NEW TO HOT YOGA?
Hot yoga can be incredibly beneficial, whether you’re looking to improve your strength and flexibility or an opportunity to quiet your mind.
To some, hot yoga can be intimidating. The following points will help clarify some of your questions and help you work up the confidence you need to give it a shot.
YOUR BODY WILL ADJUST
The heat of the studio might feel intense at first, but I promise, your body will adjust to it. Know that it can take up to 3 classes for your body to become acclimated. Especially for the first few classes, be sure to be hydrated, breathe, and take breaks as needed. Do your best to stay in the room and allow your body to acclimate to the space appropriately. Though it might be tempting to run out of the heated room, don’t! The sudden change in temperature might be too much. Just know that soon your mind will be so engaged with what’s going on with your body—balance, placement, alignment, etc… that it will forget about the heat.
Be sure to drink plenty of water prior to class and take water with you into class. Also, avoid eating an hour before class starts. If you’re hungry ahead of time, have a light snack, like fruit or nuts. You’ll regret indulging in sweets or rich foods prior to class.
DON’T LET SWEAT BRING YOU DOWN
Embrace the sweat and expect a lot of it. Sweat is very cleansing and detoxifying so enjoy it. To help with the sweat, you may want to bring a towel or two with you to class- one small hand towel to wipe off sweat and a larger towel to lay over your mat. Otherwise, you may find yourself slipping and sliding between poses. Certain mats, such as the lululemon 5mm reversible are great for hot yoga. They are slip resistant and also have an antimicrobial additive that helps prevent mold and mildew from growing.
If you’ve taken yoga before, you know that your breath should guide your practice. This is especially true for hot yoga. Let your body take the deep inhales and exhales that it needs, especially during the more challenging poses, this will help cool you down and keep you calm and relaxed. Avoid holding your breath or taking short, shallow breaths which will escalate your heart rate or make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Hot yoga is incredible. Go in with an open mind and get ready to have fun. Know that as in all yoga classes, everyone is at a different level so don’t compare yourself to the person next to you. Check your ego at the door and don’t become discouraged if you can’t take the same variation of a pose as your neighbor, find what feels right for you. Your first few hot yoga classes are about getting used to the temperature, the poses, and the environment. If things become too intense it’s ok to take a child’s pose. Listen to your body.
DON’T OVERTHINK, JUST DO
Things may feel hard, challenging, or just downright impossible, but know that you are capable of more than you think. Attempting challenging poses can be fun and with time, patience, and practice can be very attainable. Change the script in your mind from one of “I can’t” to “I can”. Just allow the teacher to guide you and move through each pose with confidence and strength!
You did it! You might feel a little shaky after your first class, but you’ll also feel cleansed, empowered, and strong. It’s a feeling like no other. After class, remember that hydration is essential, to replace the fluids you lost through sweating in class. Get ready for your next class- sign up online and perhaps even consider trying another instructor. Practicing yoga 2-3 times week can be essential in helping your overall physical and mental health. The more frequently you practice the sooner you’ll see results- such as better range of motion and flexibility, strength, reduction in stress, and better posture to name a few.