Can you do Hot Yoga while pregnant? This is a question that many women are asking themselves.
Even though yoga and other regular exercise are very beneficial for you and your baby during pregnancy, there are too few studies on the effect of hot yoga specifically.
Generally, it is not advised to do hot yoga, as it could potentially risk your and your baby’s health.
If you want to do hot yoga during your pregnancy, please ask your doctor beforehand.
- Why Hot Yoga should be avoided during pregnancy?
- When should you stop doing Hot Yoga when pregnant?
- Some Pregnancy-Friendly Alternatives
- Choosing to continue Hot Yoga
- What is Hot Yoga?
- Final Thoughts on practicing Hot Yoga during Pregnancy
- What are the risks associated with Hot Yoga while pregnant?
- Can you do Hot Yoga while pregnant?
- How hot should the room be for Hot Yoga during pregnancy?
- What if I am not comfortable with the heat?
Why Hot Yoga should be avoided during pregnancy?
Hot Yoga could potentially harm the safety of your baby. Although there are not a lot of studies on whether or not hot yoga can be practiced during pregnancy, some studies show that excessive heat for the fetus can risk his/her health.
The complications that could occur involve:
Especially in the critical first trimester, it is not advised to do strenuous exercises or practice in a heated room.
- Stress on your body causes stress for the baby
Physical exercises in a heated room, cause the body to lose more electrolytes due to excessive sweating and it raises your core temperature. Both of these factors puts a lot of stress on your baby.
- Risk of neural tube defects
Studies show that a severe increase in the core temperature of the mom-to-be can double the risk of neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly, in the unborn.
- Risk of overstretching the joints
During pregnancy, as early as the first trimester, the body produces hormones called relaxin. As the name suggests this hormone relaxes and loosens the joints and tissues, to prepare the body for birth. Practicing and stretching in a heated room, loosen up the joints even more, which can increase the risk of an injury.
When should you stop doing Hot Yoga when pregnant?
Now that we have learned about the potential risks that hot yoga could have on your pregnancy, it is advised to stop as soon as you hold the positive pregnancy test in your hand.
Of course, you can still ask your doctor for his or her opinion.
However just because you stop practicing hot yoga for a while, doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising altogether. Moderate and modified exercising has a lot of benefits for you and your baby.
Some of these benefits include:
- Keeping a healthy weight during pregnancy
- Relieving back pain
- Decreases the risks of potential health issues related to pregnancy like gestational diabetes
- Exercise keeps your cardiovascular system healthy
Some Pregnancy-Friendly Alternatives
Try some of these pregnancy-safe exercises to enjoy all the benefits listed above:
- Continue your yoga pregnancy, at home, without the heated room, and with a few modifications, to make it safe during pregnancy.
- Join a prenatal yoga class, with a certified instructor, who can help you modify where needed.
- Gentle Vinyasa yoga is good to keep you flexible, strong, and fit.
- Hatha Yoga with modifications is great for you and your baby.
- Prenatal fitness classes
- Brisk walks
- Water Aerobics
- Also, take advantage of the other great and important parts of yoga, during this time. Namely, pranayama and meditation. These two are often forgotten, but especially during pregnancy and labor preparation has amazing benefits for your babies and your well-being.
Always consult your doctor about which exercises you are allowed to do beforehand.
Choosing to continue Hot Yoga
If you choose to continue your practice of hot yoga make sure that the following apply, to keep you and your baby safe:
- You practiced hot yoga for quite a while already, before getting pregnant
- You have a low-risk pregnancy
- You and your baby do not have any known health concerns
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, to avoid dehydration
- Stick to a slower pace and do not overexert your body
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Let go of your ego.
- Do not practice in a room that is hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit! (32 degrees Celsius.)
- Modify where needed.
- Always consult your doctor before practicing hot yoga
- Do not minimize the risks that hot yoga could have on your pregnancy. Your health and your baby’s health are the most important thing!!
Before choosing to continue your hot yoga practice, you should ask your OB-Gyn the following questions:
- Even though I practiced Hot Yoga for years, is it safe for me to continue during this pregnancy?
- Are there any restrictions I should know about?
- How hot is too hot when it comes to practicing hot yoga?
- Is hot yoga safe to do in the first trimester?
- Is hot yoga safe to do after the first trimester?
- How much water should I drink to stay hydrated?
- How much exercise can I do during the week?
- How soon can I practice hot yoga again after my pregnancy?
Keep in mind, that even though some people might continue practicing hot yoga, all of us are different, and your OB-Gyn might tell you a different story than he/she will tell your friend, but he/she knows what is best for you and your baby. So take his/her advice.
What is Hot Yoga?
In case you are not so sure what hot yoga is precisely, it is a type of yoga practiced in a hot room, typically at around 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) or higher and with 40% humidity. It is intended to replicate the weather in India, where yoga originates from.
Some benefits that Hot Yoga brings to healthy yogis are; deeper stretches and it detoxes your body due to increased sweating.
However, all of these benefits could be a serious risk to you and your baby, as stated above.
Final Thoughts on practicing Hot Yoga during Pregnancy
In my opinion, I would not practice hot Yoga in any form during pregnancy. There are too many risks involved.
I advise you to stick to normal gentle yoga flows or participate in Prenatal Yoga classes, which bring amazing benefits for you and your baby. And do not underestimate prenatal yoga, it can be as energetic and challenging as you make it.
If you did hot yoga before your pregnancy and want to keep on practicing hot yoga during your pregnancy and you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and got the green light from your medical healthcare provider, please keep in mind the risks it can bring along nonetheless.
Do not practice hot yoga in a room hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. If you do feel a bit drowsy or tired stop immediately.
Keep in mind that it is easier for your to cool down than it is for your unborn baby. Listen to your body.
Keep yourself and your little miracle safe.
What are the risks associated with Hot Yoga while pregnant?
- Risk of dehydration
- High heat levels can cause distress for your baby
- Joint injury for the mom-to-be
- Risk of neural tube defects in the baby
Can you do Hot Yoga while pregnant?
It is not advised to practice hot yoga during your pregnancy as it can cause serious complications to your baby’s health
How hot should the room be for Hot Yoga during pregnancy?
If you decide to continue practicing, Hot Yoga, have an uncomplicated pregnancy, and got the green light from your healthcare provider, the room temperature should be about 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the ideal temperature to provide all of the benefits of Hot Yoga without too many risks. If you are not comfortable with these temperatures, it is best to avoid doing Hot Yoga completely while pregnant.
What if I am not comfortable with the heat?
If you are not comfortable with the heat, it is best to avoid doing Hot Yoga while pregnant. The main risks associated with doing Hot Yoga while pregnant are due to the heat.
Too much heat can be bad for your baby’s development and increase the risk of dehydration. It is important to listen to your body.