Last Updated on February 16, 2022
Yoga is an ancient practice that has begun to catch on in the West. It’s no surprise, given its benefits: it can improve your strength, flexibility, and balance as well as promote breathing techniques and meditations to calm the mind.
But before you start practicing, there are a few things to do first. Keep reading below to get the full benefits from your yoga classes.
What is a Hot Yoga Class?
Hot yoga is a popular and vigorous practice where you perform yoga in a hot yoga studio or a heated room. Heated Vinyasa, Moksha, and the Bikram yoga class are just some of the few styles of hot yoga.
Usually, the room is heated to around 105°F and will surely make you sweat a lot. The heat helps the muscles stretch more easily, while the poses help to strengthen and tone your body.
Hot yoga classes are not just for summer. Although it is common for people to think of these classes as being offered exclusively during the summer, there are many benefits of practicing this type of yoga year-round.
Preparing for Your First Hot Yoga Class
When you think of going to your first yoga class in a hot room, it may seem very intimidating and might feel uncomfortable. There are people all around you in various poses, and the room is filled with strange-smelling incense.
But, don’t worry! Once you get the hang of it, you will surely feel wonderful about yourself. Try making your first time more enjoyable by following these tips before attending your class:
Eat proper and healthy foods
Your body will be needing lots of energy which you will get from your meals to avoid getting lightheaded and dizzy during your entire class.
However, while you will surely need to eat before you practice, make sure to stop eating at least two hours before your class. Too much food in your stomach can make you feel nauseous during class time.
You may take a light snack a couple of hours before your yoga and it would be best to include a nutritious and balanced diet in your meals. After your class, make sure to replenish your energy by eating plenty of proteins such as greek yogurt and eggs, as well as fruits to quickly refill your glucose.
A water bottle may not be enough to quench your thirst in hot yoga. Since you will be practicing yoga in a hot room, expect that you will sweat a lot during your workout.
Start hydrating and drink plenty of water hours before your heated classes to reduce the risk of dehydration. Make sure though to slow down on your water intake an hour before your first class so you won’t get distracted with a full bladder and feel sick during your session.
If you have an early morning class, you should make it a habit to hydrate the night before. You may also sip water in between breaks so make sure to bring a large bottle with you.
Arrive before class begins
Arriving early before the class starts is important especially if you are new to the class. Most studios require you to fill out some paperwork and tell your yoga teacher that you are new to the program.
Letting the studio know that you are new can help your teacher set the class expectations and modify certain postures that will best fit beginners.
Being early can also give you extra time to stretch your muscles before beginning your session.
Bring your own yoga mat
In order to prepare for a yoga session, it is important to have your mat ready.
Yoga mats are one of the most important parts of a yoga session and one that you should not forget. Mats come in a variety of lengths and thicknesses so you can choose whichever will best meet your needs. You can find a mat at any sporting goods store or there are many websites that offer online yoga mats.
Although you can borrow mats from your studio, it might be best to bring your own since you will sweat during the workout. Placing a yoga towel on top of your mat is another option to keep away sweats on your mats.
Proper yoga attire
It is important to always remember the importance of wearing appropriate clothes for a yoga class. This will allow you to move freely without any restrictions or distractions from a garment.
Consider the heat of the room when shopping for your yoga clothing. You may want to avoid long pants, long-sleeved tops, or any fabric that doesn’t absorb moistures.
Although it might make some uncomfortable, clothing that will make you adjust to the temperature well would be the best option. You may want to opt for yoga shorts, a sports bra, and moisture-absorbent tops for females.
For males, wearing shorts or swim trunks and a tank top is advisable. Men may also consider going shirtless since their shirts will be soaked with sweat anyway.
Focus on your own practice
You will get the full benefits of your hot yoga experience through internal focus. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed especially when you are still new to yoga practice that is why you should learn how to be in tune with your own thoughts and breathing.
Change of clothes
By the time you are done with your class, always bring extra clothing and at least two towels with you. Change immediately after your session before going outside since heading out in chilly weather in wet clothes can make you sick.
Wear comfortable clothes as much as possible since you may be sore after your class.
Don’t Sweat It
It is important to be prepared for all of the mental and physical demands that can come from a hot yoga class. This preparation includes proper attire, hydration, and stretching before and after class.
You will then be able to focus on your practice more easily, as well as feel more comfortable throughout your session. Just enjoy the experience that your class has to offer and you’ll do great!
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