Hot Yoga Teachers Promote Nonsense: Yoga Breathing, O2, CO2

Hot (Bikram) yoga teachers say that yoga breathing needs to be large for health benefits. Hot yoga classes for beginners and poses are taught with practicing more breathing for removal of carbon dioxide and getting more oxygen in body cells. Even though breathing exercise is only a small part of hot yoga, review of ideas of Bikram yoga gurus about better breathing, carbon dioxide effects, and oxygen transport show that they are in contradiction with ancient yoga statements and modern medical research facts. Moreover, correct yoga breathing provides more benefits than postures or poses, and other Bikram yoga workouts or hot yoga challenge. Traditional yoga teach that yoga should have less and “restrained” breathing, “hold” their breath, “calm” their breathing, and so forth. These ideas make sense since they increase body oxygen content. Even when we breathe less than the medical norm (that is only about 500 ml with 12 breaths per minute), we get up to 98-99 percent for oxygenation of the arterial blood, provided that this breathing is regular, abdominal and nasal. There are no benefits in yoga breathing more. Overbreathing or breathing more than the medical standard results in decrease in CO2 levels in the lungs, blood and cells of the human body. That causes decreased blood flow to all vital organs, low body oxygen concentrations, bronchoconstriction, over-excitement of nervous cells, tense states in muscle cells, suppression of the immune system, promotion of chronic


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