How To Survive Hot Yoga
Welcome to our Heath and Fitness Week! This week we have a great line up for guest post from our bloggers who focus on health and fitness topics! We hope you find some inspiration and useful tips in the posts this week!
Today’s guest post comes from the blog The Dance Grad.
How To Survive Hot Yoga
Its important to drink a lot of water before you take a hot yoga
class of any kind. I made the mistake once of going to a fairly
challenging hot flow class after a day of not drinking much water at
all, and I nearly passed out and/or vomited during the class (sorry if
that grossed you out, but its true). It also important to take a water
bottle into the class with you so that you can take a few sporadic sips
throughout the class as well.
Stand by the door.
This one is especially important if you’re new to hot yoga. Standing
by the door not only provides you with a quick escape if needed, but
during the class (hot yoga only, not bikram), the teacher opens the door
to regulate the temperature. This will provide you with a few moments
of fresh air which may help you to continue with the class if you’re
feeling unwell. Since I’ve just started getting back into exercise on a
regular basis again, when I take my hot yoga classes, I like to stand by
the door to catch the breeze every time the door is opened. It may seem
a bit trivial, but trust me, it’ll be worth it.
Wear the right clothes.
For a class where you are performing physically difficult postures in
85-95 degrees fahrenheit (30-35 degrees celsius), you will sweat… a
lot. I would definitely suggest wearing minimal clothing that is sweat
wicking. You want to stay away from wearing anything cotton because
that’s going to completely soak through as soon as you walk in the room
and then it will feel really heavy on your skin throughout the class. I
would recommend an outfit of this nature: Shorts & Sports Bra OR Capris & Tank Top.
Listen to your body.
This tip is important for all yoga or fitness classes. If you’re body
is hurting in the wrong way (ie. any kind of sharp pain, if you feel
nauseated, feeling faint, etc.) then you should definitely stop what
you’re doing and take a moment of rest. With yoga in particular, two
poses I would recommend going to if you’re feeling that its too much are
downward dog & child’s pose.
These poses will keep your body still engaged while allowing it to rest
for a bit. Test it out and see which of those two poses feel right in
the moment. For me, I like to revert to downward dog in hot yoga if I’m
feeling unwell because it allows more airflow to my face. Child’s pose
is a good pose to go to if you are feeling a bit nauseated and also if
you take the pose with your knees slightly apart.
At minimum, bring one large towel to put on your mat and one small
towel for drying yourself. If you’re going to use the studio’s showers
to rinse yourself off, then I’d suggest bringing a clean towel (one that
hasn’t been in the class with you & that’s not already covered in
your sweat) for that as well. Its good to have something absorbent to go
over your yoga mat so that you don’t slip while you’re in the poses
(sweaty hands & feet), and its good to have a smaller towel to wipe
the sweaty off your face periodically.
Bring your own mat.
Most yoga studios provide their own mats that you’re free to use, but
I personally like to bring my own mat, especially for hot yoga. If you
haven’t already grasped this concept from reading the rest of the post,
hot yoga will make you sweat… a lot. Obviously, that sweat will drip
onto your yoga mat as you’re doing the class. Get where I’m going here?
Its a bit gross using a “public” yoga mat, even if they do get cleaned.
I’d rather do the class on a mat covered in my own germs over someone
Bring a change of clothes afterwards.
For some people, this one may have been obvious, but for me it
wasn’t. I went into my first bikram class with only the clothes that I
was wearing, my yoga mat & a water bottle. Seriously, what was I
thinking? I was completely drenched afterwards, and if I hadn’t taken my
shirt off and done the class in my sports bra, I would have had to
travel back home after the class in a completely soaked outfit. Head to
toe, you will be completely wet during and certainly after the class, so
don’t forget to bring a change of clothes & a change of underwear.
Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting on the bus, train or in your
car going back home in completely wet clothing. If you skip this step,
you’ll go from hot yoga to cold bum in a matter of minutes. Not fun
Final Thoughts: Although hot yoga is challenging, it
really does provide a lot of benefits. Sweating that much allows for
detoxification, more of a cardiovascular workout, and it warms up your
muscles faster allowing for a safe way to perform the yoga postures. It
also helps you to become more flexible if you do hot yoga on a regular
basis, which is something that I’ve lost since I’ve stopped dancing. The
heat also helps improve your breathing and relax your body. You should
really know your limits before trying a class of this nature. Even
though you may feel more flexible during this class (and you will), that
does not mean that you should surpass your limits and overdo it. That
could cause you to overstretch the muscle causing injury. Personally, I
enjoy the classes, and I would recommend giving it a try if it sounds
like something you’d like as well. Its a really intense workout, and it
allows you to really push and challenge yourself.