Heading into your first hot yoga class can be a daunting prospect. Temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, high humidity—all while you’re trying to hold challenging poses? This might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to. Hot yoga offers tons of health benefits, and millions of people are devoted to the practice. You can increase your strength and flexibility while detoxing your body at an incredible rate.
Hot yoga might seem impossible, but don’t be discouraged. Knowing what to expect from your first hot yoga class and how to prepare can set you up for success. Get ready for those sweaty yoga moves to kick your butt into shape!
You’ll Need To Hydrate
Since hot yoga takes place in steamy conditions, you’ll need to condition yourself leading up to the class; this means making sure you’re hydrated. Sip (not chug!) water leading up to the class, and be sure to bring a full water bottle with you.
You Should Come with an Empty Stomach
Come to class on a relatively empty stomach. You’ll need some fuel, but you shouldn’t be full. Have a light breakfast or a snack beforehand, but forgo a full meal or anything rich.
Expect High Heat
Yes, it will be hot—unbelievably so, when you enter the studio for the first time. But you’ll adjust to the heat more quickly than you may think. Once the class begins, you’ll become more focused on the poses and not so much on the heater blasting above you.
If you need a water break, take one. Lie down on your mat if you need more of a break, but try not to step out of the room—the sudden drop in temperature could throw you off. But if you really need to step out into the hallway to cool down for a moment, that’s okay, too.
Get Ready for a Sweat Fest
If you wanted a sweaty workout, you came to the right place. You’ll sweat from places you never thought you could sweat from—a towel is an absolute must! Some hot yogis even opt for two towels: a smaller one to wipe off their moist hands and face and a larger one to cover their mat to keep their grip. Beach towels are a perfect length to cover your mat.
Remember To Breathe
We often hold our breath when we’re exerting ourselves in a challenging workout. The instructor will remind you to breathe throughout the practice, but it’s good to keep reminding yourself. Use your breath as a guide, too; if you notice that you’re holding your breath or that you’re only capable of taking shallow breaths as opposed to the deep inhales and exhales you should be doing, it might be time for a water break.
Knowing what to expect from your first hot yoga class can make the class easier, but it might still be tough at first—and that’s okay! Take it slow, and don’t compare yourself to other yogis in the room. You made it there, and that’s what counts.