Creating the right environment for hot yoga is dependent on the potentially complex interplay of temperature and humidity. John Barker explains how to achieve the ideal conditions for a fantastic workout
First impressions are important, so when a student walks into a hot yoga studio they want to be enveloped by a climate that makes them feel they are going to have the best workout ever. Achieving that initial sensation depends on getting the climate right: not just the temperature but
humidity as well. Heating a room is very straightforward; creating a great hot yoga environment is more challenging.
Health and humidity
Humidity control of the hot yoga environment is as important as temperature control. Hot yoga studios have embraced temperature and humidity control to ensure that at around 40°C the air is pleasant to practice in, creating a great environment without feeling dry and dehydrated. The humidity encourages healthy sweating as perspiration does not evaporate as quickly at a humidity of over 40% RH (Relative Humidity – see below) as it would in drier air. This ensures maximum bene ts from the yoga session.
Other forms of yoga bene t just as much from the health and wellbeing bene ts of humidi cation and humidity control.
Humidity and temperature
The amount of moisture the air can hold varies with its temperature – the warmer the air the more moisture it can hold. This means there is an interdependent relationship between air temperature andmoisture content andto re ect this the humidity level is expressed as ‘relative humidity’ (RH). For example, 50% RH means the air is holding 50% of its maximum moisture-carrying
capacity. 100% wouldbe fog – saturatedwith no additional moisture-carrying capacity.
This relationship has important implications for climate control
in a hot yoga studio. For instance, in winter when the outside temperature is 2oC, and it’s raining heavily, the air will be at 100% RH. But when this air is introduced to a building for ventilation
and heated up, its moisture level stays the same but its moisture- carrying capacity increases signi cantly. Thus, heating that 2oC air to 21oC would reduce the RH to 27%. At 40oC the humidity would be below 10% RH – drier than the Sahara desert.
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