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Old 06-14-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
CelestialSphere
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Hot room headaches

I hope I am posting this in the right place. I practice hot yoga at least once a week usually twice a week. I do bikram and a power vinyasa in the hot room.
Some times I get really bad headaches after. I drink a lot of water before class and after class and even during class. I initially thought I was de-hydrated. I don't think that is the problem now as I drink sufficent amounts of water. I am thinking is it possible that the room is too hot? Or too crowded? I love hot yoga but the headaches sometimes last 2 days! I fear I may not be a good candidate for hot yoga.
I do find that some days the room is hotter than others. Could this be a factor? Does anyone know the proper temperature for hot yoga? Has anyone experienced headaches after practicing hot yoga? Does anyone have any advice on how to avoid them?
Sorry for all the q's.
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:38 PM   #2
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Dear Celestial Sphere,

I have no experience of hot yoga, but do have some experience of yoga. One suggestion is to ask your current teacher about your headaches. Secondly, according to Patanjali (sutra II-46) yoga pose is a comfortable and steady position. If it is not, the poses should be modified. Always! In this case this means practicing at lower ambient temperatures and/or in a less crowded setting. Namasté.
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:22 PM   #3
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An affinity for activity in a hot room should not be confused with efficacy of yoga.
The climate has nothing to do with Yoga, very little to do with flushing toxins (any more than simply sitting in a steam room), nothing at all to do with safe range of motion, and is considered a high risk for cardiac episodes for those prone to them.

You may try to ameliorate the headaches thus operating under the assumption you can exert yourself in high temperatures with no ill effects. Your teacher may be able to assist you. Hydration may assist you. Changing or modifying poses may assist you.

Or you can find a practice where you do not regularly have two-day long headaches after class.

The best advice is to listen to the whispers of your body and respond to them or they will start to yell at you until you cannot possibly ignore them.
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:49 AM   #4
CelestialSphere
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The wierd thing is I only get them when the room is too crowded. I think the O2 may be compromised?
I am comfortable in the room and comfortable in all the asana's. The headaches occur hours after I leave class.
When I practice on a Sunday, and there is fewer people I don't get a headache. If there is a lot of people in the room the temp is higher. The only problem is, I never know how many people will show up to any particular class.
I love the heat and that is why I like hot yoga I like hot humid conditions.
And the headache always comes hours after the class. It is so strange I've never heard of anyone else experiencing this. None of my friends get headaces after class.
My teacher suggests I sit in the draftiest spot in the room.
I think you are right Inner Athlete I may have to avoid the classes that are too crowded or if I feel the room is above 40C I may have to choose another class.
Some people have suggested taking electrolytes supplements before class but I'm skeptical of that.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:41 AM   #5
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Don't be toooo skeptical of the electrolyte supplements.
I've gone to ONE hot yoga / Bikram class ever, and I felt like dying until towards the end when I warily tried one of the Emergen-C packet, and then all of a sudden I wasn't dizzy anymore. I'd been well hydrated before and had a liter of water during the course and it didn't make a difference until I had it.

While I've never gone back to Bikram, I brought a packet with me on a six mile get-lost-in-the-arizona-desert-in-june hike with me last week and halfway through (after about 3 liters of water), I had a headache and realized I was almost out of water (yay). I used the packet in my last 8 ounces and my headache went away. I didn't even feel thirsty for the rest of the trip. If you're flushing your system with a lot of water in combination with sweating, its reasonable to assume you might be offsetting a critical mineral balance. Try one and see if it helps out on one of those super-hot days.
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Old 06-15-2008, 01:23 PM   #6
CelestialSphere
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hmmm, well I am going tonight to my hot room class I may pick up the electrolytes they sell at my studio...
I will try them and see if there is any change.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:35 PM   #7
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I have heard how wonderful hot yoga is from many people and decided (with hesitation ) to try it 4x's before I realized that its simply not for me. I too suffered from extreme headaches and the feeling of wanting to die halfway through a class and thought to myself....not good. I don't judge those who practice in this intensive heat as they've used the work "sweet" in describing how they feel during a hot practise. The initial concept (from my understanding) is that the heat is used to still the mind, but whatever the original intention of western "hot" yoga is you must listen to your body.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:09 AM   #8
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I feel great in class and I never get the "I'm gonna die" feeling some people get... lol... I know people get that way I've seen them in class. I feel great in class and even after, it was the headache 2 or 3 hours later that threw me. I have been practicing hot yoga ( bikram, and power in a hot room) for 4 years now, so these headaches really threw me for a loop I've never experienced anything like this. It has only been the last few months I've been getting headaches.
All that being said, I tried an Emergen-C packet twice this week.
I didn't get a headache. I have a feeling now that I WAS in fact loosing electrolytes possibly too much sodium was being excreated(sp?).
I was so skeptical of them because they seemed like a marketing ploy... the name just seemed so cheesy I never gave them a second glance until the pp mentioned that he/she had a good experience with them.
So I will try to replace my lytes naturally but unitl I figure that out I think I will use the emergen-c packets during hot classes.
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:53 PM   #9
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Celestial - Glad the lytes worked out for you. Whatever way you find to keep them balanced naturally, let us all know! Its so hot and dry where I live that I'm always up for learning more. I've found I don't get very dehydrated when I juice a varied vegetable medley every morning. Maybe I'll actually take on that 20 minutes of research necessary, and find out which vegetables I could juice that would give me adequate sodium, potassium and chloride. Haha. Maybe if I had a liter of that I could actually make it through an entire hot yoga class.
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:30 AM   #10
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I'm having the same problem!!

Sorry for the late addition to the conversation but I found this thread after some googling for answers to my headache problem in heated yoga.

I am hydrated as I drink a heaps of water before and after (sips during) but I still get headaches. I am also taking ellectrolytes all the time as I do alot of other vigerous exercise. I think it might have something to do with neck positions or the amount of oxygen I'm getting? Near the end where you have to get up and down every minute really makes my head start to hurt as well!!

For most of the class and after class I feel great but a couple of hours after I get a headache and it lasts for a couple of days.

What am I doing wrong? Is there a solution?
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:52 AM   #11
CelestialSphere
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That is what was happening to me as well. I was taking classes at night; the last class offered in fact at 7:30 pm. Therefore the room was over heated. (our hot room runs from 6 am to 9 pm) Now I go in the middle of the day and it is not as hot and there is less people in the room.
It is easier to breathe and I think for me that it was a combination of electrolytes losses and the lack of O2 was giving me headaches.
My Aunt teaches Bikram in Cali. she advised me to go to the draftiest spot in the room ( near the door if possible) and to not do the full expression of Camel.
That also helped.
And I noticed that sometimes the room was just too hot!! So if the classroom is too hot I roll up my mat and take an ashtanga class instead.
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Old 12-25-2008, 11:56 AM   #12
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It is commonly misunderstood that drinking water is hydrating. Drinking water is flushing. In order for the cells to be deeply nourished (and thus hydrated) there has to be something IN the water. The body interprets that something as nutrition and carries it to the cellular level. Drinking water is nice, necessary (half your body weight in ounces please) but it alone is not hydrating.
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:09 PM   #13
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thank you all

Last edited by Mirjana; 12-26-2008 at 03:36 AM. Reason: Removed link
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:46 PM   #14
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IA -- does the something in the water have to be specific electrolytes, or does tea made from a random handful of culinary herbs provide the same incentive for the cells to open up? (could be an unfair question; do you think this has been studied?)
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:33 PM   #15
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I do not know an answer "for certain" though I'd imagine the it has to be a food - so lemon or lime juice would work. Tea would not work (if it has caffeine in it) as that makes it a diuretic and therefore the body loses water (de-hydration). If it were a tisane, an herbal tea, that's more likely. Though I'm told technically that's not tea.

I don't particularly like to answer these sorts of things beyond the confines of my students (those who come to study with me). The concepts are too easily taken out of context. But it makes sense that the something should be a nutrient of food source.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:21 PM   #16
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The water does not have to have electrolytes necessarily, but YOU have to have them. You can do this by preparing yourself prior to exercise by maintaining a diet with an appropriate electrolyte level to balance your expenditure, or by adding electrolytes to your water, or by taking electrolyte supplements while exercising. What happens to a lot of people in hot rooms, or in long stretches of endurance exercise, is that the body sweats out a lot of water and salts. Taking water with substance, ie lemon will provide some sodium content to the body, which is the primary electrolyte you should be concerned with. However if someone is feeling detrimental effects while exercising I would recommend something else. Even so much as taking a big delicious lick of salt once or twice during class, and then drinking a lot of water will make a huge difference. Advice? Listen to your body. If I'm doing exercise or in a hot climate, I will crave a lot of salty foods. This craving is usually satiated by pouring some salt on the back of my hand and licking it off, and then I also feel satiated by the water that I drink.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:49 AM   #17
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Lightbulb

I started hot yoga, the bikram series, twice a week, in Oct 2008, and like you suffered slight to severe headaches in the evenings following my morning practise. Always felt great during class, loved the challenge and progression from clumsy to balanced .... but come the evening .... a creeping headache ensued that often woke me from sleep, pounding. I tried more water, less water, water during class, adding the supplement, eating a good protein lunch after class .... taking a nap after class .... easing off during class, i even changed to a power class thinking the bikram series might place too much pressure on my neck. But the headaches persisted no matter the changes i made. I lost a few pounds, toned up ... but when i was still having headaches lasting days after practice decided hot yoga and my body do not a perfect match make. I have now changed back to a 'normal' practice and feel much better for doing so. I felt a little disappointed conceding defeat, but now relish a nurturing calming practise more suited to ME.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:03 AM   #18
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Blood pressure can be a concern in hot yoga classes.
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #19
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I've been going to hot yoga classes about 4 times the past week. I've never got a headache from the heat. Maybe once or twice I felt a bit dizzy from an over crowded room that was extremely hot, but other than that I felt great after.

You should ask the yoga teacher about that. maybe your body can't handle being in a room of such high temperatures.

Lexi
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:01 PM   #20
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i am considering taking up bikram as a method to help with joint problems i have with my illnesses. Ive heard greath things about it but now im a little worried
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:24 PM   #21
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I go to Moksha Hot Yoga classes. I find it really great. I tried Bikram Yoga.

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:19 AM   #22
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I have been doing hot yoga now for 2.5 weeks. I have been getting headaches AND having problems with an upset stomach.

I usually wake-up with a headache the day AFTER my yoga class. I go M, W, and F...
And my stomach is usually upset the day I do yoga. So, I'll eat breakfast...go to yoga..eat lunch and then sometime around lunch and dinner I'll get that feeling...have an upset stomach and then usually am hungry enough to eat dinner.

Any thoughts? My diet is quite clean--for me--I eat simply...chicken and rice. veggies. sometimes soups. i'll have eggs and potatoes for brekkie...whaddya think?
thanks, everyone.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:21 PM   #23
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What of the Doshas, and body types not being appropriate for certain things like hot yoga?
I don't know much beyond what I've read here and there, but I have read more than once that a person say with a lot of heat in the body may not find hot yoga beneficial to them.
It doesn't matter that we enjoy how it feels, it's a question of whether we really feel we need to pursue it.
I have tried hot yoga, and loved it. Then read more about it, and found that the only real benefit (if you can call it that) is that the muscles warm more quickly, and one can go much deeper into the poses. Thus, it pumps the ego a bit as we can move farther than we thought we could.
But there is the concern also that one could more easily become injured. With the muscles so warm, its' less likely one would feel the discomfort that comes with the beginning of a slight injury.
I have not injured myself seriously, but I did find new aches and pains after practicing hot yoga, and after weighing the benefits against the risks, I have chosen to refrain from practicing it.
Just my experience, and thoughts pertaining to it.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:13 AM   #24
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unfortunately this forum will not let me post the link to an important article about this health topic, simply because I am a new user and don't yet have 15 posts here! UGGGH for you guys! So google Yoga and Ayurveda
by Deborah Knox on the Kripalu site which gives more info on why certain styles of yoga aggravate certain constitutional types.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:06 PM   #25
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@migraineur

You can post a link but you have to do so in such a way that the link isn't forced to be parsed by the site. The 15 post limitation, as I understand it, is a spam prevention as forums tend to attract more than their fair share of drive-bys.

Try hxxp instead of http
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:11 PM   #26
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I have been doing yoga for years, and have just recently switched to hot yoga (tried bikram once, now I do moksha) and I also get headaches. I love the practice. Layering all the benefits from yoga, and getting cardio too. I burn about 500 calories in a 1 hour class! But the headahces are terrible. I will try the electrolites too. Thanks for all the posts!
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:46 PM   #27
Sexy Yogi
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I think it's best to consult the doctor before coming to any kind of hot yoga class. I've read the heat has a bad effect to some people, I thank the heavens that I haven't experienced most of it (just felt dizziness during the first few weeks but I found out I wasn't drinking a lot of water).
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