With our first Hot Yoga class filling up quickly, thought we should share a few tips to make sure you are well prepped to join us.
Hot yoga is one of my favourite ways to practice! It get's it's name, quite obviously, by practicing yoga in a heated room. There are a few styles of heated yoga, Bikram is probably the most well known. We are not Bikram practitioners (as this is a specific trademarked style you train in) instead we are Vinyasa (flow yoga) practitioners. What this means for you is we do a flowing style of practice, where the sequence changes every week (unlike Bikram) in a heated room.
The benefits of a heated practice are that the heat helps loosen your muscles, which helps your body to open more (allowing greater flexibility) and helps you to get a little more depth in the poses safely. Additionally, sweating may help to detoxify and cleanse the body and the mind. A good sweat allows us to feel like we've emotionally gotten rid of some waste.
Hot yoga is also tough as it demands focus and concentration, which helps to quiet your mind of stuff that's happening outside the studio. It can also be a little overwhelming as the heat adds another layer of challenge, but don’t let that deter you. Hot yoga is a really beautiful practice that will leave you feeling soooo good!! And will teach you so much about non-attachment; how you release the emotional grip on external stimulus (like the heat)!
So here's a little list of things to know so you are sorted for your first class:
* Bring a towel! You are guaranteed to SWEAT! So you might want to place a towel or a non-slip yoga towel over your yoga mat to stop you slipping and sliding.
* Ladies, take off your makeup. Speaking from experience - mascara stings when you're dealing with savage panda eyes mid hot yoga class!!
* Drink water before your class! It's really important to drink plenty of water during the day before your class. Bring a drink bottle into your class and take small sips whenever you need. Also make sure you replenish all the lost sweat after class by drinking enough water at home.
* Food is also important. Just not directly before class!! But make sure you've had enough to eat during the day so your body is well fuelled for the practice.
* Consider your clothing. Remember the room will be super hot and you will be moving. So best to dress lightly! I definitely don't recommend full length yoga pants. Your body needs to breath in hot yoga, so less is definitely more. And don't worry about what you look like, we are all in the same (sweaty hot) boat.
* Rest, rest, rest. During class it's super important to rest when you need. In fact opting for a child pose when your body is warm and sweaty can be so lovely and grounding. You will feel different in every class so please honour that and opt out when you need. You will still reap the benefits!
* Breathe! If it's your first hot yoga class, you can feel ALL THE FEELS! Some of them may be a little overwhelming. Take any opportunity to stop (see above) and focus on your nice slow breaths. If you feel dizzy / light headed, take a seat or child pose and hang tight until you feel ok. Avoid rushing and we are always here to help if need be.
* Rug up afterwards. Your clothes will be sweaty, so it's always a good idea to have a dry clothes (at least a top / jumper) to change into afterwards. This will help stop you from getting a chill or your body stiffening up quickly.
I love, love, love, love hot yoga!! Hopefully the list above will have you well prepped and excited to try it. Don't let the challenge deter you. We challenge ourselves on our mat (which is a safe space) in order to learn how we can better adapt to challenges off the mat.
See you there!