some like it hot: tips from the experts

behind the scenes at our hot yoga shoot

There's nothing like a hot yoga class.

If you've been, you know what we're talking about. It seems a little intimidating but it's the perfect choice for beginners and experts alike. We paneled our experts on your behalf and asked our guests on Facebook. Here are some must-knows for the sweaty and rejuvenating experience ahead. (Many yogis had similar suggestions so we know they're good. We expect you may have a few tips of your own to add.)

your gear

"Wear tighter fitting, breathable clothing. Baggy clothes will get heavy and uncomfortable. Guys , go shirtless." – Matt, Joe, Colin and Niamh

"Wear a headband. If you don’t need to worry about brushing the hair out of your eyes, you can focus more on your poses." - Carolyn

"Take your mat, a towel, and water. You’re going to sweat it out, so replenishing your fluids is important. If you’re a heavy sweater, bring two towels – one for your mat and one for you. Sound like a lot of baggage? Most studios provide mats and water for a small fee." – Sarah-Kate

Ardha-Chandrasana (Half Moon pose)

before class

"Hydrate well in advance. I find that I feel the best when I've had plenty of water the day before I hit the studio. - Andrea

"Rinse your hair and face. No one wants goopy hair product (or make-up) running down their face. - Joe

"Eat a snack an hour before class and keep yourself hydrated. A piece of fruit can help keep your energy up during class without weighing you down and drinking plenty of water beforehand can prevent that gurgly feeling in your stomach during the class." – Carolyn, Joe, and Lina

"Take a buddy. You’ll be more motivated to go and have more fun during class if you have a friend there to support you." - Margaret

during class

"Position yourself near the door. It tends to be a little cooler." - Joe

"Breathe deeply. Deeper breathing equals stronger poses."  - Matt

"Try not to fidget. It's easy to get distracted but your class will be way more rewarding if you focus on your breathing and not that sweat bead tickling its way down your neck." - Margaret and Elissa

"Listen to your body– it will tell you what it needs. It's normal to feel a little dizzy. Anytime you start to get the spins (or feel a wave of nausea), lie down on your mat." – Jenna and Lina

"Go easy. A hot class is similar to a marathon - it's a big endeavour and you'll want to pace yourself." - Sarah-Kate

after class

"Give yourself time after class to enjoy your much-deserved shower. Nothing is better after a hot class than a lukewarm shower with Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap. It's the ultimate in refreshment." - Elissa

"Refuel. Everyone has their post-class ritual. Mine is coconut water. It replenishes fluids and electrolytes." - Alana


Thank you Pat for the great outtakes from the shoot!

tips from our guests

Sibina recommends taking small sips of water instead of big gulps. She adds Emergen-C to her water to get her vitamins and electrolytes without the added sugar.

Alexandra reminds everyone that classes are often taught at mixed levels so it’s important to not expect yourself to do advanced postures right off the bat. “It took me a while of feeling less capable until I had this realization. Love it!”

Kristina’s words really resonated. “Keep your focus inward and remember yoga is about personal growth and not trying to do the pose the same way your neighbor can. You may never touch your toes but you may get closer and know that is enough.”

Jen recommends getting in the room at least five minutes early to get used to breathing in the heat and humidity.

Rachel says to leave your ego at the door. “Be compassionate with yourself and don’t try to be a hero.”

And finally, our favourite tip from Gus.

“Definitely put a towel under your back. I made the mistake of not having a towel in my sweaty hot yoga class and the suction of my lower back and the mat created a super loud and natural sounding fart noise. I'm known as the farter now in class I'm sure. ha ha.”

want more?

If you're sitting on the fence, just go to a class! (Do one thing each day that scares you, right?)  You'll leave feeling challenged and energized. Who doesn't need that?

read more related posts:


Great tips everyone! I also suggest staying in Savasana for a while at the end of class to calm your heart rate and actually cool your body down. See you in the hot room!

Comment by Monique Harris — February 2, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

I totally agree with Sibina & many other comments, although I found drinking too much water before a class could make u feel sick during as it’s sloshing around in your tummy. I used to have an emergen c before class & take a bottle of water half frozen half unfrozen to sip on so that it’s temp is just nice & not boiling hot like the room. I found eating some yummy cold watermelon after class was great & approx 2 liters of water. Also another tip if u are in a room with heat lights in the ceiling above u position your mat in-between the lights to get some rebreave from the heat if u are just starting out to until u get more used to it. Also as daunting as it may seem be at the front of the class because if u haven’t got anyone in front of u, u are less likely to worry about them & judge yourself unnecessarily & then u can just remain focused on yourself & get on with it! Be there for you!! :)

Comment by Sarah — February 2, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

Great tips, but you forgot the most important one… HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Comment by The Get In Shape Girl — February 3, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

tough call going shirtless….

I wear a simple t-shirt to wick the sweat. Going shirtless mean the sweat drips on my face, onto my mat, and generally makes my mat slippery. Not quite as free moving but there’s nothing worse that sliding on your warrior pose or downward dog


Comment by jeff — February 3, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

I don’t go shirtless because the shirt helps to decrease the amount of dripping and less dripping leads to more fun. I prefer to wear a fitted shirt so there’s no extra bulging or weird draping while doing inversions. Lulu doesn’t really make fitted shirts for guys (at least not in a size small!) but they are easy to find in the market.

Comment by JJW — February 4, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

G’day, I have not done hot yoga be4. How is it like? And the guests who done Hot Yoga where did you do it at? Is there one in Prahran, Windsor or in South Yarra?

Have a good day!

Comment by maria — February 6, 2011 @ 12:31 am

Those are great tips! Hot yoga is the best workout I’ve ever had!! I wish there was a hot yoga studio in Palmdale.

Comment by Ashley @ Taste for Healthy — February 6, 2011 @ 10:27 am

As a Hot Yoga studio owner I just want to thank you for this article and spreading awareness of this incredible, unique style of Hot Yoga! :)) it truly is amazing and life changing! and i am obsessed with Lululemon hot yoga wear too :) we need a Lulu in Tallahassee, FL!

Comment by Brittani — February 13, 2011 @ 9:17 am

I keep seeing these totally cute but very tiny hot yoga outfits at Lululemon but the people in my hot yoga classes seem to cover up way more than this and I would feel pretty self-conscious if I was the only one downdogging in something not much larger than a bikini. That said, I would do it if there was a good reason to – so why are hot yoga outfits so itty-bitty? What are the benefits for your practice?


Comment by Emma M — February 14, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

Hi Emma!
What you wear to a hot yoga class is based on personal preference – some prefer more coverage, some prefer less, and some are in between. You’ll see variation in what students wear from studio to studio and class to class. Some students prefer to wear a little bit less because they find it more comfortable in such high temperatures and find they have a larger range of movement.
~ Laura, GEC Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 16, 2011 @ 10:22 am

lululemon could make a killing on bikram clothing, with some cool colors and prints along with much lighter fabrics. The hot yoga clothes I’ve bought are too heavy and boring charcoal and black. Bring up a bikram vagas or los angeles training sight and you’ll know what I mean. People want to be in fun colors for this demanding workout. Have a good one.

Comment by cindy — February 18, 2011 @ 8:10 am

Ive been doing bikram yoga for about 8 weeks now and I agree with cindy there is not enough choices for clothing and colors in this area. men in paticular only have one pair of shorts available in black and thats it i would love to see even a colored logo or a side strips anything.
bikram is amazing though and im so happy i made the decision to do it.

Comment by jon — July 14, 2011 @ 12:37 am

Starting out in hot yoga I found it helpful to bring a metal water bottle filled with iced water. When it got too hot I would lie on my mat and put the bottle on my forehead to cool the sinuses. A few deep breaths of cooled air was rejuvenating and I could rejoin the class quickly.

Comment by Joanne — July 20, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

You need to make sure you get enough electolytes, especially if your hot yoga of choice is Bikram.

Apologies if this is obvious, but since this is geared towards new people:

Electrolytes are basically electrically charges minerals in our bodies. We get enough sodium in our diets and it’s easy to supplement minerals such as magnesium, chloride, et al. Potassium is harder to supplement, so eat bananas, avocados and any other potassium-containing product in addition to getting your other minerals (a multivitamin is nice).

Comment by Loki — July 26, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

Can a fat lady join this club? I’m just seeing those girls wearing those kind of stuff.

Comment by Samantha L. — September 14, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

Wonderful post and great ideas. I agree that Peppermint soap is the ultimate refreshment. I make Organic Peppermint soap that my customers rave about.

Comment by Geri — December 3, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

Lulu lemon should make the burgundy studio pants to match many of your shirts

Comment by Claren — December 22, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

if your clothes are smaller, you can see yourself better and adjust your postures better. I tried to go back to a full length tank top and it just wasn’t the same!

Comment by J Fierce — January 21, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

I just started my Hot Yoga practice 12 days ago! I tried a 90 minute-Hot Yoga a year ago, it was great, although 90 minutes was a bit too long for this girl! I have now found an awesome studio here in Charlotte, NC called Arrichion Hot Yoga and fell in LOVE! My challenge was to do Hot Yoga for 30 days! Today is Day #13 and I have bragged to my boot camp clients about this as well as my friends. I am a athlete and LVOE a challenge, so what better way than to do Hot Yoga-I take some of the most challenging classes, but may not be able to hold poses for as long-the classes are 45 minutes LOVE IT! I even do a combo class called Tiger’s Eye that is Circuit Training for 30 min and 30 min of Hot Yoga-AWESOMENESS!

Comment by Lisa Meadows — March 13, 2012 @ 7:31 am

I’m actually going to my first hot yoga class on Friday. I’m excited! These tips will definitely come in handy. A friend of mine told me that during her first few classes she felt sick afterwards, but now she absolutely loves it. Crossing my fingers that my experience is better than hers!

Comment by Hazel — July 24, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

Thanks Gus for your post on the suctioning back issue….. I had a new pair of shorts on in class yesterday which apparently allow for excellent suction for my back against the floor. I rocked myself up to a sitting position yestrday at the end of class & it sounded like I did the biggest fart in the whole world. Mortified but glad to hear I am not alone!

Comment by Angie — September 21, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

Lulu lemon should make the burgundy studio pants to match many of your shirts

Comment by kevin — March 14, 2013 @ 1:23 am

One tip for men… please don’t go shirtless in Hot Yoga. There is nothing more disgusting than being next to a guy who is sweating all over the place. A shirt/tank catches the sweat.

Comment by lori — August 5, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment