Despite its popularity, little was known about the health benefits associated with Bikram Yoga.
Bikram Yoga, popularly known as hot yoga, is a trendy form of yoga that involves 26 poses performed in a room heated to 40ºC.
But according to researchers from Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin, a hot yoga style is no more effective at improving health than the same yoga postures at room temperature.
Despite its popularity, little was known about the health benefits associated with Bikram Yoga and even less was known about the stipulation that it is carried out in a hot environment.
"The new finding from this investigation was that the heated practice environment did not seem to play a role in eliciting improvements in vascular health with Bikram yoga," the corresponding author Stacy D Hunter said.
Hunter claimed that this is the first publication to show a beneficial effect of the practice of yoga in the absence of heat.
The team analysed 80 participants and randomised to one of three study groups after preliminary screening.
The intervention lasted for 12 weeks and the participants were asked to attend three Bikram Yoga classes per week.
It found that it can possibly delay the progression of atherosclerosis, which is a disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries and can cause heart attack or stroke. The research also showed that Bikram Yoga can reduce changes in the lining of blood vessels that are involved in the development and progression of heart disease.
The research appears in Experimental Physiology Journal.