I have been regularly attending hot yoga classes for many years. I frequent studios all across Canada and I have been to a few in the US. I am a certified fitness instructor with over 10 years of experience teaching in the fitness industry. Sometimes tips from regular “Joes” (like me) can be more helpful than tips from the experts. Sometimes.
The response that I get when I ask a friend or co-worker to join me for hot yoga is “Oh, I couldn’t. It’s too hot.” Well I am here to give you three simple tips that anyone can follow to ensure that you (yes, YOU) can not only do hot yoga, but enjoy it and reap the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
Obviously. Yes, before class. In fact, you should ALWAYS be drinking filtered water “like you are about to go to hot yoga” not just when you are about to go to hot yoga. During class. Small sips, but lots of them.
But, don’t stop drinking once you are finished the class. Your body needs water, long after the class has ended and you have said your “Namaste”. Use your pee to tell you if you are drinking enough H2O. It should be clear and colourless. Sorry, I just got gross here for a minute. Forgive me.
2. Do Not Leave The Class
During the class if you feel too hot, or lightheaded (which you most likely will), try to avoid the temptation to leave the hot room. I know. This will be your first impulse. Get me out of here.
Instead try laying down in Savasana or corpse pose or Child's pose, both poses are restorative and will calm you. The shock on your body leaving the hot room to a cold hallway will be make you feel much worse. If you spend a few minutes calming down in savasana or corpse pose and you still feel too hot, nauseous etc. then feel free to leave.
Those few minutes you spent resting will have cooled your body down, so if you do decide to leave it will be less harmful to your body. Most likely, after you rest for a few minutes, you will want to stay and continue your practice. Have a few sips of water, too.
3. Remember, It Is A Practice
You practice yoga. You don’t “perfect” yoga. Whatever you do, don’t try to be like the teacher or the bendy, shirtless, glistening dude next to you. Just be you.
Every time you practice yoga it will be a difference experience. Your body will tell you what it can do that day. It might be more, it might be less. It will probably be different than what your body could do yesterday. I don’t know why. It’s just the way bodies work.
We are not robots. No one is judging you for what you can or cannot do. In fact, everyone else is just trying not to fall over during tree pose. If you can understand this, you will be a yogi gangsta in no time.
That’s it. No secret weapon or magic bullet to be a hot yoga guru. Ya just gotta do it.