Sweat on: how to make the most of hot yoga

Sometimes the one thing that keeps us from trying something new is preparation. Even when it comes to yoga. Often we start with one style of yoga, class, or teacher and don’t venture beyond the seams of that setting. It’s natural to want to be comfortable. However, if your comfort level causes a complacent practice, we invite you to try your hand at something different. Say, Hot Yoga.

Often, we see people steering away from hot yoga because they hate to sweat or think it's too hard. There's only one way to find out if hot yoga is your zen thing or not... give it a go!



Here’s what you need to know about Hot Yoga

(Side note: for the sake of keeping it simple, we’re merging hot yoga, power yoga (or power flow), Bikram yoga, and yoga sculpt together into the "hot yoga" category.

 

Why We Love It:

It feels good to sweat (maybe not at first, but eventually you will crave it).

 

What to Expect:

  1. The class will be heated. Depending on the studio, expect temperatures to hover above 90 degrees with (usually) humid conditions.
  2. You will sweat. Your neighbor will sweat. Puddles might form next to your yoga mat. Embrace it, don’t be embarrassed by it.
  3. You will need a yoga mat towel. As sticky as the stickiest yoga mat is, you need a towel to absorb your sweat and keep you safe from slipping. Yes, you can use a regular bath or pool towel, but we recommend getting a yoga towel because it’s made to fit your mat (not too short, not too wide) and it stays flat which eliminates bunching and twisting during your yoga flow.
  4. Drink a lot of water before class so you begin hydrated. Sip on water during class when you need it. Avoid chugging water – especially before inversions like Shoulder Stand (it's like pouring a bowl of water upside down - not good).
  5. It’s okay to take a break. Only you know how you’re feeling in that moment. There is nothing wrong with sitting a pose out if it means keeping yourself safe (and sane).

Basic Needs:

  • Moisture-wicking clothes (did we mention you will be sweating?). We prefer tight leggins, tanks that flow with your body and a sports bra that we don't fidget with.
  • Yoga mat towel (see #3 above)
  • Yoga mat (of course)
  • Water bottle (add in electrolytes for extra hydration and replenishment)
  • Hair ties to keep hair out of face
  • Hand towel (optional but advisable)

 

Takeaway:

The poses in a hot yoga class typically aren't advanced (although they can be modified to be); it's the heat that challenges you - your body but mostly your mind. When the heat is turned up your body can bend easier. It's important to keep your alignment and ego in check throughout class. Love it or hate it, hot yoga is good to try more than once. Your body will thank you.



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