Yoga Study Finds Improvements in Circulation, Weight Loss & Heart Health

When you practice hot yoga, you start to feel better right away. But where is the science to back up all these good feelings?

A new study by the University of Texas Austin, studied the effects of Bikram Yoga on circulation, heart health and weight loss. The 80 study participants (ages 40-60) practiced the 90 minute Hatha Yoga series three times a week for twelve weeks. The study broke the group into two, having half of them practice in the 105 degree heated room and the other half practicing the same 26 postures in a normal temperature room.

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The study found that all participants, regardless of whether they practiced in a heated room or not, saw positive outcomes on circulation, weight loss, and “improvement in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (an index of vascular health and heart disease risk)”.

There were two measurable benefits to the group who practiced in a heated room: they saw increased weight loss and a significant drop in their bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Another benefit of practicing in a hot room that wasn’t covered in the study, is the impact sweating has on your body’s ability to detox some toxic chemicals from processed food, personal care products, or household cleaners.

The summary of the test shows that any time you practice Bikram yoga, you’re doing yourself a favor. And when you can practice in a hot room, you reap even more benefits! A common saying in this style of yoga is that “it’s never too late” to start your yoga practice. I love that the participants were ages 40-60, showing the dramatic positive impacts this discipline can have on us as we age.

Do you practice hot or Bikram yoga? Read more about my personal experiences with yoga and weight loss, increased flexibility and the benefits of compression poses. For more information on the study, read HERE.

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