If you've ever survived a Birkam yoga class, you'll know it's no easy feat. There's a lot of heavy breathing, dropped poses, laboured chaturanagas, and so much sweat. While the yoga practice — founded and popularised in the 70s by Bikram Choudhury — has long been a favourite of people seeking to add an extra level of difficulty to their practice, there's new evidence to suggest the addition of 40°C heat does nothing to make it more beneficial than other forms of yoga.
According to a recent study into the effects of heated yoga on vascular health, you get the same benefits practising yoga at normal temperatures as you do when you practise in heated conditions. The 12-week study split previously sedentary group of 52 people into three groups: a group of 19 who did no exercise and two groups of 19 and 14 who each took three identical yoga classes a week with the former group practising under heated conditions and the latter in normal temperatures.
The study found that although the group who practised in heated rooms saw a reduction in their body-fat percentage, when it came to vascular health and reduced risk of heart disease, they shared nearly identical positive results with the group who practised under normal conditions. Unsurprisingly, the group who remained sedentary saw no change in their vascular health.
Given how much classes at boutique yoga studios can cost, this should settle any feeling of FOMO you might have when your fitness budget wont extend beyond a solo Savasana in your living room.