I love the feeling of breathing through a pose and beads of sweat covering my skin, but that wasn’t always the case. Going to your first hot yoga class can be daunting. With these few tips you will be prepared to begin practicing hot yoga and ready to reap the benefits and amazing feeling of the heat on your body as you flow through the poses.
How hot is hot yoga? The standard temperature is somewhere between 95-100 degrees Farenheit with Bikram Yoga practiced in rooms that are heated to 105 degrees Farenheit.
Be ready for practicing hot yoga:
- If you have the option, sign up for a warm yoga class before a hot yoga class.
- Hydrate before, during and more right after class. I love coconut water for its refreshing flavor and amazing minerals that nourish our bodies and Nuun Active Hydration designed to replace electrolytes.
- Arrive early. Take advantage of this quiet time to relax and prepare yourself for the session as the room gradually heats up.
- Be prepared to sweat. You need a quality non-slip mat and/or yoga towel. I recommend prAna mats for the warm yoga class and the hot yoga class closer to a temperature of 95 degrees. Practicing in rooms that are closer to 100 degrees place a yoga towel on top of your mat. Yogitoes is a popular towel and the one I use and recommend.
- When we’re out of our comfort zone, as is possible with hot yoga, it’s easier for out minds to wander. Reconnect and stay present. Bring awareness back to your breath and focus on each individual inhale and exhale.
- Wear form fitting clothing. Sweat drenched baggy clothing can be distracting and uncomfortable. I’m the most comfortable in capris or leggings with a comfortable tank top or sports bra.
- Practice on an empty stomach. Avoid eating 2-3 hours before class.
- Pace yourself and be comfortable with taking a rest whenever you need it.
- Listen to your body and respect your limits. Be mindful that when muscles are warm you might feel more flexible than you are. Relax and allow your body to ease into a pose.
- Finish with a nice long savasana. Let your body cool down gradually, rather than immediately going into an unheated room or taking a cold shower.
The heat can be intense, however after a few classes it becomes a warm and welcoming sensation that you will come to appreciate.
Have you tried hot yoga? Love it or leave it?
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