Read This Before Trying Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is often hailed for its ability to improve flexibility, burn a whole lot of calories, and help you destress, and has long been loved by celebrities (via Women's Health). And the benefits don't stop there. Many believe it can also help your body to detoxify. "The heat and higher energy demand cause you to sweat a lot," fitness and lifestyle expert and creator of Evolution 20 and Super Shred, Christine Bullock, told The Thirty. "As you sweat, you reduce water retention and sweat out a long list of toxins, chemicals, and other unwanted compounds that shouldn't be in your body." 

However, there are also some potential downsides to the practice that you should know about before you give it a go.

First, hot yoga can cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms can include dizziness, weakness, or nausea. "If you start feeling those things, you've really got to get out of that room," Dr. M. Fahad Khan, an assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center's Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Care, and Pain Medicine, told INSIDER. "In really extreme circumstances, you could even develop something like a heat stroke and that could, worst-case scenario, land you in the emergency room." 

Hot yoga comes with the risk of injuring yourself

Secondly, hot yoga comes with the risk of injuring yourself, usually as a result of overstretching. "Due to the increased flexibility of the muscles and the warmer temperatures, it's possible to overdo it," Jorianne Numbers, MS, an exercise physiologist at Northwestern Medicine, warned Women's Health. "You may push yourself too far in a pose or stretch and you may not actually feel that until after class."

And lastly, it's not actually suitable for everybody. "If people have certain heart conditions, previous heat injury, heat intolerance, or problems with dehydration, they should probably avoid hot yoga," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and the co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minnesota told Everyday Health. Those who are pregnant need to avoid it, too. And if you have never done yoga before, you may be best off doing a more traditional class first to ensure you don't overstress your body.