If You Feel Dizzy While Doing Hot Yoga, This Could Be Why

Hot yoga is a very popular form of the ancient meditative practice. While regular yoga is performed in a room with an average temperature, hot yoga is done in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and around 40% humidity, according to Mayo Clinic. It is a vigorous form of yoga that is not for everyone. The intense heat and workout can lead to heat-related problems, especially if you have heart disease.

Researchers continue to debate the pros and cons of hot yoga. Performing hot yoga allows you to be more flexible and supple since the heat allows your muscles to soften even more than you already would. It may also improve balance and improve lower body strength and range of motion, as well as reduce stress and cholesterol levels, although all these benefits can also be achieved through regular yoga, according to a 2015 study. However, if you do hot yoga, at some point you may experience dizziness and wonder why it's happening.

Dizziness is your body's way of correcting blood pressure

Assuming you have no underlying medical condition that can cause dizziness, the most likely cause of dizziness during hot yoga is the temperature and physical exertion. When you exercise in the heat, your body has to work even harder to deliver blood to the muscles and organs to help cool you down, according to Men's Journal. Sometimes, certain parts of your body, like your brain, become deprived of blood, decreasing your blood pressure. Dizziness is your body's way of correcting blood pressure, explains Shape.

Lowered blood pressure can also be caused by your body sweating a lot in hot yoga. Your blood vessels expand as you heat up to help increase sweating which removes fluid from the body, explains WebMD. Less fluid in your body lowers your blood pressure, increasing the chance of dizziness. While some slight dizziness is normal, extreme or prolonged dizziness should be taken very seriously and, ideally, prevented altogether.

Prevent dizziness by following these tips

If you love practicing hot yoga but want to stay safe, there are things you can do to avoid dizziness during your classes. The most obvious one is to stay hydrated. It can be easy to forget to drink water when you're in the middle of poses, but blood pressure drops as you become more dehydrated, which can easily occur in a hot room, so drinking water is key, according to Mayo Clinic.

Also, try to skip certain poses or transitions altogether. While you may want to try your best in class, one of the causes of dizziness is sudden movement. At a minimum, avoid inversion postures which occur when the head is below the heart, according to Yoga Basics.

Finally, remember to take a break. Yoga is supposed to relieve stress, not add it. If you feel a bout of dizziness, it's okay to take a break and allow your body to recover.