnancy as long as your healthcare practitioner and your yoga teacher (if you attend classes at a hot yoga school), are on board.

Hot yoga can provide a healthy workout during pregnancy and increase blood flow to the legs. When practiced safely, it can be a great way to move your body in a healthy way to ease the pain and discomfort that often accompanies pregnancy.

To continue practicing hot yoga after becoming pregnant, you’ll want to make sure:

  • Your pregnancy is low risk
  • You know how to modify your practice and poses

If you’re practicing hot yoga during pregnancy, you’ll need to take extra care with movements, really tune in to your body, and stop whenever needed.

Related: How to Modify Yoga for Pregnancy (12 Important Tips)

How to Practice Hot Yoga Safely While Pregnant

If you choose to continue your hot yoga practice while pregnant, here are a few tips to help you stay safe.

  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water before and after class and throughout. Keep a bottle of water with you and take a sip whenever you get the chance.
  • Listen to your body and rest whenever and for as long as you need to. If you begin to feel dizzy or a pose doesn’t feel comfortable, try an alternative or relax in child’s pose for a few breaths until you feel ready to continue.
  • Choose slower practices such as hatha yoga.
  • Make sure that the room isn’t heated above 95 degrees Fahrenheit – this is something that will differ from studio to studio, so be sure to check before your class.
  • Let the studio and the instructor know that you’re pregnant. They’ll be able to let you know whether their class is suitable for you and offer you adjustments and safer alternatives to practice during the class.

What Is the Safest Style of Yoga to Practice During Pregnancy?

The safest style of yoga to practice during pregnancy is prenatal yoga.

Prenatal yoga classes are designed specifically for women who are expecting. As such, you can expect all poses to be safe, beneficial, and comfortable for you as you grow your bundle of joy.

During prenatal yoga classes, you’ll experience a gentle warm-up and transition through several poses designed to support you and strengthen your body in preparation for labor and birth. In most classes, there will also be a short meditation or savasana designed to help you relax and connect with your baby.

Hatha yoga classes are another good choice during pregnancy as the flow is generally slower and easier to keep up with.

If you choose to attend a yoga class that is not specifically for pregnant women, make sure that you let the instructor know ahead of time how many weeks pregnant you are and whether you’re experiencing any pain and discomfort. With that information, they’ll be able to tell you whether or not the class is appropriate for you and, if it is, be able to give you safe adjustments and alternatives throughout the class.

Related: Can You Do Vinyasa Yoga While Pregnant (Modification Tips)

FAQs

Can Hot Yoga Cause a Miscarriage?

Though unlikely to cause miscarriage, hot yoga can cause overheating, which can negatively affect your growing baby. Specifically, overheating can cause the fetus to develop neural tube defects. It’s thought that other malformations can also be caused by overheating.

How Hot Is Too Hot for Yoga While Pregnant?

Avoid practicing yoga in rooms heated above 95 degrees Fahrenheit when pregnant. If you’re ever unsure, opt for a safer style of yoga that’s not practiced in a heated room. And if you ever feel that you’ve become too hot, rest in child’s pose, sit and drink some water, or leave the class.

What Yoga Poses Are Unsafe During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, there are several poses and positions that you should avoid in favor of safer asanas. For a breakdown of how to stay safe while practicing certain yoga positions, check out these yoga poses to avoid when pregnant and their safe alternatives.

Always consult your doctor, midwife, or healthcare professional before starting any form of exercise during pregnancy.

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