The sweat drips down your back. Not knowing this was even possible, you look down and see beads of perspiration forming on your thighs. You feel slightly dizzy, but push through, taking a huge swig of water before heading into tree pose. Sounds like a typical hot yoga class, yes? Women everywhere swear by the warm practice, where rooms are heated to between 80 and 105 degrees. And while you’ve surely heard a girlfriend say how much she loves the toasty Vinyasa because she feels like she “sweats out all the bad” at her go-to studio, the question remains: Is it really safe? Is there such a thing as yoga that’s too hot?
“I dare them to find the iPod on me,” Richie Sais told the New York Times in 2007 when he was preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon. USA Track & Field, the national governing body for distance racing, had just decided to ban athletes from using portable music players in order “to ensure safety and to prevent runners from having a competitive edge.” Rais resolved to hide his iPod shuffle under his shirt. Many fellow runners protested the new rule, which remains in effect today in an amended form: It now applies only to people vying for awards and money.