Surviving and Thriving Hot Yoga
Speaking candidly, I used to hate hot yoga. I couldn’t breathe, would get sweat in my eyes, quickly grow frustrated (I blame the heat), and all around leave crankier than when I began.
Now, it is a different story. I love hot yoga. I find that my body craves the heat, flows better, feels stronger, and is able to sink deeper into poses.
My transformation from hater to #1 fan is entirely because of how I prepare for my hot yoga classes. I think this information would have been so helpful to me prior to going to my first hot yoga class and would have helped me get started on the right foot.
Before you go to hot yoga class it is important to pay attention to what you take in during the day. For my evening hot yoga classes, I make sure to drink plenty of water and try to eat a light snack about an hour to and hour and a half before class. This helps keep my energy levels up and I enter class feeling 100% hydrated- important because you will NOT be hydrated upon leaving!
If hot yoga is in the morning, I try to wake up an hour and a half before class. During that time I forgo my usual cup of coffee and make sure to get at last 16 ounces of water in me. I will either skip breakfast and eat after or eat something small like granola!
Come to class prepared. I showed up to my first hot yoga class ill equipped and I was super aware of it the entire class. Thankfully you’re reading this so you will be prepared for your foray into the world of hot yoga. Bring a yoga mat, some studios have them but with the amount of sweat pouring off your bod you’re going to want your own mat, you’ll thank me later. Bring a yoga towel. Take it from me, this is different than a beach towel. A yoga towel is grippy, which will allow you to move without slipping. The towel also helps absorb some of that aforementioned sweat. Bring a water bottle (duh). Finally, bring a towel for your face. I used to use my studio’s towels but found my face began to break out (I am choosing not to think to long on why it was breaking out because…ew)
For your first class, consider positioning your mat close to the door. It is typically a bit cooler there and if you do feel overheated you can quietly excuse yourself to cool off for a minute.
Drink your water! Are you sensing a theme here? Hydrate before, during, and after. Your body will appreciate it and you! Wash your mat. I use a simple witch hazel, lavender, and tea tree mixture cut with water on my mat to help sterilize it. Also be sure to leave it out to dry! Finally, take a second to appreciate how badass your body is! It just carried you through a physically trying yoga class with some intense temperatures!
There you have it! All the things I wish I would have known prior to my first hot yoga class! Let me know if this helped or if I missed anything!