Getting inked is an exciting experience for tattoo enthusiasts. But once the initial thrill wears off, the critical healing process begins. This is especially true for larger or more complex tattoos. So a common question asked by yogis with tattoos is “Can I do hot yoga after a tattoo?”
The answer depends on several factors. Read on to learn when it’s safe to return to your hot yoga practice after getting a new tattoo.
Hot Yoga Poses Risks for New Tattoos
Hot yoga involves holding challenging poses in a heated room, which can jeopardize new tattoos in several ways:
The copious sweating and increased blood circulation from Bikram and other hot yoga styles can lead ink to leech out of new tattoos, which causes faded or blurred lines.
Twisting, bending, and contracting the skin too soon can disrupt healing skin and cause scabs to lift. And they are all bad for your new tattos.
The warm humid environment of hot yoga studios harbors bacteria. Your new tattoo is highly vulnerable to infection before healing fully.
Intense sweating during hot yoga can easily lead to dehydration. Proper hydration is key for transporting essential nutrients to damaged skin for rebuilding.
All these factors make most tattoos vulnerable in the first few weeks when the skin is still regenerating. So it is not recommended to do hot yoga after got a tattoo.
How Long Should You Wait?
So how long should you stay out of the hot studio after getting new body tattoo? Here are some general timelines to follow:
For tattoos under 2×2 inches with minimal detail, wait 10-14 days after getting inked. The smaller amount of damaged skin usually heals faster.
Allow 2-3 weeks for medium semi-detailed tattoos of 2×3 inches up to about 6×6 inches to heal before hot yoga.
Large, Detailed Tattoos
For a full sleeve, back piece, or other large, complex tattoos, wait at least 4 weeks or longer until your artist confirms complete healing.
However, use discretion based on your unique healing. If your tattoo looks fully healed and your skin isn’t tender earlier than these timeframes, cautiously test returning to hot yoga and watch for problems.
Tips for Safely Returning to Hot Yoga
Once your tattoo artist gives the green light, ease back into your practice with these precautions:
- Wash hands and tattoo before class to prevent infection.
- Cover with lightweight breathable clothing to avoid friction and bacteria.
- Avoid poses like planks that put direct pressure on the tattoo.
- Skip inversions that raise blood pressure and circulation.
- Hydrate well before and during class.
- Use a towel between skin and mat.
- Immediately wash and moisturize tattoo after class.
If you notice scabbing, oozing, or irritation phenomenons, stop and allow more healing time.
Listen to Your Body
Ultimately, let your tattoo be your guide for when to return to hot yoga. While the above timelines are general recommendations, your specific healing matters most.
If your tattooed area feels tight, tender, or overly sensitive when practicing, stop and give it more time before exposing it to the heat and exertion of hot yoga again. Don’t risk jeopardizing your body for the sake of a few more classes.
Getting a tattoo takes patience and resilience during the healing phase. But once fully healed, you can join in the hot studio with your new tattoo! Take proper aftercare steps and your tattoo will be turning heads in no time.