I did hot yoga every day for a month. There were a few drawbacks, but I look more toned and can fit into old clothes again.

I love doing different kinds of workouts, but recently, I wanted to challenge myself to try something new: hot yoga.

Like millions of exercise enthusiasts, I've tried standard yoga classes but wondered if hot yoga could improve my flexibility or help with stress levels. To find out, I took hot-yoga classes for 30 days straight at the chain CorePower Yoga, which offers several heated sessions.

Prices vary among studios, but my local Chicago location offers an introductory-month membership for $100, which I took advantage of.

Here's what happened when I did hot yoga every day for a month

When I first started taking classes, I was really sweaty and tired after each session

Selfie of the writer in a black crop top and yoga pants in a bathroom with gray stalls

I was used to strength training and sculpting exercises as part of my normal workout routine, but I still struggled at my first yoga-sculpt class, which combined traditional yoga moves with weights and cardio.

I had to leave the room for air and repeatedly lay on my yoga mat because I felt faint. At the end of the class, I was so sweaty that it was almost comical.

According to a CorePower Yoga employee I spoke to, the yoga-sculpt classes I took were heated at 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat made even simple exercises feel difficult, so I could see why I felt so tired.

As the month progressed, I looked forward to my hot-yoga classes and noticed they improved my mood

After a few classes, I started to leave each session with an incredible, almost-euphoric feeling immediately after working out. I also began attending the studio's hot-power-fusion sessions, which combine yoga with moderate-intensity, meditative elements.

Each time I went to class, I was extremely relaxed, my limbs felt like jelly, and my mood improved. Maybe it's because I mainly took classes at night when the workday ended, but I always slept well.

This difference was really noticeable during a stressful period at work, and my body started to crave the hot-yoga classes.

I didn't expect it, but hot yoga also seemed to affect my skin and hair

The writer stands on a black yoga mat and crouches down with right arm outstretched toward the ceiling and left arm toward the ground

According to Dr. Azza Halim, a board-certified anesthesiologist and physician who focuses on aesthetic medicine, antiaging treatments, and regenerative medicine, doing hot yoga may have helped my skin.

"Hot yoga indirectly benefits the skin by improving overall circulation, which allows oxygen and nutrients to flow to the skin cells, promoting collagen production and helping to maintain elasticity," she said.

According to the doctor, heat can help open up pores and flush out toxins. However, sweat, dirt, and bacteria left on the skin can also lead to acne.

"It's very important to cleanse the skin thoroughly after a hot-yoga session to remove any sweat or impurities," she said.

On the other hand, I think my hair suffered while doing hot yoga every day, and my hairstylist even commented on how dry and frizzy my hair was when I showed up for my haircut.

Dr. Halim said my dry, frizzy hair could be due to the combination of heat and daily showering after class.

Staying hydrated seemed to help my success in hot-yoga classes

The writer stands in a one-legged pose with her arms above her head and smiles in a yoga studio

Throughout the month, I realized hot-yoga classes were significantly tougher for me when I hadn't had enough water or was hungover.

According to Kollins Ezekh, a certified personal trainer and celebrity fitness instructor, dehydration can definitely make a workout more difficult. The expert said not drinking enough water can significantly impact performance, "making you feel dizzy, weak, and even causing cramping."

I started adding electrolytes to my beverages throughout the day and having a cup of water before my morning coffee, which gave me more energy for class and taught me the importance of listening to my body.

It seemed like hot yoga toned my body, and I was able to fit into old clothes

During the first few classes, my arms and legs shook even when I exercised with light weights. But eventually, despite putting in minimal effort in some classes, I saw my arms, abs, waist, and back become more toned.

Toward the end of the month, I graduated from 5-pound to 8-pound weights for leg exercises. Moves like chaturanga dandasana (a low plank), downward dog, and cobra also helped strengthen my upper body, back, and shoulders.

I didn't realize how much weight I had lost until I fit into a dress and a top that I hadn't been able to zip up just a few months earlier. I was happy I could see tangible results, making the hot-yoga classes worth it for me.

Ezekh said this initial weight loss throughout the month could be caused by losing a significant amount of water weight from sweating. Still, consistent practice, especially in styles like yoga sculpt, and resistance training can increase muscle tone and overall weight loss.

I won't continue doing hot yoga every day, but I plan to go to classes at least a few times a week

The writer wears a light-green crop top and yoga pants and stands in a bathroom mirror with her hand on her waist

After a month of doing hot yoga, I was hooked. I felt relaxed and happy after each class, and I felt stronger, more toned, and more flexible.

Overall, I thought the introductory $100 one-month membership was worth it, especially since it included access to CorePower Yoga's showers, lockers, and other amenities. I recently changed my plan to the $190-per-month all-access membership, which I think is a pretty good value if I attend classes at least a few times a week.

I might not continue going to daily hot-yoga classes, but I'm excited to continue getting stronger and see the other benefits I noticed throughout my 30-day challenge.

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