Anybody out there practice hot yoga -- vinyasa flow or bikram? I do flow and love it but I cannot get a handle on what the heat and calorie expenditure does to my blood sugar. just when I think I sort of have a handle on it, something changes. Would love to hear from others -- i know they are out there!

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I haven't done that specifically but I studied Tae Kwon Do for 5 or 6 years in pretty heated conditions? Martial Arts (which I would put yoga into) is generally labeled a 'moderate' activity. I don't think that you get a huge BG bonus for the heat although if you are smoother and more comfortable working because your muscles are loose, I suspect that it could be easier to get more exercise out of it? Sorry I can't give you a better answer! How has it been affecting you?
well... sometimes I can get through the whole class with no lows. sometimes I spend half the class on my mat because the lows won't stop. Generally my routine before each class is the same, and the classes are at the same time. Lately, I have a spike after class that lasts for a while. I can't figure it out. The room is heated to 90 degrees and classes are an hour and a half long. We move continuously and eventually your heart rate does get up there, so there is a bit of an aerobic component. I am waiting on insurance approval for a CGM and hoping that will help.
From your description it sounds like the class is more of an endurance activity than a high octane activity. The former tends to drop BG with a frequent spike afterwards and the latter tends to spike BGs.

And of course there will be variations depending on the phase of the moon, the color of your yoga mat and what you ate last Tuesday. I'm exaggerating a little.

I don't do hot yoga but I do endurance sports and keeping the BG up is tricky. Generally avoid bolusing within an hour before starting, even if eating. If you feel compelled to bolus, cut the dose down by 50% or so. Eat some carbs, about 15g just before class and keep some handy during glass. Running gels or glucose tabs are small and unobtrusive. If that's not possible, put a sports drink with carbs in your water bottle.

Another consideration might be to lower you basal rate during class. If you do this, lower it 1 to 2 hours before hand, otherwise it's not very effective because of the peak time of fast acting insulin. Try lowering in different increments (10%, 25%, 50%) until you feel you've got it right.

Test frequently, once before you start. If you're frequently low I'd say test after 30 minutes, compare that to your starting number and judge how fast you're dropping, if at all. If you drop say 50 points, take some carbs. If you're level do nothing and test again in 30 minutes. It's all a matter of trial and error.

For post exercise spikes, drink plenty of water afterwards, eat something high in protein within 30 minutes, keep testing. Avoiding the lows during exercise should moderate or eliminate the spikes, which are generally rebounds from the low - your liver is pumping glycogen into your system trying to provide you with more energy because it sees "low blood sugar" but the pancreas isn't telling it "there's no insulin!"

As for CGM, keep in mind that it's 15 minutes behind a blood reading so won't catch a low before it's too late. It's very useful, though, for letting you know if your BG is dropping and how fast.

Visit the Diabetic Athletes forum here for more detailed advice and/or get a copy of Sheri Colberg's book "The Diabetic Athlete" which is loaded not only with explanations of how this BG thing works with exercise, but offers sport and activity specific advice.

Good luck, test often,

Terry
BTW, there's also a "Yoga with CGM" group here.

Also, I don't think the heat or calorie consumption are relevant considerations. It's the activity that uses up your BGs. That's what I think, but I don't know.

Terry
extremely helpful, Terry, thanks!

I don't know if you're still looking for an answer.. but the reason you bg's may spike is because of the stress that's put on your system in Bikram Yoga -- when your heart rate goes up and your adrenaline is pumping from intense activity you can be a little insulin resistant at first.

Don't bolus for the high BG you see immediately following a class. Bolus for half. Or better even, eat something with carbs, and bolus for the carbs you eat. Then check your bg again 2 hours later and I bet you'll be back on track.

I'm a bike racer and bikram yoga doer -- and I can tell you again and again.. extreme exercise that puts stress on my system, no matter the length artificially spikes my bgs.

Hope this helps.

Amen to that.

I do bikram and am type 1. I go higher after class from the exertion and intensity of the exercise. I think it is cortisol related. I bolus after class rather than before to avoid being low. I don't eat before because I go in the morning and get nauseous if I do. I find that a vinyasa calss brings me downa nd I stay down, but with bikram I go up. My class get to 105 degrees- pretty hot! maybe that's why.

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