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Have I told you lately how much I love hearing from you all? Getting an email telling me you’re trying the vegetarian lifestyle, are making strides towards healthy living, are starting to run or went to your first yoga class, they make my day! Thanks for thinking of us while you’re reaching these milestones & bringing us along for the journey. This week I received an email from a reader who is new to yoga & is curious to try a hot yoga class. Here’s what she had to say…
“I want to try a hot yoga class at the local studio but quite frankly hot yoga intimidates me. I don’t want to walk in there & not be ready, not have the right things with me to survive through my first one. What do you recommend I have for my first hot yoga class? Can you give me any tips?”
Of course I have tips for you girl — & for all of you too! Many times when my friends hear I do hot yoga they think I’m nuts, it looks intimidating. I know this because I used to think that hot yoga was too hardcore for me to try then one day I decided to check it out & I’ve been practicing eversince. I stuck with hot yoga because I get an excellent workout, I feel I’m engaging every muscle in my body & at the end of practice I walk away feeling accomplished. Can’t beat that!
So what exactly is hot yoga? Hot yoga is done in a heated room, usually in a room that’s between 95 – 100 degrees. All other aspects of the practice are the same except for the temperature. The hot temps help in the sweating out of toxins & the relaxation of muscles (allowing you to get into poses deeper). There are varying degrees of hot yoga, from Bikram to Hot Flow, so make sure to find a format you like. My advice is to try out the different formats then decide which one to stick to — though yoga poses are the same across most practices the varying temps, as well as the structure of each practice, varies from format to format & it makes a huge difference.
So now you’re ready to try hot yoga, what next? Make sure to come to practice ready for the heat! It’s amazing what having the right tools do for hot yoga, the more comfortable you are the better the experience. Here are some hot yoga essentials to help your hot yoga journey start on the right foot:
- Bring water. You should never go to a hot yoga class without a bottle of water, it’s a must! You’ll be sweating tons, will get thirsty & must stay hydraded.
- Hand towel. It’s not uncommon to sweat out of every pore in your body in hot yoga so you’ll want to make sure to bring a hand towel you can wipe your sweat with.
- Mat towel. You know all that sweat? Well it’s falling on your mat making it squeaky & slippery, not a good combination. Having a mat towel makes a huge difference because it absorbs the sweat & keeps your mat stable. One of the most important aspects of yoga is giving poses a try so it’s important to have a steady mat to do that. There are a variety of mat towels out there but I’m a huge fan of Yogi Toes. They’re skidless, maintain a good grab on your mat & help your mat keep better longer. Win!
- Wear the right clothing. Cotton & hot yoga aren’t friends. Make sure to wear dry-fit or any other breathable, sweat absorbant material. Also, make sure to wear clothes that are fitted, the last thing you want is to flash half the class in the middle of downward dogs.
- Open mind. Yes, it will feel really hot at first & you may wonder what the heck you’re doing on your first try but keep at it, it gets much better. After a while you become adapted to the heat, you notice you can go into poses deeper, you start seeing what the hype is about.
Now you’re ready to try your first hot yoga class, have fun! I hope you learn to love hot yoga as much as I do, it’s amazing. Few things feel better than walking outside after practicing hot yoga & feeling the wind brush your face. Here’s to trying out new things & discovering new ways to practice yoga!
Where these tips helpful? What other questions do you have about hot yoga? I’d love to hear them!
Image Source: You know the yoga challenge I just completed? My studio gave every finisher a yoga photoshoot; this is one of the photos from the shoot. Check out a couple more at the Peas in a Blog Facebook Page.