INDIANAPOLIS - A new yoga craze is burning up workout rooms all over the country.
Hot yoga participants relax and stretch while sweating up a storm.
The class offers all the physical, mental and spiritual yoga disciplines, but in a room that's 90 degrees.
"Yoga originated in India, where it is practiced outdoors and in non-air-conditioned buildings in extreme heats," said instructor David Sims.
More students are flooding into hot yoga classes, Sims said, a trend that seems to be picking up steam elsewhere in the U.S.
The heat can increase a person's flexibility, with each movement in the poses engaging the sweat glands.
"The benefits come from building that heat, and your bodies start to perspire and detoxing, getting some of those impurities out," Sims said. "Not to say it's a cure all, but as a fairly active person, I notice I don't get nearly as many injuries anymore."
Marla Johnson said the intense heat helps her mentally decompress.
"I'm very busy, very active. I would say it's a great way to relieve stress, no matter what's going on in your life," Johnson said.
"We hold a lot of that emotional tension in our bodies, and you can feel it when you're maybe in traffic and you're in a hurry," Sims said. "Your shoulders climb up, and you feel this tension."
Health experts said hot yoga is not for everyone. Potential participants should consult with a doctor first, because the combination of heat and physical activity could be unsafe for some.
Even seasoned yoga students keep their towels handy and water nearby.