One of our students has been experiencing fainting at home a couple of times. She has been practising 3-4 times a week for about 5 months and never actually feels dizzy in class. After she first fainted she went to the doctor who gave her Hydralite, but  her blood tests are ok she says.

Even though in class she never has to sit out postures she finds recovery after class takes time. The second time she almost fainted (heart throbbing and then blackout feeling) it was after doing an evening class and then a morning class the day after. She is taking electrolytes / salt and drinking lots of coconut water.

Any other suggestions / advice that we could pass on to her? Thank you for your help~


eula on December 23, 2013 at 10:09 am.

gilma, This is something I have learned about the hard way. That is, personal experience. Trying to make a long story as short as possible: I have been practicing 8 years and teaching 3 years.

I hadn’t had any problems until last August. I began to feel dizziness after class. Seeing spots, feeling faint, etc. I kicked up my water intake a bit and started drinking some Gatorade. I only had a handful of good classes with no problems from August thru November.

Once, I had to leave class and sit down for a half hour or so. I know I would have fainted if I hadn’t left when I did. We live in a very dry climate, and the humidity is pretty high in our studio to compensate for the dryness. Sometimes too high. I was blaming the high humidity of the classes.

Anyway, I once again started drinking more water and taking more electrolytes.

In November, I went to sleep one night after teaching two classes and taking one. After I went to sleep, my husband said I started acting like I was having a nightmare. He said I was choking for air and stopped breathing.

He gave me CPR, called an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. I was diagnosed with a critically low potassium level. They had to keep me for 4 days for observation on an EKG because a low potassium level can cause a heart attack. This experience became an education for me and I’m so happy to be able to share on this blog with the hope of helping out anyone else. It’s no fun.

Believe me, you don’t want to go there!

The cardiologist who treated me was awesome. He practices hot yoga! He told me that I was very dehydrated because of the potassium level and that those of us who practice this yoga should be extra mindful of our water and electrolyte intake.

Duh, well I knew that but my problem was that I had no idea just how much I needed. He said:

For every cup of coffee you drink, you should drink two 8 oz. glasses of water

For every drink of alcohol, two 8 oz. glasses of water.

Potassium intake is particularly important, since it affects the muscles of your heart. He said we should eat the equivalent of 7 or 8 bananas a day! Meaning that there are approximately 450 mg. of potassium in a banana, so one serving of coconut water would work, one 8 oz. glass of OJ, etc.

3,500 MINIMUM mg. of potassium a day!

Do not take potassium supplements because it’s possible to OD on them. He said that getting your potassium in food is the best way to do it. Your body will take what it needs and eliminate the rest.

Maybe ithis isn’t the problem for your student. However, when people say they drink “lots” of water and “lots” of coconut water, it’s very subjective. To some people, a bike bottle of water is “lots”.

More water than she thinks she needs and more electrolytes than she thinks she needs. Once she reaches the appropriate levels she should feel better if, the above is, in fact, her issue. It’s an experiment. Same thing a lot of people went through in training.

I know that my roommate in TT spent most of her time in the clinic getting IVs for her dehydration.

Hope this is helpful to you or anyone reading this. Carol Simpson


Edelmira Celaya on January 4, 2014 at 12:37 am.

Another part of the story could be calories, because, quite often, dizziness problems are caused by inadequate general nutrition. A regular woman should be consuming 2000 calories a day just to stay alive. Start doing hot yoga, and that number will go up. (Excluding special diets for obesity and other conditions).

Even people who think they eat a lot often don’t; they may just eat one large-ish meal but that will still leave them deficient in calories (and indeed everything!) at the end of the day. A lot of people also claim to have ‘healthy’ diets, but the diets tend quite often to be excessively restrictive. This restriction is what usually leads to the deficiencies.

If this persists, seeing a dietician might be in order. They will be the most knowledgeable and best equipped to give nutritional advice to someone doing yoga in the heat.


Anitra Benefield on January 14, 2014 at 5:24 am.

The wonderful Dr. Preddy described something interesting at TT in 2011. He said that going too quickly from the hot room can cause something called vasovagal syncope.

I’m not sure if this is the correct explanation, but it has something to do with the body switching rapidly from the sympathetic nervous system, to the parasympathetic. Sometimes, after class, I would walk out into the cool air in the lobby, and for some reason I felt worse than I did in the room. I finally got an explanation.

Is there AC in the lobby in your studio? Maybe this is what is going on. Hope you find an answer soon!


fausto on January 17, 2014 at 4:33 am.

Thanks Carol for that information.

I think you need to let the doctors sort this out.


Sam Mcgaffee on January 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm.

Thanks so much for the advice everyone.. Yes, it sounds to me it could be related to diet as well… hopefully she will work this out.

Just shows how important it is to take care of ourselves..


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