Can I Do Hot Yoga While Pregnant? | Risks & Alternatives

So you’re pregnant, and you’ve been practicing hot yoga for a while now. Suddenly, the question pops into your head – Can I Do Hot Yoga While Pregnant? And if it’s not safe, what are the alternatives?

First of all, answering your question. It’s best to avoid hot yoga while being pregnant as no doctor or expert advises it. If you really want to do it, you must speak to your doctor first and make sure you are hydrated enough while doing hot yoga.

We have mentioned the risks and benefits of hot yoga practice below, during pregnancy and some alternative exercises you can do instead. Let’s get started!

What is hot yoga?

practising hot yoga
Image: Greatist

Hot yoga is a form of yoga practiced in a hot room heated to 40°C (104°F) or more, usually with a humidity of 40% or more. Hot yoga practice is very different from regular yoga, practiced at room temperatures ranging from 22-28°C (71-82°F).

The idea is that the heat opens your pores and makes it easier to sweat and detoxify your body. The heat also increases the stretching potential of your muscles, which can help you get into some great postures.

Hot yoga is a high-intensity workout that was made famous by Bikram Choudhury. Practitioners move through 26 poses for 90 minutes during Bikram yoga in a heated room at around 41 degrees Celsius.

How hot is too hot for yoga while pregnant?

Hot yoga, typically practiced in a room with temperatures around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, can be dangerous for pregnant women as it can lead to dehydration and overheating.

Additionally, pregnant women are more susceptible to injuries due to the increased laxity of their joints. For these reasons, it is generally advised that pregnant women avoid hot yoga classes. However, if a pregnant woman chooses to practice hot yoga, she should drink plenty of water and listen to her body carefully for signs of heat exhaustion.

Can I do hot yoga while pregnant?

Can I do hot yoga while pregnant

Can you practice hot yoga during pregnancy? Yes, you can practice hot yoga during pregnancy, but there are some risks to consider. First of all, the heat can be dehydrating and may cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Here are some yoga postures you should avoid in pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women avoid hot yoga because it could raise their body temperature and lead to a miscarriage. Also, we have no research to show that hot yoga is safe during pregnancy, so it’s best to play it safe and avoid it.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should avoid any exercise during the first trimester that requires lying flat on your back.

Pregnant women should not practice hot yoga if they are at risk of preterm labor or have a history of miscarriage. The increased body temperature can cause the uterus to contract at an increased rate, potentially leading to preterm labor.

A study investigating maternal use of hot tubs in pregnant women found that the fetuses of women who used hot tubs for any length of time more than once during the first trimester had an increased risk of gastroschisis and anencephaly.

Moreover, the investigators also found an increased risk of esophageal atresia and omphalocele among offspring of mothers who reported using hot tubs during pregnancy more than once for longer than 30 minutes.

Don’t practice hot yoga while pregnant if you’ve never done it before

No matter how many of your friends and family members tell you not to, you’re likely to want to try hot yoga at some point. Please don’t do it.

Hot yoga practice is not ideal for a healthy pregnancy, no matter how much you think it may help your stress levels or lose weight. If you’ve done hot yoga in the past, check with your doctor to see if you can do it during pregnancy.

If you do hot yoga while pregnant, do it at a lower intensity, like hatha yoga classes, gentle vinyasa classes, or prenatal yoga classes, and drink a lot of water.

Can hot yoga cause miscarriage?

potential signs of miscarriage
Image Courtesy: Very Well Family

Pregnant women are often advised to avoid strenuous activity, as it can put them at risk for complications like preterm labor or miscarriage. However, there is debate about whether moderate exercise is safe during pregnancy.

Some studies have suggested that hot yoga, which combines physical activity with high temperatures, maybe particularly risky. One study found that women who practiced hot yoga were more likely to miscarry in the first trimester than those who didn’t.

However, it’s important to note that this was a small study, and more research is needed to confirm these findings. If you’re pregnant and considering hot yoga classes, speak with your healthcare provider to get their opinion on whether it’s safe.

Other Risks of Hot Yoga During Pregnancy

Risks mentioned
Image Courtesy: Safety4Sea
  • The heat can make you feel nauseous and tired: According to research, the excessive heat exposure from Bikram yoga during pregnancy can make you feel sick, tired, and dizzy. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can make you more sensitive to the heat, so it’s best to avoid hot yoga. Instead, opt for a more moderate-to-cool temperature yoga class.
    • The heat can dehydrate you and make you dizzy: You mustn’t dehydrate yourself when you’re pregnant. Hot yoga is great for your body and mind, but it can be too hot for someone pregnant. If you do hot yoga, drink plenty of water before, during, and after the class.
    • The heat is not suitable for babies: The hot yoga is not ideal for babies while pregnant because it raises your core temperature, which can hamper your baby’s development. Pregnant women are discouraged from working out in hot environments.
    • It can cause premature labor: Research from the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine has shown that pregnant women who regularly practice hot yoga, like Bikram yoga, maybe put their unborn child at risk of premature delivery. The study found that women who practiced hot yoga at least twice a week during pregnancy were more likely to deliver their babies prematurely. 

    Why you should remain physically fit during pregnancy?

    The benefits of being physically fit during pregnancy are endless. You’ll have more energy and a faster recovery time, and your baby will have a healthier start in life. In addition to that, it can also help reduce the risk of stretch marks and complications like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

    To be fit while pregnant, you must avoid hot yoga. Pregnancy is an exciting time because you want to do the right thing for your body and do the right thing for your unborn child.

    Alternatives to hot yoga

    Practicing Bikram yoga (hot yoga) may not be the best idea during pregnancy. Instead, try gentle vinyasa classes or prenatal classes. 

    • Gentle vinyasa classes are similar to hot yoga, but they’re at a lower temperature and won’t put as much pressure on your body.
    • Prenatal yoga is an exercise done in a regular temperature room for pregnant women. It’s a great way to stay fit as you grow a human inside your body and helps with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay healthy and strong throughout pregnancy.
    can i do hot yoga while pregnant
    Prenatal Yoga

    Take advantage of other exercises while pregnant

    If you choose not to practice hot yoga while pregnant, you can look up to other alternatives that will help you being active while pregnancy and has no risk. Here are some exercises you can do other than hot yoga:


    Walking is always a good exercise while pregnant because it helps you stay fit and active. Walking is a great way to take a break from your daily routine and get some fresh air. It also helps reduce stress levels, which are crucial for pregnant women. Walking is also a great way to get into shape after birth.

    Low-impact aerobics classes

    If you are pregnant, it’s good to take a low-impact aerobics class at your local gym. If you don’t like working out in front of other people, you could always find some low-impact workouts online and do them in the privacy of your own home.

    Swimming and water workouts

    Pregnant women can do water workouts and swimming exercises throughout their pregnancy to stay fit. Swimming is an excellent exercise for pregnant women because it does not stress the body. Pregnancy puts stress on the body, so doing activities that do not pressure the expectant mother’s body is essential.

    Indoor cycling

    Indoor cycling is excellent for pregnant women. It’s a low-impact workout that’s low-key enough to be done throughout nine months. It’s also good for the baby because it gives them a little jiggle, vital for their development.

    If You Still Want To Do Hot Yoga While Pregnant, Consider:

    Expectant mothers who ask the question, “can I do hot yoga while pregnant” should consider several things before practising hot yoga.

    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a hot yoga session.
    • Focus on slower vinyasa/flow practices and keep the room temperature at or below 93 degrees; anything above 93 degrees is not safe for the baby.
    • It’s essential to speak with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program, especially if you’re pregnant. Hot yoga is a beautiful way to stay fit and relieve stress, but it might not be the best option for you during pregnancy.


    Try doing gentle vinyasa classes or prenatal yoga instead of practicing hot yoga class during pregnancy and risking overheating and dehydration.

    Hot yoga is not recommended during pregnancy because it can overheat and dehydrate your body, which is not safe for you or your baby.

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    What types of yoga you should not do while pregnant?

    You should avoid crunches, deep backbends, lying on your back, hot yoga, inversions, belly down postures, forward folds with feet together and twisiting postures

    Can I do hot yoga in first trimester?

    The excessive heat can cause other malfunctions in fetus and therefore doctor advises to avoid hot yoga overall pregnancy.

    Can hot temperature can affect the baby in the womb?

    Fetal growth can be affected or baby can have cleft palate if the temperature exceeds than 102 degrees.

    Does hot yoga affect fertility?

    No study shows the direct link between yoga and fertility. Although, it can positively affect the fertility and can increase the chances of conceiving as yoga releases the stress.

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