They embrace one hundred plus heat while practicing what's called "Hot Yoga" officially called "Bikram Yoga". It came to the United States in the 1970's and it takes place in very hot studio in northeast Fresno.
For an hour and a half the clients of Fresno's Blue Moon Studio practice 'Hot Yoga' with the temperature set one hundred five degrees. Blue Moon Studio owner and teacher, Amy Pittelkau, described why this ramped up and heated yoga session works, "So many chemicals and additives in our food everybody needs de-toxification." The benefits she says are clear skin, weight loss, body tone and overall health improvement.
Client Connie Everett says her blood pressure dropped since coming here, "As far as the heat I think its de-toxing. It cleans your skin, it cleans your organs." But is that high heat over time good for you? Amy told us, "We do ask people to check with their doctor. Every doctor says yes, absolutely you need to be in the yoga room practicing the yoga."
We asked Dr. William Ebbeling of Fresno to weigh in on the question. He explained it's not the 'heat' but the degree of heat that concerns him, "Once we go over a temperature that's higher than the body temperature it's similar to putting the body into a fever. You are pushing your body toward heat exhaustion and heat stroke both of which are dangerous. Our bodies are extremely capable of taking stress, but every so often you hit the one where the stress does some damage." The body he adds is very good at dealing with such stress but at some point it gives in. He believes exercising at 95 degrees would be much easier on the body.
Don Duncan like the others at Blue Moon Studio appears to be alright with the heat and the profuse sweating, "It's tough, it's tough. But it's worth it. It makes your body feel incredible."