Starting your kids out young in yoga sounds like a great idea, but would you bring your child to a hot yoga class? In case you haven't heard, Bikram's self-proclaimed "torture chambers" are a series of twenty-six postures in a 104-degree room for 90 minutes. It is an extreme workout. Instructors say it's natural to feel nauseous, dizzy and maybe even black out.
This blogger from MomLogic.com starts investigating after a mother brings her four-year-old to the weekend hot yoga class.
"At the beginning of the class, this little yogi was trying
each of the moves, naturally having trouble holding any pose. By 15
minutes into the class, the poor thing was playing with her water
bottle, spraying herself and rolling around on her towel.
I am in my mid-30s, and I can barely stay focused for the hour and a
half. So I totally understood how this little one was bored out of her
mind. As the class continued, she got up and down and tried more moves.
Of course her mom kept trying to correct her, but the instructor
insisted that she let her daughter learn on her own. Meanwhile, I was
hot as hell and wondering, Is this healthy for the child?
So of course, back at work, I just had to get an expert
opinion. Pediatrician and momlogic expert Dr. Alanna
Levine said the following:
"I do not recommend that
young children participate in Bikram yoga. Children handle
high temperatures differently than adults. They have a higher
surface-area-to-mass ratio, which means they absorb heat more than
adults do. They also have a smaller blood volume, which makes it harder
for them to dissipate the heat. Lastly, they have a slower rate of
sweat production than adults, and sweating is a mechanism to cool us
off. Children are not 'mini adults' -- and should not be treated as
I thought it was only fair to call up the Bikram Yoga College of India
and talk to someone there. Jessica, 32, has been a Bikram instructor
since 2008. Here's how our chat went:
ml: Does Bikram have a minimum age requirement?
Jessica: There are no strict rules, as long as the child is quiet
and well-behaved. There's a youth category for the annual Bikram
competition. Bikram, the founder, has three children, and they all
started doing "hot yoga" at a very early
ml: How old was your youngest student ever?
J: I haven't have any younger than 9 or 10. Sometimes younger
students wait outside during the standing series and come in for the
ml: How would you respond to our doctor's claims that Bikram is
unhealthy for kids?
J: With any physical practice, you should have a doctor's
recommendation. A decision to do Bikram should be taken person by
person. It's case by case.
Read more here. Image by Getty Images.