How to Actually Love Hot Yoga

The idea of hot yoga used to truly terrify me and it wasn't until I spent a year working at a yoga studio that I actually began to love this toning and stretching physical activity. It took major dedication in order to accomplish a full year of yoga practice, but I ended up craving the heat of class, the clarity I gained, and the strength I felt. But, as a previous yoga "hater," I understand how difficult it is to actually get into this form of exercise, so here are some tips to get you motivated and help you start loving your hot yoga practice. 

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Tip #1

 Use a cold washcloth near the end of class/practice

I cannot begin to explain how vital this is! While some studios provide cold washcloths (usually scented) at the end of their classes, not all do. Bring a washcloth to class and keep your eyes on the clock, once you get towards the end of your class, run to the water fountain and get your washcloth nice and cold. Once your back in class, lay the cool cloth over your eyes or wrap it around your neck as you settle into Shavasana. This will cool you down and leave you with a positive impression of the class, making you look forward to the next one...it's an absolute game changer.  

 

Tip #2 

Load up on the ice water 

Before going into class, fill your water bottle with ice and water. Nothing is better than sipping some cold, restorative ice water while doing hot yoga. The water will help cool down your body, rehydrate you, and give you a burst of energy so you can finish off your practice strong! 

 

Tip #3 

Wear sheddable layers 

The clothes you wear are a major part of actually enjoying hot yoga, and no I'm not talking about fashion-wise. Wear yoga clothes you feel confident in stretching in and make sure they are soft and easy to move in! While cute, those lycra yoga pants are only going to rub against you uncomfortably in hot yoga and become too tight as you work out. Also, make sure to wear a sports bra and a comfortable tank over top, so If you end up overheating you are able to rid of the tank and let your body breathe! 

 

Tip #4 

Dedicate your practice to someone or something 

Attaching a reason to why you are doing hot yoga, gives you a purpose in going to class outside of just getting fit. Yoga is meant to be healing physically, but also spiritually! Dedicating your practice is as easy as just thinking of a person you care for at the end of your practice or just thinking of some values you want to hold true to yourself for that day. 

 

Tip #5 

Take it slow 

Hot yoga should leave you feeling like you got in a good workout, but should not make you feel light-headed, nauseous, or overwhelmed! If you are a beginner, try out the easiest class at your studio before signing up for a more advanced class with your yogi friends. Taking a class that is way over your head only leaves you feeling unaccomplished and leaves you with a negative mindset. If the heat is getting to you too much during class, take a step outside and let your body cool, do not try to "tough it out." By taking it slow and working your way towards being able to finish a full class without a break, you will then be able to step confidently into a more advanced class and love it. 

 

Hopefully, some of these tips will come in handy when you are ready to try out hot yoga! I know that for me, doing these things helped me coming back to class and continuing my practice. Hot yoga can be great for the body and soul, just make sure to listen to your body and discover what works best for you-and don't give up! 

 

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