The Essential Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Doing Hot Yoga

For all of you with a desire to try hot yoga, I highly recommend it.  It adds an element to yoga that helps you to stretch your muscles further, with a multitude of various other benefits.  So many people are nervous or afraid to try yoga because they are intimidated and have no idea what to expect.  However, it’s so worth taking that risk, as there are so many benefits of yoga, from physical to emotional to psychological.  In lieu of my certification to teach yoga in 2014 & my new(ish) blog Trends & Trikonasanas (oh yes, I went there…) dedicated to all things related to health & wellness, I felt inspired to try to take some worrisome aspect out of attending a yoga class by providing a simple template on what to wear (and some other good-to-know tidbits).  Oh, and if you’re in the Minnesota area, be sure to check out MNYoga Magazine– it’s free!- where in this month’s issue, I highlight tips for what to wear to and from the studio (or you can read the online version here)!

Hot Yoga
Hot yoga was one of those things that were on my perpetual bucket list, along with skydiving and traveling the world.  Finally, one day I just went.  And fell in love, completely.
Before you go, you should be aware of a few things:
Wear spandex.
There are a lot of positions where you are either folding forward or back, and trying to hold your baggy shirt from coming over your head isn’t fun (not to mention dangerous).  Many women choose to wear a sports bra and yoga capris or shorts.  Baggy pants will get weighed down by your sweat and add a lot of weight, not to mention will cause the same problem as with a baggy shirt.
Bring a towel.
Many studios will have mats to rent (which is convenient for your first couple times), and some may have yoga towels.  If not, you can use a regular towel, however, the dimensions are different than a yoga mat, making it much shorter and wider.  Again, it is fine to do this for your first time, but you’ll want to get a towel as you continue your yoga practice.  I swear by my Yogi Toes towel.
No shoes.
The rules that apply in daily life are totally different in yoga studios.  No shoes, no shirt, no problem (of course, this means women should wear a sports bra…).  When you enter, you’ll most likely remove your shoes in a designated place near the door.  I’ve never had any shoes taken or misplaced, as most studios lock the doors when class begins, but if you are worried, you can remove your shoes and leave them in your locker (on that note, most studios have locks you can use, but if you’re worried, bring your own to err on the cautious side).  Some people bring a pair of flip flops to walk around the lobby and locker rooms in so that they don’t have to be barefoot.  Either way, shoes and socks are basically not allowed in the yoga studio because they will make you slip.  If this totally freaks you out, you can get a pair of yoga socks, like these Gaiam ones, that have slip-resistant grips on the bottom.
Stay hydrated.
Many people make the mistake of not drinking any water until they get to class.  The key is to stay hydrated beforehand, which will make the heat much more comfortable.  In addition to drinking water, eat foods with a high water content to replenish electrolytes, especially after, such as grapes, pineapple, watermelon, and spinach.  If you’re really nervous, I recommend buying one of those big bottles of water that have electrolytes added, such as Smart Water.
Eat before, but not within 1-2 hours.
Eat lightly before to give your body energy, but give your digestive system at least an hour, preferably two, to rest after eating a large meal before moving your body in yoga.  If you need a pick me up within two hours before, choose a potassium-rich banana, an avocado, or a light and healthy smoothie.
The smell.
There’s a bunch of people within close proximity of one another sweating in a 105 degrees Ferinheight room.  It’s just one of those things that happen.  Some studios are worse (ahem, Bikram carpeted floors…) and some aren’t even noticeable.
The heat.
As mentioned, most hot yoga studios are set to 105 degrees Ferinheight with around 40% humidity.  For your first class, I would recommend taking a place closer to the back near the door or windows, as it is usually much cooler there.
The sweat.
You will sweat, some more than others- especially if you use body lotion.  Trying to fight it is futile…  You’ll only sweat more.  Nonetheless, the sweat acts as an amazing detoxifier for your skin, and makes the poses easier to get into, as there’s no friction as there tends to be with dry skin.
Workout Wear: Yoga Edition #2
Now that I’ve totally freaked you out, just remember: you’ll be totally fine.  Seriously.  In fact, you will wake up the next day a new person.  And you’ll want to come back for more.  Trust me.
Workout Wear: Yoga Edition

The Perfect Post-Yoga Outfit

Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have any questions at all!  And be sure to check out Trends & Trikonasanas for tips on all things health & wellness!

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