Last month, I decided to take up hot yoga. I had no previous yoga experience and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I found a Groupon deal for 10 hot yoga classes for only $35.00 and instantly jumped on it. Growing up, my dad was always into yoga. He could talk on and on about the health benefits of yoga and how I should enroll in a class. When I told him that I wanted to sign up for hot yoga class, needless to say he was thrilled. A month has passed since my first hot yoga class and I’ve gone to five classes. Through these five classes, I’ve learned a lot about my body and how yoga makes me feel. I still have five classes left that I am eager to take, but here’s what I’ve learned so far!
1. You will sweat, a lot
I went to my first class with a friend and when we got out, I turned to her and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in my life.” Which was true in all aspects. During the class, sweat was running down every inch of my body (some even going into my eye) and dripping all over my yoga mat. In class, they tell you to try and ignore the sweat and just focus on your pose which is super hard to do. Not to mention, this was only the hour long class! The next class I went to (a 1.5 hour class), I brought a face towel to wipe my sweat away from my eyes. I just couldn’t stand the sweat.
2. Bring a full-length towel
In addition to your yoga mat, make sure you bring a full length towel to place over your mat. This will help you from slipping on your mat through your hot yoga session and will absorb the sweat that drips off of your body. Note: make sure the towel you bring is clean! I made the mistake once of bringing a previously used towel and could smell it throughout the whole session (whoops).
3. Hydrate well beforehand
Since you will be sweating tons during your session, it’s extremely important to hydrate well beforehand. Although you can drink water during your session, ensuring that you’re well hydrated before your class will help you feel less dehydrated and more energized during class. Also, don’t eat a full meal before class!
4. Air out your yoga mat
By the end of your hot yoga class, your mat will have gone through as much as you have. It will be covered in sweat and have sat in a hot and humid room for 1.5 hours. Just like you, it needs to air out a little after class. Hang your mat up and let it air out. This will prevent any mold or mildew that could grow and will keep your mat more fresh.
5. Even if you feel like you’re dying, keep pushing
I got to admit, hot yoga is hard. The poses aren’t necessarily hard but in combination with the head and excessive sweating, you can feel like you’re dying at time. It’s important to listen to your body during your session. Drink water if you have to or go into the savasana pose to help your body relax. Only exit the room if you truly feel like you’re going to pass out – other than that, just keep pushing! Trust me, you will feel amazing afterwards.