Hot yoga simply refers to any type of yoga practice conducted in a heated room. Hot yoga has become very popular and it is usually fairly easy to find a studio offering heated classes. If you’ve never tried hot yoga before I have ten tips that will definitely help make the transition to this style of yoga a little easier! If you have any concerns about being in a heated room consult your doctor before you attend your first class!
Temperatures in a hot yoga room can range from about 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) to 105 Degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) so be sure to research the studio you choose in advance and make sure you are aware of what temperature they will be heating the room to and what style of yoga will be taught.
1) Try a Regular Unheated Class
If you are new to yoga I do not suggest starting with hot yoga! Visit a studio and try out a few different unheated classes before making your way into the hot room. Temperatures in a hot yoga room can range from about 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) to 105 Degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) which can be overwhelming at first so do yourself a favor and make sure you are somewhat comfortable with your regular yoga practice before heating things up!
Also, be sure to research the studio you choose in advance and make sure you are aware of what temperature they will be heating the room to and what style of yoga will be taught.
2) Hydrate & Eat Throughout The Day
You are going to sweat A LOT during a hot yoga class so it is crucial to hydrate and nourish your body throughout the day to ensure you have the energy needed to make it through a glass. Chugging water right before class won’t help to try to sip on water throughout the whole day, and try not to drink anything for the 15 minutes before you start a class.
I also recommend eating healthy meals throughout the day, but try not to eat anything for an hour before your class. You are going to be sweating while stretching, twisting, and working your muscles and a full stomach may make you feel sick
3) Wear The Right Clothes
Wearing the right clothes doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wear expensive gear made specifically for yoga. Instead, it simply means that you need to choose clothing that you are going to be comfortable getting very sweaty in. Usually, this means items that are easy to wash and items that aren’t going to hold onto sweat and become heavy, or baggy items that may weigh you down when they get wet. Many people opt to practice in very little clothing but if that if that doesn’t feel comfortable for you make the choice that makes you feel great so you can concentrate on the poses and not on your clothing.
4) Bring a Mat and Two Towels
If you’re able to bring your own mat to hot yoga I always recommend it. Your mat will almost certainly have a layer of sweat on it by the time you finish class so using a rented mat isn’t always the best option.
You’ll also want to bring two towels with you – one to lay over your mat to soak up sweat and prevent you from slipping and a second small towel that you can use to keep sweat out of your eyes. Keep in mind that it is a good habit to try and avoid wiping away sweat from your body during a hot yoga class. This will only force your body to work harder producing more sweat.
You can purchase large towels that are specifically designed to go over your mat, but If you don’t have one of these you can always opt for a bath towel instead!
5) Bring a Water Bottle
Find your favorite water bottle and fill it with room temperature water before heading into the hot room. You will of course be tempted to bring ice cold water with you, but this will actually shock your body during a hot practice, so opting for room temperature water instead is best. Also, try to resist chugging water during your class, and instead try to take small sips when you feel thirsty.
6) Arrive Early
This tip is especially relevant if you are brand new to hot yoga. The room and the temperature can often be overwhelming so arriving early will give your body time to regulate and get used to the heat before you start moving. Simply find a spot in the room and lay down on your mat for a few minutes before class begins. If you’re feeling nervous about the heat, try to position your mat near a door or where there is some airflow. You can always ask the teacher to recommend a spot in the class that may be slightly cooler than the rest of the room!
7) Don’t Push Yourself
Once you start the class try to practice some self-love. Be gentle with yourself and don’t push yourself too hard. Like anything new, there are bound to be challenges, but remember that yoga is a lifelong practice and there is no need to achieve everything during your first class! If you’re feeling overwhelmed sit down, if you feel like a certain pose doesn’t work for your body, take child’s pose, and if you feel sick, you always have the option to leave the room!
8) Wipe Down Your Mat
Regardless of if you are borrowing a mat or using your own, it is important to wipe it down at the end of your practice to prevent bacteria from growing. Most studios will provide spray bottles and cloths to wipe your mat down with, but if your studio doesn’t you can do this at home using a gentle cleaner or tea tree oil diluted with water in a spray bottle!
9) Bring a Change of Clothes
If you wouldn’t want to wear it out of the shower you probably won’t want to wear it after you finish class.
Regardless of if you plan on showering at the studio after class or not I always recommend bringing a change of clothes. Depending on the heat and the type of class you are taking you may very well be dripping when you come out of class and likely won’t want to get into your car or walk home before changing. Try to bring something comfortable that is easy to get on!
10) Rinse or Wash Your Yoga Gear
Remember that you are going to sweat – A LOT, and your clothes will likely need to be washed after every practice. You can either throw them in the wash right away or if you don’t have a full load ready I usually opt to rinse my clothes out with cool water and leave them to dry until they are ready to be washed.