For those who live in rural areas or otherwise don't have a nearby Hot Yoga studio, practicing it at home is a viable alternative. However, some people have trouble creating an environment at home that is as conducive to the practice as a specialized studio would be.
Environment for Hot Yoga
Hot Yoga is an intense experience. Because it is practiced in a very warm room, typically 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit, the effects of the yoga poses are multiplied. The heat allows for increased flexibility, which can provide great satisfaction for those hoping to go deeper into some poses. In addition, the heat changes your body's manner of circulating blood, which increases the healing properties of the oxygen in your muscles. Lastly, the heat makes your body sweat profusely, helping to rid your body of harmful toxins that build up over time.
Technically, Hot Yoga is any yoga practice that is done in a hot room. Bikram Yoga is a special type of Hot Yoga, in which a set series of 26 poses are executed in a class of 90 minutes. Whether you do the Bikram series or any other series of yoga asanas, doing them at home in the heat can have just as many benefits of doing them at the studio. Of course, that's assuming that you can create a suitable environment for hot yoga in your home.
Home Practice Considerations
You don't need a large room in order to be able to practice hot yoga at home. You'll only need a space large enough for your mat, with a few feet in each direction beyond it. The smaller the room you choose, the less energy and time the room will take to heat up to the desired temperature.
If you live in a colder climate, you'll want to choose the smallest and best insulated room possible. In order to create a nice, hot environment, try using a humidifier alongside a space heater. In addition, you can use essential oils or scented candles to help improve the atmosphere of the room.
Many practitioners who do Hot Yoga at home maintain that the best room of the house for the practice is a large bathroom. While it may seem like a waste of warm water, running a hot shower or having a bathtub full of hot water will heat and steam up the room.
Many yogis use space heaters to get a room of their house appropriately hot for the practice. The amount and type of space heaters needed depends on the size of the room, the insulation, the outside temperature, and the output of the space heater(s). Many people in Florida and in the Southwestern states practice Hot Yoga on their patios or beside the pool!
The only way to find out which temperature and humidity level make your ideal Hot Yoga environment is to try a bunch of different combinations and see how each one feels. Be sure to try each combination a few times on various days so that you don't wrongly interpret your ideal environment as awful simply because you were overtired or stressed the particular day that you tried it for the first time.
As there will be no instructor to remind you, make sure you drink lots of water before, during, and after each hot yoga session to avoid dehydration.
Enjoy the Benefits
Even if you do not have a studio in the area that offers hot yoga classes, with a little modification in your own home, you can start reaping the benefits of hot yoga.