MYTH: Germs can’t survive hot yoga

There is a myth in the Bikram and Hot Yoga world: If you are sick, you can’t possibly spread germs in the hot yoga room because bacteria and viruses “can’t survive in the hot room”. FALSE. There is no evidence to support this assertion. If the yoga room was hot enough to kill a virus, it would probably be hot enough to kill YOU. As an example, the Influenza virus can be killed by heat AT TEMPERATURES ABOVE 166°F [75°C]. A Bikram Yoga hot room is around 105°F [40°C]. It’s not hot enough to kill the flu virus. You might hear the argument that…

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I Don’t Make The Rules – Biology Makes The Rules

In my previous post, How Calories “Work“, I said “So if you are convinced you are that one special snowflake who is accurately tracking 1500 calories and working out 2 hours a day and still gaining weight: YOU ARE NOT. You really really are not. You are not eating 1500 calories and gaining weight. 1500 calories will ultimately maintain (barely) 100 lbs in a full grown sedentary woman. This is truth.” I got a few comments and messages that were in opposition to this concept. They were mostly polite, which I very much appreciate. Some argued that they were different…

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How Calories “Work”

The topic of appropriate caloric intake has been on my mind a lot recently. There is A LOT of confusion around “how many calories” people ARE eating, SHOULD BE eating, and what it all means. I know many people who insist their caloric intake is very, very low: 1200 to 1500 calories per day. And they are sure their metabolism must be broken because they are now gaining weight (or not losing weight) on this very low calorie intake. It’s not true. It’s not accurate. It’s not the way things work. You have to eat enough food to support your activity, energy…

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Perception of Effort, or Calorie Burn in Hot Yoga

“How many calories will I burn?” “Will I lose weight?” These are, by far, the two most popular questions I hear from new Bikram Yoga students. And really, when you get right down to it, they are the same question – “I want to lose weight by burning a lot of calories – will I do that?” The answer people WANT to hear is: YES, you will burn a TON of calories and you will lose weight, you betcha, I promise! (Also, would you like to buy some magic beans??) The real answer: IT DEPENDS. If you understand general fitness…

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MYTH: You can’t hurt yourself doing yoga

MYTH: You can’t hurt yourself doing yoga. FACT: You can hurt yourself doing almost anything, including yoga. Depending on what yoga style you practice, you have a higher or lower risk of injury depending on aggressive approach and lack of attention to alignment. It’s a bit of a dirty little secret, but for yoga practitioners, injury to the sacroiliac joint, neck, knee, and shoulder are not uncommon. Yes, you can hurt yourself doing yoga. There is still a great deal of controversy over how high or low the numbers of yoga-caused injuries are. Partly because the numbers are difficult to…

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