Adding heat to certain things introduces an element of fun: popcorn kernels, a relationship, even the yoga room! My first hot yoga class was not what I expected and I felt muscles the next day I didn’t know I had. I avoided hot yoga for a few weeks, but then decided to try another class with a different style. I felt more in tune with my body and its needs, and I now have a newfound love for the heated room.
For those who haven’t tried hot yoga, here are some tips for first timers that want to give it a try.
Do your research
What are some popular hot yoga studios in your community? Ask friends that have been to a hot yoga class and see how they liked it. If you like structure and routine, Bikram may be for you. If you prefer a little more variety each class in poses and intensity, try Moksha. Many studios have a one week unlimited class pass for beginners, so don’t be afraid to ask.
What to bring
A yoga mat, water, towel, and an open mind. If you’re a quick sweat-er, join the club! Start with a regular beach or shower towel beside you, but you might find it beneficial to lay it across your whole mat. Some prefer a yogi-toes towel because they add extra grip to your hands, feet and mat.
What to wear
Comfort is key. I personally love my Cool Racerback Tank as a staple top. For bottoms, I alternate between Boogie On Shorts for a closer fit, and my Rock Out Crops for more coverage on my legs. Both items are moisture wicking and four-way stretch, perfect for a heated class. If you prefer natural fabrics, try lighter weight cottons like pima cotton.
Avoid heavy meals 2 hours before your class and try not to snack anything too big right before your class. Arrive 15-20 minutes before your first class. If you happen to catch your instructor before the class begins, let him/her know it’s your first time! Find a space either in the middle or the back of the room so you can follow along easily and have a good view of the instructor. Relax ☺
What to expect
You’ll get sweaty and hot quickly so sip water when you need to. More importantly, breathe deeply. The heat will alter your breaths so make sure this is top of mind. And never do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Child’s pose and savasana/corpse pose are encouraged when you need a rest.
The heat from hot yoga is meant to detoxify you. Make sure to drink plenty of water after your class. Notice how you feel that evening and the following day before you attend another class.
The greatest thing about hot yoga is that anyone can try it, and anyone can do it. You don’t have to be experienced or flexible, just open to a new experience that could add a little hot fun in your life!