10 Very Useful Tips For Your First Hot Yoga Class
Hot yoga is one of those fitness options that incorporates mind, body, and soul. And, well, a room hotter than a furnace. It's the final bit that seems to put people off when I mention my love for this steamy pretzel sesh but you guys —that's low key the best part. However, you're entitled to have a few concerns so I'm here with some top tips for your first hot yoga class.
The most important thing with all new ventures into health and wellbeing is that it's something that not only works but works for you. Especially if you have any injuries or health concerns, it's best that you speak to your GP before you get stuck into a new fitness activity.
Another thing I wish someone had told me several years ago is that yoga and hot yoga are not only for skinny women who can do headstands. My own self consciousness regarding my physicality held me back from getting on a mat and stretching. Yoga is for all body shapes. It's for building up your strength, learning to control your breathing, and listening to your body. All of which can help you love that yourself in a way you never have before.
1. Check Out Introductory Offers
Any classes slightly on the higher end of the cost spectrum tend to have lots of excellent introduction offers. I mean TBH if you live in a bigger city you can low key milk them all and get a super long, and cheap, run out of it.
These offers are there to give you a little taste of what's to come and to figure out whether you like it or not. I personally have lost count of the intro offers I've done and not been into. Hot yoga was the first one ever to actually pique my interest and get me hook, line, and sinker.
A bonus tip is to find out ahead of time whether they provide mats or not. If they don't you may be able to rent one for a small fee.
2. Hydrate Before Class
This one might sound obvious but you guys, you are going to sweat. The heating is going to be full effing blast. We are talking up to 40.5 degrees celsius depending on the class you go for. So drink lots of water before and after. And of course don't forget your reusable water bottle for during too.
That might sound like fresh hell but you guys the reason for the heat. Women's Health spoke to Jorianne Numbers, MS. Who's an exercise physiologist at Northwestern Medicine. She said the benefit of the high temperatures is that they "allow you to increase their range of motion and stretch deeper within each pose."
The heat and sweat might sound a bit icky but once you lean into it and let it happen you'll feel amazing, I promise.
3. Keep Your Garms Light & Comfortable
Calling captain obvious!
Don't turn up in massive tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie. Seriously. You will not enjoy yourself.
Ideally you'll have a pair of leggings or shorts, a sports bra (if needed) and maybe a small top if you feel it necessary. I always opt for leggings and a sports bra because tops seem utterly redundant in this sweatfest.
4. Make Sure You Have A Non Slip Mat
These are a bit like towels that go on top of the mat. Similarly to yoga mats, they should be available to rent from the studio so you don't have to commit to buying one before you get super into it.
And once you become hooked on it (I hope you do) you'll need a few of them to wash on rotation because you guys that thing gets SODDEN in class.
5. Get To Class Early
Oh god for so many reasons. Reason one, to get the lay of the land in the studio. To find the changing rooms etc. Reason two, to get the mat of your choice (which I'll get onto in a bit) and reason three, to have a chat with the yoga teacher ahead of class.
It's vital to let them know about your ability levels, if you have any injuries,
6. Take A Mat In The Middle Of The Class
I'm sure every instinct inside you is screaming "go to the back babe." Well my friend that is kind of the worst idea ever. Because with the nature of yoga, you will at some point be at the front. Because positions change.
In actual fact IMO you're better off being bang in the middle so you can see 360 degree view of what other people are doing. This is especially important if you've never practiced yoga before.
7. Listen To Your Body
If anything at any point becomes uncomfortable, stop. If you feel a twinge or discomfort, get yourself into child's pose or savasana (lying down flat) to help avoid injury.
8. Don't Feel Put Off If You Feel Unable To Do Certain Poses
Hey, everybody starts somewhere. It takes a long time and a heck of a lot of practice to be able to do all of the fancy poses. And if you get the shakes during certain postures worry thee not. As a matter of fact, according to Yoga Journal — this is actually indicative of your body working hard and developing.
9. Speak To The Teacher After Class
No matter how you feel after the class, have a quick debrief with the teacher. This is their actual job and it's mutually beneficial for you guys to have a quick chat and say how you felt. They will assuage any concerns, be able to ask questions, and of course give you support along your journey.
As with all lessons, the teacher is really what makes it. Find a good yoga teacher and, real talk, it will change your life.
10. Give It At Least Three Goes
Do. Not. Give. Up. Well, after one go at least. Give it as many attempts as you can muster and who knows, maybe you'll end up going every day.
Taking up a new healthy interest as an adult is truly the best investment in yourself. Yes, a lot of these fitness classes are expensive but if you make a few sacrifices here and there and invest in your health — you'll be wealthy beyond belief.