I did a post about my favorite pastime quite awhile ago, but figured I would talk about it again for those of you newly following my blog, or following me on Twitter.
So, HOT yoga. Is it hot? Is it humid? Absolutely. In a "normal" class the average temperature throughout the class is 105 with 40-50% humidity. You WILL sweat. You may feel light-headed and dizzy at some point because of the heat and other factors. A lot of how you feel depends on what your body is going through on that particular day. Anything from stress to what you ate, and especially, especially, ESPECIALLY how hydrated you are play huge factors in the type of class you will have.
It can and will feel hotter at times. I know when I went to class earlier this week, the thermostat was broken and at one point, the teacher said it was close to 120 degrees and she had to open up the door to the room and put the fans on to cool it off a bit. Many of us "regulars" had to sit out for a lot of the poses.
This is extremely common. For everyone. You should never feel bad if you have to sit out a pose or if you can't get certain poses. Many of them take years and years and years to perfect.
It is the same 26 postures for every class, so once you learn them, it makes coming back easier and easier.
The most important thing to do is to focus on your breathe.
It's good to go to class if you are feeling sick or have a cold.
In fact, it's good to go to class as much as possible if you have the time. Hot yoga enthusiasts say you must go on average 3-5x a week to notice a difference in your body.
Hot yoga will help you lose weight, improve your flexibility, tone your figure and improve your mental attitude and the way you think about life.
It can sound pricey, however, most studios offer unlimited class specials so it ends up being a lot cheaper then one might think, the more often you go. (I pay $145 a month for unlimted hot yoga----I spend more than that on crap at Target each month I have no need for).
Hot yoga studios offer classes at all times of the day, night and weekends. I often attend the 8PM class Mon-Thurs at the studio by me.
The class is 90 minutes all about you.
The most intimadating part for me was learning to breathe, focus only and myself, and realize that none of the other students in the class are looking at me.
(Or if they are it's to see how to do a pose because they are new and feeling intimadated).
You don't have to be a yoga rockstar or have a dancer's body to participate. In every class, there are people of all ages, shapes, sizes, sexes, backgrounds and ethnicities that come. You can have injuries and a history of hating heat and hot weather. Some teachers even say if you have been practicing awhile, it's okay to do hot yoga while pregnant. (I am sure this would not go over with a lot of doctors though).
Many classes your biggest goal will just to be to learn to breathe through whatever comes up, and ultimately, just stay in the room.
All you need for your class is a yoga mat, a towel and a small wash cloth to wipe your sweat. Also bring a bottle of water.
Dress in light clothing. Nothing loose or heavy like baggy shirts or sweat pants. I usually wear leggings and a yoga or tight-fitting tank top. I don't like shorts personally because it's harder for me to get a grip on my leg in a lot of the balancing postures, but a lot of students wear shorts and sports bras. Whatever your preference!
You should never eat 2-3 hours before class because you could end up feeling (or in some cases I have been told getting) sick. (Sometimes if I am really hungry I will eat a piece of fruit of have a tiny handful of crackers an hour or so beforehand).
Many studios offer beginner specials for one to check it out and they are super cheap (think $20.00 for 10 days of unlimited hot yoga).
Often the hardest part about hot yoga is just getting yourself there. I know this is the major reason I don't go when I can. It's easy to make the excuses, however, I promise you though---if you give it a chance, it is SO worth it. I have never regretted going to class, even if it has been challenging. And I've always felt 100% better if i brought myself to class when I did not initially feel like going.
If there's something I have not answered, please feel free to ask. I LOVE talking about hot yoga in case you can't tell :).