So you’ve heard about all of the benefits of hot yoga. It increases flexibility, increases lung capacity, improves balance, speeds up metabolism, detoxifies the body, and the list can go on and on. But there can be so many more questions. What to wear to hot yoga? What to expect for your first hot yoga class? What is it really like in a hot yoga studio? How do you prepare for hot yoga class? I wondered all of the same things before I went to hot yoga. Through my practice I have grown to love hot yoga, and have learned a few tips along the way. I will answer all of these questions and more.
- Drink lots and lots of water
- Pace your eating throughout the day
- Wear small, well fitted, stretchy clothing
- Bring towels
To prepare for your upcoming hot yoga practice make sure to drink as much water as possible. I personally aim to drink 2 – 2.5 litres of water beforehand, and at least a litre afterwards. There’s a few great apps out there to help you keep on track with your water intake. To make sure you have enough strength to complete the class you want to fuel your body with good, clean foods throughout the day, but make sure you stop eating roughly 2 – 3 hours beforehand to avoid feeling nauseous while in class.
Have no idea what to wear to hot yoga? Let’s think about it for a minute. You’re going to be in a hot room, bending and moving in all different ways, we don’t want anything hanging out. To stay comfortable and avoid awkward situations with who knows what popping out, you’re going to want to wear small, fitted hot yoga clothes. Generally people wear spandex short shorts, a sports bra, and sometimes a tank top. Aside from being comfortable in the heated room, smaller clothing allows you to see your body to make corrections for poses, and to become more unified and confident in your body.
- Stay quiet
- Prepare to sweat
- Listen to your body
Hot yoga is a place to focus on yourself and join the mind, spirit, and body. To keep your focus on yourself, and to be respectful of others, please stay quiet in the studio, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the odd weird face to your friend as you’re trying out standing head to knee for the first time. Take this time to focus on yourself, and listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard. The main goal for people for their first hot yoga class is to remain in the room. My first class I kept getting light headed and had to take a knee a few times, there’s no need to be hard on yourself for not being able to do something. Yoga is a practice that you continuously work at and get better at.
You are going to sweat your pretty little ass off. I have never sweated so much in my life. It’s gross, but it also feels amazing! I always bring 3 towels to help with this: 1 towel for my mat, 1 towel to wipe off my face and sweat throughout the class, and 1 towel to use to wipe off sweat after class, or to use after the shower if I shower at the studio.
- Feel relaxed
- Sore muscles
- Find the right studio for you
After your practice you are going to feel uh-mazing. You will feel so calm and relaxed, you may want to lie in the sun and take a nap, or get all cozied up and mellow out. The next day you are going to be sore, but it is going to feel so good. I’m one of those people that only feels like I’ve had a good workout if I’m sore after, and hot yoga delivers while still being able to walk properly the next day.
There is a chance that you didn’t feel 100% comfortable in the studio you tried. You may have felt judged in one way or another, or the overall aesthetic may not be to your liking, but please remember that not all studios are the same. The first one I tried was a beautiful studio, but I didn’t feel completely comfortable there. Then I tried Bikram Westshore and I absolutely love it there! They also have a great letter to first timers.
I hope that answered all of your questions about what to wear to hot yoga class and what to expect from your first class. If you’re curious about what to pack in your gym bag, I have a post for that too! I hope you give hot yoga a try, and please let me know what your experience is like in the comments below.