When I tell my friends I practice and teach hot yoga, there have been a plethora of different reactions. “Is it safe? That’s intense! Do people faint? Is it healthy for you? How can you breathe?”
Unfortunately, there is a debate between the different styles of yoga and their benefits or which one is superior to the rest. I personally believe all yoga is beautiful. Whichever style suits you is the style you should practice. If done correctly, all yoga is beneficial and there is no use in debating over which style is superior.
Hot yoga can be an exciting and challenging workout, leaving you feeling revitalized and reenergized in the end. Here are 5 simple tips to follow for your first class.
1. Keep yourself hydrated for the entire day
We’ve all heard it preached before – 8 cups of water and 8 hours of sleep per day! If you plan on practicing hot yoga, make sure you follow the rule. Keep yourself hydrated and drink tons of water before your class. However, don’t overload on the water right before your class – you won’t be able to move! I would generally advise to also stay away from huge meals 2-3 hours before your class. After the class, make sure to replenish your body with electrolytes – coconut water is great!
2. Dress properly
Since the room is heated and you will sweat a lot – make sure you dress properly for the occasion. The last thing you want to worry about is to be over dress in a hot room, trying to focus on balancing! Yoga capris and a tank top is always a safe bet.
3. Don’t be afraid to rest
Too often people push themselves beyond their limit. Keep your focus on yourself and don’t compare yourselves to the other students. As a first-timer, you should take it easy, observe and listen to your body. It takes time for your body to adjust to the heat, so if at any time you feel dizzy or tired, take rest in child’s pose. The practice will come eventually, trust the process and don’t rush it.
4. Fight the urge to leave the room abruptly
Once you have committed to your practice, whether it is a 60 minute or a 90 minute class, take your commitment seriously. In any sport, in the most burning moments, we want to stop completely. In hot yoga, the challenge is also present in the heated room. An abrupt exit of a hot yoga room can be very dangerous as the sudden hot to cold atmosphere may cause dizziness. It is better to stay in a resting position in the room than abruptly leaving the room as your yoga instructor can look after you.
A simple but easily forgotten rule. In the most challenging moments, people tend to lose connection with or hold their breath. It is very important to continue to breathe in and out thru the nose to keep your practice going. Let the fresh oxygen flow into every cell of your body and reenergize you for your practice. Stay calm, enjoy and breathe!