Why So Humid? How Hot 8 Yoga adds humidity to provide a healthier practice
In the hot environment created in a hot yoga room, heaters evaporate much of the natural humidity in the air. That is why many yoga rooms will feel like their heat is a “dry heat”. This is particularly noticeable in yoga studios that use infrared or radiant heat. Without the introduction of humidity from another source, these rooms can have almost no humidity. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) suggests a range of 45% – 55% humidity to manage health effects and illnesses.
At Hot 8 Yoga all of our studios have humidifiers emitting pure, disinfected steam directly into your yoga class. If levels are not properly maintained, a studio will not only feel very uncomfortable to practice in, but you may become susceptible to respiratory disorders or chemical reactions. Our rooms are constantly monitoring the humidity and the exhaust will pull out excess humidity or add in when levels reach below 40%.
During the winter months, heaters and cold temperatures may lead to dry air with low humidity. This dry air can lead to dry skin, irritated sinuses and throat, and itchy eyes.
Over time, exposure to low humidity can dry out and inflame the mucous membrane lining your respiratory tract. When this natural barrier is no longer working properly, it increases your risk of colds, the flu, and other infections. Further, in low humidity certain viruses may be able to survive longer, further increasing your risk of contracting an infection.
For instance, one study found that flu viruses survive longer, and spread more easily, when humidity levels are low, according to a study conducted by Dr. Peter Palese and featured in the New York Times article, “Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter.” by Gina Kolata in 2007. “Nasal congestion may also be related to the temperature and humidity of inhaled air — perhaps more than any other variable,” says Dr. Mercola, from the article “Effects of Low Humidity on Health,” from 2014.
The authors of the study suggested that the interaction between temperature and humidity influence “nasal cooling” as the air moves through your nasal cavity. This nasal cooling is detected by “sensors” inside your nose, which stimulate the sensation of airflow being either easy or obstructed, with cooler air resulting in feelings of less obstruction.
At Hot 8 Yoga we are making sure levels never reach too high of a humidity where nasal congestion could be triggered. And of course we are watching the low side in order to not have dry air (less than 40% humidity), because it is known to increase feelings of congestion. If you dry out your sinus membranes they will only be irritated further.
Exercising in humid heat can overall get you a better workout and practice. Many athletes choose to do their training either in high altitudes or in high-humidity areas because of the benefits of training in those environments. MVO2 peak is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption attained by an individual, as measured during incremental exercise. This exercise capacity (VO2 peak) markedly improves during exercise in humid air. When tested on subjects with EIB (Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction), their capacity was increased and their rate EIB was reduced to half.
From our state-of-the-art climate control system, to our UV-C bacteria and viral disinfectant procedures, to our precise humidity monitoring, you can be confident that when you practice at Hot 8 Yoga, every aspect of the experience has been carefully controlled to give you the optimal conditions. Allow your breath to take over knowing that every inhalation you take is filling your lungs with fresh, purified, perfectly humid air. Let your movement guide you knowing you are practicing in the cleanest and most technologically advanced yoga studio.