THE ULTIMATE HOT YOGA SURVIVAL GUIDE
If you think yoga is not intense enough, think twice - as in twice the heat. You may not walk out like a Victoria’s Secret angel right after a hot yoga class but you will most certainly break a sweat (if we can make the word sweat plural, we would). Embrace the sweat as we always say, so here are a few tips to help you get through yoga in high temps.
1. Ditch the Loose Cotton Clothing
Loose yoga clothes might be comfy and complete that hip vibe you’re going for, but you might want to skip the heavy fabric, especially cotton for this one. The less you put on, the more comfortable you will feel. Think lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking material that fits your body well and still keeps you dry and cool, which is perfect for a sweaty practice.
2. Carry a Towel
You are going to sweat, a lot, that is the point of hot yoga. Bring a towel to remove excess sweat and keep your palms nicely gripped onto the mat. Some towels have rubber grips on the surface to prevent sliding, which can be laid over the yoga mat as well.
Image: Deposit photo
3. BYOM Even If They Are Provided
Often yoga studio provides mats, but we suggest a BYOM habit for hot yoga - studios do clean their mats, but when you picture stinking sweat pouring like a leaky faucet happening in a heated studio… bringing a mat that you know for sure is clean doesn’t hurt, right? Many yoga mats have a smooth and slippery surface, which might be dangerously slick when the sweating kicks in. The heat and humidity can also affect the grip, stability and mindfulness during practice. Invest in a mat towel or a mat with absorbent top layer that can absorb sweat and ensure a safe practice.
4. The Right Mindset
Keeping an open mind and appreciating the experience can make the class more enjoyable. If you are thinking about how hard the class is the entire time, we promise it’s only going to feel more dreadful. To get the most out of your hot yoga class - forget about your insecurities, get pumped and let your heart race whilst you challenge yourself. Just remember, whatever that’s in your head during the class, the rest of the class is thinking about the same thing - and yes, you will make it out alive.
Image: Bambu yoga
5. Hydration - before, during and after
Hydration is key for any workout routine. Since you will be perspiring a lot (think multiple river streams on your skin), drinking water throughout the day prior to your class can help your body stay hydrated. Be sure to bring a bottle of water and be generous with the sips - an insulated bottle with ice cold water or light beverages with electrolytes are great choices. Drink up before, during and after your class - the last thing you want is coming out with an overheated body.
6. Start Gently and Know Your Limits
Exercising vigorously in a hot environment will up the intensity a lot more than your regular workout. For first timers and beginners, expect to be challenged but also don’t go too hard on yourself. Start with a couple of beginner courses and accept the modifications the instructor has provided during the session. Our muscles tend to loosen up as temperature rises, which makes our body more prone to injuries. Listen to your body and know your limitations to avoid pulling any muscles.
The number may sound intimidating (40 Celsius is no joke), but if you prepare well enough both mentally and physically, you will definitely survive and might even sign up for a monthly pass! What are your thoughts on hot yoga? We want to know.
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Digital marketer, product developer and unapologetic hoarder of clean beauty products. When she’s not busy whipping up new recipes in the kitchen, she can be found meditating on her mat, booking the next flight or binge watching sitcoms all day long. Side note, very much obsessed with curry, plants and cozy jumpers (her uniform in London but became unpractical in LA).
Facebook: @Kaitlyn Chiu