Ask the Expert: Sun Exposure and Yoga Studios

Is practicing under sunlight refracted through windows damaging to my health? An expert weighs in.
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Is practicing under sunlight refracted through windows damaging to my health? An expert weighs in.
woman meditating sunlight windows

Answers to your questions about health, nutrition, anatomy, and more.

Q: Is practicing under sun streaming through the glass at my yoga studio damaging to my health?

A: Good question. There are two types of ultraviolet rays­—one causes sunburn, while the other doesn’t. UVB rays cause sunburn but don’t penetrate glass. UVA rays don’t cause sunburn but do penetrate glass. While you won’t get sunburned from the UVA rays through the window in your yoga studio, over time, UVA rays may cause wrinkles, brown spots, and even contribute to the development of skin cancer. It’s best to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day to all exposed areas, and when you can, set up your mat away from the window.

Elizabeth K. Hale, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center