You may have heard some things about taking hot yoga classes, but you have yet to try it for yourself. It's typically a 60- to 90-minute practice performed in 105-degree rooms, and it includes 26 different postures.
For those of you who haven't tried it yet, here's a breakdown of what will go through your mind when you do:
1. Thank god I had a hair tie in my bag.
As the practice begins, you will find yourself bending forward and back, left and right, and your hair will be right there with you, ready to stick to your face and neck as you move around and your body heat intensifies. You best believe you will need to have your hair securely held back. You should probably bring a headband as well so you can keep it out of your eyes.
2. Why didn't I shave my pits today?
This is purely a personal choice. Some people don't care whether or not they have a full underarm bush or not.
But if you are self-conscious about it, just know you'll be standing with your hands over your head most of the time, staring at yourself in the mirror. Be prepared.
3. These pants were a mistake.
Remember, the more clothing you wear, the more intense your experience will be. I once wore a full-length pair of athletic leggings to hot yoga, and I got a lot sweatier than usually I do.
Keep in mind when choosing your outfit that you will be barefoot, bending over a lot and spread-eagle at times, so the clothing should be lightweight, well-fitting and flexible.
4. Can I have some water already?
No yoga instructor wants anyone to pass out from dehydration during the class. But during hot yoga, you may wonder why — if everyone has a water bottle — there are so few water breaks.
Firstly, in order to maintain effective hydration, you have to have been drinking water all day (or as much as possible, if you practice in the morning) before class. Secondly, it's an intense practice, and drinking huge gulps of water throughout the whole class may actually make your stomach uncomfortably full and sloshy. So, it is not an efficient way to rehydrate. Just make sure you drink lots of water afterward.
5. Ow, my head!
I must admit, as much as I love hot yoga, I've had moments in class when backward and forward bends have given me a slight headache as the blood rushes up and down. This mainly happens if I haven't been to class in a while, but the feeling always dissipates pretty quickly (usually within five minutes). There's no need to panic.
6. Wow, am I really this flexible?
The heat element of hot yoga makes the muscles much more malleable than they would be while practicing at room temperature. You'll be surprised at how low you can go when you're hot.
For people who have never attempted to push themselves in terms of their flexibility, it can be a great discovery. It may even inspire you to replicate the experience by thoroughly warming up when doing other physical activities and giving yourself a good stretch.
7. I need to do this more often.
There are many elements of hot yoga that leave you feeling great afterward. All the sweating forces toxins out of your body, you feel accomplished for challenging yourself and you might even sleep better. It's pretty addictive.
8. I can't wait to see bae later.
With all that sweating and flexing, it's hard for your libido not to get a boost. Your significant other is probably the first person you think of in this state, while you're staring at your glistening skin in the mirror of the studio.