If you have always wanted to try hot yoga, but had some apprehension or anxiety about exactly what was in store, don’t you worry – today we have the scoop to help you prepare!
Hot yoga which gets its name from the heated room in which its performed is a popular and sweaty form of the practice. The term “hot yoga” is very broad – it could refer to Bikram, Moksha, or even heated Vinyasa classes like Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. During these classes, temperatures can range from 90 degrees to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. And to make it even more intense the humidity can get up to 40% during a Bikram class!
Personally I was very apprehensive before my first class, but now I love hot yoga any chance I get. Okay without further ado, here are a few short tips to help you have a great experience during your first class.
Our Favorite Tips on How to Prepare for Your First (or 100th) Hot Yoga Class
1. Drink Water Before and Stay Hydrated
Some yogis have claimed that people can lose several pounds during a yoga class. We don’t know the precise science but it sure does feel that way, doesn’t it!
So be sure to hydrate before you class and make sure you are drinking enough water through the day. That will allow your body to be hydrated and avoid feeling super tired due to cramping or an electrolyte imbalance.
2. Electrolytes are your Friend!
Electrolytes are essential minerals vital to many of the bodily functions. The most common electrolytes are sodium, calcium, and potassium. Usually when talking about working out and fitness, they are mentioned in relation to staying hydrated and using either additives to your water or sports drinks so that you can replace the electrolytes you lose through sweat.
If you need a great electrolyte supplement, here is my absolute favorite electrolyte powder. A small scoop of this will turn your basic water into an electrolyte drink. This will help you prevent muscle cramps and recover more quickly.
3. Appearance and Preparation
You will be sweating a LOT during hot yoga and everyone else will be too. So hot yoga class is not a place where you really need to worry about your appearance. Definitely don’t bother with fancy hair or makeup.
You will sweat a lot and make up will get into your eyes and create more problems for you. For your hair, use a scrunchie, band or headband to keep the hair off of your face.
For clothes, just remember you will want to have fewer clothes on your body because of the heat, moisture and sweat. In general, the lighter, the better. For guys, yoga shorts are a good option. For the ladies yoga shorts and a dark sports bra are always a safe combination.
4. Bring Two Towels
The temperatures and sequences in hot yoga are designed to make you sweat. There is a good chance you will start dripping with sweat very early in the class. Your yoga mat provides cushioning and support but it won’t be able to absorb the amount of sweat from your body and moisture from the air that is typical during hot yoga.
If you need to find a great mat for hot yoga be sure to see our through review of the best mats for hot yoga classes.
So if you don’t have a special mat, it is usually a good idea to bring two thin towels to prevent yourself from slipping and sliding. You don’t want to slip or fall or get injured during a pose, right?
See our review of the best yoga towels for good options
Also it’s always a good idea to bring a small wash cloth sized towel so you can wipe your face or body off too.
5. Avoid Perfume or Cologne or Scented Lotions
The heat will accentuate any smells. So avoid using perfume, cologne or scented lotion on the days you are going to hot yoga class.
Your fellow yogis will appreciate your consideration too!