3 Hot Yoga Tips for Beginners

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If you're a yoga-lover who is looking to take your practice to the next level, hot yoga may be just the thing for you. The room is heated, frequently to temperatures above 90 degrees, so you can challenge yourself by putting more stress on your cardiovascular system. It may seem intimidating at first, but by using these tips, you'll be able to stop worrying and start sweating in the studio.

Prepare To Sweat

As you can imagine, hot yoga involves a lot of sweating, which means you can easily become dehydrated if you're not careful. It's important to really hydrate the day before your session, but it isn't advisable to chug during the class, so don't go overboard packing water bottles. Instead, save that space in your gym bag for a good sweat towel to mop up yourself and your yoga mat.

Some yogis recommend avoiding unnecessary sweat wiping, since then the body has to work harder to produce more sweat and you'll end up even hotter. Save the towel for keeping sweat out of your eyes and off the floor. A second, larger towel, is often required to cover your yoga mat for increased non-slip capabilities.

It might seem wrong at first, but wearing less will actually harm your hot yoga practice in the long run. Leggings help you to avoid slipping on your mat, while skin-tight shorts leave too much skin exposed and prevent the necessary friction. Anything baggy could become irritating as well and cause tripping during more complicated poses.

Shop Around

Not all hot yoga classes are created equal. Some are more serious, meditative experiences, allowing you to be quiet and calm before and after each session, while other classes are more social and fun events intended for community bonding. You may prefer loud, pounding music to propel you through a session, or you might want total silence; both are possible in the world of hot yoga.

Depending on your level of expertise, it may be irritating for you to have a yoga instructor who is more involved in helping you to pose correctly, or you might appreciate the assistance. You may find your classmates intimidating or overly friendly. It's important to focus on your experience during the session, but you may find it difficult if something about the class is too distracting. Either way, don't be afraid to leave a class if it just isn't for you.

If you're new to yoga entirely, it may be a good idea to check out a few beginner classes for a normal yoga practice, just to get the moves down with correct forms. Once you're in the heated room for hot yoga, it'll be harder to focus on form, so you'll want muscle memory to help you out.

Get a Health Check

Hot yoga is an intense physical experience, and it may not be for everyone. Depending on your health, even if you're an experienced yogi, the extreme heat may be harmful to you. As always, check with your healthcare professional to make sure that hot yoga is a good choice for you, since any health issues might become exacerbated by the experience. Your age and experience are also important to consider when choosing a class, since a faster pace may just be unrealistic for your fitness levels.

You may also just be a person who dislikes sweating during exercise or who becomes uncomfortable at high temperatures. If so, don't feel bad for deciding that hot yoga isn't for you. It's more important to care for your health and well-being than it is to follow the latest fitness trends.

Are you thinking that you want to try hot yoga? By all means, give it a shot! Many who practice hot yoga experience incredible benefits, from increased stamina and flexibility to improved cardiovascular health. By following these tips, you'll be well prepared for your first hot yoga class and should feel confident walking in on day one.

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