Cardiovascular Demands and Adaptations from Practicing Hot Yoga

Andrew Scott Perrotta, Nick John Held, Anne Marice Lasinsky, Darren ER Warburton


Background: Hatha yoga has become a popular form of exercise that has demonstrated to elicit marked increases in muscular strength and muscular flexibility. However, minimal inquiry towards its influence on cardiovascular health and performance is available. Methods: Published investigations including and preceding December 2016 were systematically reviewed and appraised. The terms, “Yoga”, “Yoga AND Exercise”, “Yoga AND Exercise Test” identified 337 articles, 6 of these articles were relevant and utilized in this review. Results: The cardiovascular demands on a Bikram yoga class appear to be light in nature while further demonstrating individual variation in metabolic cost and heart rate. The variations observed may have been a result of a diverse sample size with age, sex and fitness. Short term (ie. 8 wks) adaptions failed to demonstrate a significant difference in resting cardiovascular measurements with minimal support for enhancing aerobic power. Long term (ie. 1yr) Bikram yoga practice may elicit position adaptions in resting heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure in obese individuals. There remained a lack of significant difference when examining cardiovascular performance measures between long term and novice Bikram yoga practitioners. Conclusions: Bikram yoga continues to increase in popularity as an alternative exercise option; however minimal evidence exists demonstrating its positive impact on cardiovascular health and performance. It appears this form of light exercise may be an effective and exciting means of activity for individuals looking to start an exercise program. Individuals wishing to pursue this form of exercise are encouraged to acquire approval and consent from a medical doctor and a certified  exercise professional prior to starting


Exercise Physiology; Physical Activity; Heath Promotion; Exercise Science; Yoga, Cardiovascular

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Copyright (c) 2017 Andrew Scott Perrotta, Nick John Held, Anne Marice Lasinsky, Darren ER Warburton

ISSN: 19206216