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Thinking About Hot Yoga? Here’s How To Prepare For Your First Class

Curious about how to prepare for your first hot yoga visit? The practice is fairly intense and not for the faint of heart (or lungs), so it’s important to prepare yourself a bit for the experience.

Hot yoga instructors can certainly help guide you through the session, but a level of preparedness beforehand will improve the quality of results. Keep reading for a step-by-step breakdown of hot yoga tips, tricks, and pre-class pointers that will keep you coming back for more.

Most importantly, you need to prepare yourself mentally. Hot yoga doesn’t hide from what it is: a deliberate challenge meant to make the mind and body uncomfortable. The payoff is profound, though. Once the mind acclimates to the discomfort, it can relax and power through the session. And once you exit the room, dripping in sweat and completely loosened up, you’ll understand the appeal.

It’s important to realize that your body will eventually adjust to the heat, but that it may feel overwhelming at first. Read some client reviews of your chosen studio, and read all of their guidelines, as well. Also always remember that hot yoga teachers understand how intense the class feels, and they aren’t judging you for taking breaks or gathering your emotions. Everyone in that room is in it together.

As for clothing, it’s best to wear as little as you feel comfortable wearing. Heavy, loose-fitting shirts and sweatpants will feel more like a hinderance after a few minutes. A tank top or sports bra with a pair of shorts or light-weight capris is a good choice for women, while men should wear moisture-wicking shorts and tanks. You also don’t need any special shoes or socks unless the gym specifically requires them — barefoot is best. Afterwards, you’re going to be dripping so much sweat that you’ll feel like you just left a water park, so prepare accordingly.

The best way to prepare for hot yoga is to get hydrated

This should come as no surprise, but drink lots of water beforehand. Lots of water. Without proper hydration, you’ll feel lightheaded and sluggish as the sweat begins to pour. However, you don’t want to chug a gallon of water right before class. Too much water causes cramping, urination, and fullness. Stick to a good hydration schedule leading up to the class, and then be sure to pack at least two water bottles for sips during class, as well.

It’s also not smart to eat a big meal before your class, or to wear perfumes or lotions. A piece of fruit leading up to your class will help stabilize blood sugar, but take it easy on fats or proteins. And of course it’s fine to wear some deodorant, but lathering too many smells on your body will be a major distraction. The smell of sweaty people is just part of the experience; afterwards, you’ll feel more camaraderie with them than judgment about hygiene.

Lastly, if it’s your first time, the best way to prepare for hot yoga is to get there early and sit in the room for a few minutes to acclimate to the heat. You’ll also get a chance to pick a spot that makes you feel comfortable and safe. After that, all that’s left is to relax, focus, and burn some serious calories. Trust us, you’re going to love the feeling of accomplishing this hot yoga goal.

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