Looking to Try Hot Yoga? We Have Some Tips For You

Hot, or Bikram yoga is a series of positions lead through breathing exercises, taking place in a heated room usually between 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Workouts typically last 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the studio and class.

The first time trying a new workout can be intimidating. The stereotype of an avid yoga student, or yogi, is that they are extremely flexible and fit. However, everyone who practices yoga was new at one point, and it all starts by walking into that first class.

“It’s important for first time yogis to go in with a positive growth mindset,” said Emma Ottenhoff, certified yoga instructor. “So many people who are new to yoga express concerns about not being flexible enough, not having what they think is the right body type and so on. But instead, flexibility, increased energy and other benefits will develop with the practice and are not a prerequisite to being in a class.”

Here are a few tips before walking into your first class:

  • Explore your options: Yoga studios offer different types of classes you can take. Check online to see if there is a description of each, and read through each one to find the perfect fit for you.
  • Dress lightly: Remember the room will already be heated before you start moving. To be most comfortable, women can consider lightweight wicking cropped leggings or tightly fitted athletic shorts. For tops, women will want to choose something lightweight that isn’t too loose at the waist. The last thing you want is to go into a downward facing dog and have your shirt hang over your head. For men, wear loose fitting athletic shorts and a wicking tank top, or choose a t-shirt that is more fitted at the waist.
  • Bring a mat: Most yoga studios allow you rent a mat, but if you have access to your own I recommend bringing it. Having a good mat will help keep your feet planted as you move through the poses. If you think you are going to sweat a lot, I recommend bringing a towel to place over your mat. You can purchase yoga-specific towels, but a bath towel will work too. This will help absorb moisture and prevent you from slipping.
  • Stay hydrated: It is recommended to stay hydrated in the hours leading up to your class, instead of drinking a lot during class. Drinking during class will cause your stomach to fill up with water, which can lead to discomfort as you move through some positions.

Are you trying yoga for the first time? Let us know about your experience by leaving a comment below.

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Photo Credit: Tony and Debbie via Flickr

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