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Everything You Need to Know About Taking Your First Hot Yoga Class

While all yoga is amazing, hot yoga is undoubtedly soul changing! Between the high heat and the buckets of sweat, the challenge of hot yoga makes you feel absolutely accomplished by the time you leave the studio.

When I took my first hot yoga class, I was newly into yoga having only taken one class before. I walked into the studio and was immediately wrapped in the intense heat of the room. Once I laid out my mat, I took a few minutes to just take it all in; the room, smells, people, and energy. I knew this was going to be something so special. 

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Once the class starts, you’ll notice that your body warms up quickly. You feel your muscles working and lengthening, an increase in flexibility, and your mind focuses on breathing. Basically, to make it through the class, it’s crucial to focus on your breath!  

I would be lying if I said hot yoga wasn’t difficult. The heat makes holding each pose quite intense and breathing in the warm air can be hard on the lungs. Well, at least if you’re a newbie. The most important thing to remember is that it is perfectly ok to come down into child’s pose or Savasana at any point during the class. Always listen to your body and don’t hesitate to give yourself a break if you need it. The heat brings on an entirely different element to your practice!

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If you’re looking to attend your first hot yoga class, try following some of these tips to give you an all around better experience:

Wear long yoga pants

This is my personal preference, so if you don’t agree, no worries! I prefer long leggings because you’ll sweat A LOT. I’ve noticed that if I wear capri leggings or shorts, then it’s hard to hold a grip on my legs in tree pose, for example, because my skin is so slippery from the sweat.

Wear yoga outfits that will keep up with the sweat

There’s definitely some great hot yoga clothing brands out there that are worth trying out — Onzie and Teeki are two that come to mind as brands specifically created for hot yoga! It’s important to wear high quality yoga apparel because you don’t want your yoga gear to lose its elasticity when it’s soaked in sweat. Did I mention sweat? There will be lots of it!

It’s normal if you feel nauseous

It is HOT in there! If you feel nauseous, it’s completely normal. As previously mentioned, don’t hesitate to come down into Savasana or child’s pose if this happens. If you need to step out of the room to escape the heat, then that’s perfectly fine, too! To avoid feeling nauseous, make sure you drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food throughout the day, but avoid any meals right before class. While you’re in yoga class, try to beat the nausea by re-focusing your breath and being in the present for each pose.

Bring a towel

Because, ya know, sweat! I recommend bringing a body-length microfiber towel to lay on your mat. When you really start heating up, your sweat can make your mat slippery, which can compromise your practice. So, bring a microfiber towel for your mat and a small hand towel to wipe down your face and body. 

Bring your water bottle

Some people like to drink water during hot yoga while others don’t. Regardless, it’s never a bad idea to have some water with you!

Is hot yoga cardio?

Well, it can be! Your heart rate will definitely be elevated and you’ll for sure feel like you’ve gotten a solid workout by the end of it. While I wouldn’t recommend substituting hot yoga for all of your cardio needs, it’s great to attend once or twice per week. Just be sure to replenish yourself after every class!

Like hot yoga? Try Bikram, too!

Hot yoga and Bikram yoga are similar, but still inherently different. If you love hot yoga, then definitely give Bikram a try!

Don’t overstretch!

Because the heat loosens up the muscles, it’s easy to overstretch during your hot yoga class. Remember to always listen to your body and know your limits. You’ll be surprised that you can engage in a deeper stretch during your hot yoga class, but there is a fine line between going deeper and over doing it!

Trying different styles of yoga keeps your practice fresh and exciting. While trying hot yoga can definitely be fun, there are a few risks to it that don’t apply to other styles of yoga. Just remember to take each pose one at a time, focus on your breath, listen to your body and enjoy the journey!

About The Author

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Laura Bisignano is passionate about sharing how to create a dream life one healthy habit at a time! 

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