So, you're thinking about going to your first hot yoga class, but you're low-key terrified that you'll either pass out or possibly drown in a pool of your own perspiration. I feel you fam, but honestly, hot yoga flows aren't as intimidating as they seem, and with the right mindset, they can be so, so much fun. However, there are a few hot yoga hacks that you'll definitely want to have in your back pocket as you prepare for your first sweat-infused experience.
If you can manage to calmly make it through an hour of moving your body on a sticky, sweaty yoga mat in a room that's about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you can basically do anything, girl. Plus, if you do make it through the full hour, you'll notice a ton of benefits, like stronger muscles, decreased stress levels, and even increased confidence.
Yes, your vision will likely be a bit blurred by your own sweat, and maybe you'll opt to chill in child's pose for way longer than the instructor tells you to, but you might just come out on the other side of the experience feeling wonderfully refreshed and restored (and majorly ready for a shower).
Here are eight hot yoga hacks to help you survive the heat of your first experience — and, you know, actually enjoy it.
1. Water Is Your New BFF
Make sure you consistently hydrate all day long leading up to your first hot yoga experience. You'll basically be sweating buckets of perspiration during the class, which can easily lead to #DehydrationNation real fast if you neglect to fuel your body with the proper fluids.
Pro tip: You probably won't want to drink all that much while you're flowing, because that can sometimes make your body feel uncomfortable and slightly nauseous. But a few small sips here and there during the class will definitely be enough to keep you going.
Once you're done, feel free to go HAM on that H2O. Seriously, chug like your life depends on it, my friend.
2. Be Mindful Of What You Eat Right Before Your Class
I'm sure that this one goes without saying, but having a heavy meal — like a big, cheesy, filling burrito bowl, for example — right before your hot yoga class will not end well. Just trust me on this one, fam.
You will want to fuel your body with some quality nutrients about two hours before your hot yoga sesh, though. A good pre-hot-yoga snack would be a bowl of fruit with a bit of granola and milk, which will provide you with the energy you need to flow through all those challenging asanas, sans nausea.
3. Remember, This Is No Time To Be Modest About Your Outfit
Less is more when it comes to hot yoga attire, so if you feel comfortable going into class in shorts and a sports bra, rock that sh*t! But, if you still feel like you want to cover up a bit more, just make sure you opt for clothing that stays close to your body — you know, so your flowy tank top won't be suffocating your face while you're chillin' in downward facing dog.
Overall, lightweight, sweat-wicking apparel is your best bet for a comfortable and distraction-free class.
4. Get A Grip (Literally)
Yoga mat-towel combos are incredible for hot yoga and make the whole experience way less slippery. Your studio might provide them, but since it's your first time, a regular bath towel will suffice.
If you find yourself bitten by the Bikram bug, though, investing in a fancier yoga mat towel of your own will make your flows luxuriously smooth and skid-free.
5. Pack An Extra Towel For Good Measure
On that towel note, make sure you pack an extra face towel or two (or three). Literally nobody is joking when they say that you'll be completely drenched after this heated experience, so TBH, the more towels you bring with you, the better.
6. Listen To Your Body
During your first hot yoga class, you might look around the room and see various yogis doing advanced poses that are impressive AF, but also make you feel like maybe you're not doing enough.
Trust me, that couldn't be further from the truth. A general rule of thumb to remember in any yoga class is that everyone's at their own level and on their own journey, so remember to listen to and honor your own body, as well as any limits it may have.
7. Stay Put
Many teachers will stress the importance of staying in the room throughout the entire practice because of the benefits that the heated room brings to your body. Even if you rest in child's pose the whole time, you'll still reap all of the detoxifying and meditative advantages of hot yoga — and no, it doesn't make you weak in any way to rest and restore while others are flowing.
However, if you feel like you really need to leave, don't be ashamed of that either! You know yourself, and only you know what's best.
8. Remember To Breathe, And Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
Throughout the copious amount of sweat and low-key fantasies of lying down in savasana, remember that your breath is your most powerful tool and will get you through the most challenging of moments.
And if you slip up or fall out of a pose, remember not to take yourself too seriously. Always find the fun within your practice — it is just yoga, after all. It's all about enjoying yourself.