Ready for Hot Yoga? Here are 10 Tips
Namaste! As the owner of Parivartan Mississauga Hot Yoga Studio, I always get asked these questions: “What do I need to bring to a Hot Yoga class?” or “Is it hard? Will I pass out?” or “I’m a beginner, so what should I expect?”. So, in turn, as a way to address the most frequent questions that I am asked, here are 10 Quick Tips on how to come prepared for your first Hot Yoga session.
1. Keep Hydrated!
You will be walking into a room that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so expect to sweat like you’ve never sweat before! Whether it be a regular heating system or Infrared heating - you will get hot - and fast! Always bring a bottle (or two) of water so you can sip on it during class. For myself, I prefer room temperature water with a lemon wedge inside. It’s a great way to keep refreshed. Remember, try not to drink too much or you may feel too full to move through poses. And as always, be good to the environment and bring reusable water containers. And after the class is over…drink lots of water!
2. Dress Appropriately
It’s Hot Yoga - so dress lightly! Most women prefer a tank top and shorts/capris, while most men prefer wearing no sleeve shirts with loose shorts. The last thing you want to do is feel uncomfortable because you have way too much clothing on! You should also refrain from wearing anything too restricting as you will be doing a lot of stretching. For the ladies - tie that long hair back!
3. Bring Yoga Props!
Yoga Mat: Most studios either rent out mats or allow you to borrow their own, but if you plan on making yoga a regular practice, then it is best that you purchase one. You can get just a plain mat (which could be a little slippery due to sweat) or you can invest in the good quality non-slip mats.
Towel: Remember when I said you would sweat like no other? Well, you will need something to catch all that sweat! Placing a longer beach towel or a specially made Hot Yoga towel on top of your mat will allow you to be slip-free and you can also use the towel to wipe your sweat on!
4. Try Slower Paced or Beginner Hot Yoga Classes First
These classes are designed to help beginners understand and learn the many different types of Yoga Poses. The Instructors are there to adjust your poses if necessary. Once you feel comfy with the beginner class, move on to Power classes. This way, you won’t be too overwhelmed!
5. Tell the Truth
Before participating in any Hot Yoga class, all studios will ask you to fill out a Liability Waiver form - and most of the time, it will ask if you have any injuries or issues that they need to know about. It would be in your best interest to write down the injuries/issues and even notify the Instructor of these concerns. While in class, the Instructor can modify the pose for you and not push you deeper into a pose if they know that you may get hurt.
6. Come in with an Open Mind
You will be put into certain postures that you have never seen before or have not done since you were 10 years old….and that’s ok! Yoga is about creating strength, flexibility and balance and those poses will improve in time. With Hot Yoga, some of the poses come easier as your muscles get warmed up quicker.
7. More Yoga Props!
You can either borrow these props from the studio or bring your own if you prefer.
Yoga Block: A rectangular block to place on the floor, if you can’t reach your toes. Sometimes, they are used as a support for the poses. At other times, they are used to deepen the pose and advance it.
Yoga Strap: This is a long, canvas strap that assists in forward bends or for reaching the hands behind the back.
Bolsters/Blankets: Good as a support for the neck/back or for Savasana (meditation time!).
No Cellphones: This is one prop you should NEVER bring to class! If you must, keep it on silent and in your bag.
8. Do the best you can!
So, you are finally in a Hot Yoga class, you’re sweating and you’re moving. Try all the poses - even if you laugh at yourself! The best way to move through life is to always try!
9. Child’s Pose
If, at any time during the class, you are too hot or tired, take a sip of your water and lay in the Child’s Pose until you are ready to continue. I always tell my students not to leave the heated room, because with the difference in temperature from the heat to the reception area, you are more prone to faint.
10. Lastly….Keep on Breathing!!!
In Yoga, we teach Ujjayi Breathing; that is, inhaling and exhaling deeply through the nose. The reason we use this type of breathing (rather than through the mouth), is that this particular type of breathing assists in bringing us to a meditative state and avoids hyperventilation. Breathing through the nose allows you to get into deeper poses, find strength and focus on balance. The more difficult the pose, the deeper you are required to breathe. If you are too tired, and start mouth breathing, do so only for 3 breaths and return to Ujjayi breath - and if you are still tired, rest in the Child’s Pose.
I hope this somewhat has eased your mind regarding what to expect or do when attending a Hot Yoga class for the first time. I assure you that you will enjoy yourself, participate in an awesome workout and will be instantly hooked!