Nature's electrolyte cocktail: water, lemon juice, salt and sugar
We all know yoga does a body good but taking care of oneself doesn’t stop at “namaste”. What we do after class is just as important. We gave you a few tips in our Some Like It Hot post and after it went live, more post-class tips came pouring in. Many are specific to hot yoga classes but several apply for working out in general. Pour yourself a tall glass of water and enjoy.
at the studio
Stay in savasana. “It’s tempting to get off your mat quickly but rushing out of a class can jolt your nervous system. You’ve just spent an hour or so on breath and body awareness so stay mindful after the class ends," says Danielle, ambassador and hot yogi.
Take time with your instructor. Getting one-on-one advice on technique means your next practice will be that much better for you. If you have a minute, invest it.
Danielle loves a long savasana and a nap after a hot class.
Let your body sing in the shower. A shower is a ritual celebration after practicing in the heat. Avoid cold water and opt for lukewarm instead. You don’t want to shock your body. Keep in mind that others are looking forward to a shower too so keep yours brief.
Acclimatize yourself. “A lot of people want to run screaming out of the room and jump into the icy air outside to cool down. Don’t do this!” says Lauren, Bikram Instructor. Your body needs to adapt to the change in temperatures, especially if you live in a cold climate. Dress appropriately.
Go loose. Sarah-Kate, a resident hot yogi, recommends packing loose, soft clothing for after class. "It is easy to slip on over my freshly hydrated (read: somewhat sticky) skin.”
in the name of nutrition
Drink up. Water, that is. Avoid dehydration, lethargy and headaches by replacing the precious water you sweat out in class. Resist the urge to reach for coffee, caffeinated tea or alcohol.
Get your electrolytes. Hot yoga helps you kiss toxins goodbye but you lose electrolytes in the deal. Get what your muscles need to avoid serious cramping. There are many ways to replace them. Here are a few:
- Add a pinch of sugar and salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your water bottle
- Reach for a package of electrolytes like Emergen-C.
- Drink coconut water. It contains lots of electrolytes and gives you more potassium than a banana.
Give your body the sodium it needs. Put a pinch of salt in your water bottle.
Eat up You avoided big meals before class so your body will be ready for something delicious. The rule of thumb? Listen to your body and give it what it needs. The class is a nourishing, cleansing process. Your après diet should be too. Here are a few ideas from some of our hot yogis:
“I devour as many vegetables as possible. A nice big vegan salad full of yummy flavours will do just fine. Sharing this portion of the evening with friends really makes the experience complete.” – Lina
“I always bring a piece of fresh and juicy fruit like a blood orange or pink lady apple to help recover from my practice. Sushi is also a delicious, light way to recover from a class.” – Joe
"I treat myself to whatever I am craving if I know I am going to do a particularly difficult class (either really early or after a long day). I usually get a juice blended with ice from Starbucks." - Sarah-Kate
“I stop by Whole Foods for a flavourful salad or a protein-rich smoothie. They have a lot of great choices that are quick and easy.” - Matt
(Editor's note: Matt also confessed to enjoying the occasional Dairy Queen chocolate-chip cookie dough Blizzard after class. We love his sense of balance. If there was ever a time you deserve something like that, it's after a long hot class.)
until next time
Get ready for your next class by hanging up your gear and making plans for your next class. The sooner you get back at it, the better you'll feel.
- Want more tips for your hot practice? Read the post that started the conversation.
- Get yoga tips from the pros in our ask a yogi series.
- Begin your yoga education on our yoga info 101 page.
What do you do to restore your body after a hot class? Feel free to take your cue from Matt's Blizzard confession and spill. Remember, balance is everything.