I love the way it makes me feel and I find it so interesting to see how my body has become so flexible throughout the years. One of the major reasons why I am fixated with this is because it helps slow down my mind. On a normal day, my brain is working 3 times as much and is constantly running but in hot yoga; it is the only time I feel my brain takes a rest. It could be because my blood is rushing to my brain during downward dog and I'm sweating like an animal so, it truly has no time to think and is in survival mode.
I know tons of people who are obsessed with their hot yoga practice (honestly, you either love it or hate it...there are no in betweens!) and seriously how cute are the yoga outfits! Here are some Do's and Don'ts for your practice and some tips for newbies:
- Dress up for your practice! There are so many shops that carry some great active-wear. From expensive places like Lululemon to reasonable priced shops like Old Navy, Forever 21 and H&M. For hot yoga specifically, I would recommend dry-fit clothes so your sweat doesn't collect and cause your clothes to get heavy (cotton is not your friend!). I've seen people wear shorts, tank tops to literally nothing at all. Wear what you feel is comfortable as you will be bending down and doing some interesting poses. Although I am obsessed with wearing black, I love watching how cute people look in their yoga attire with their matching accessories. I would recommend a headband, only so your sweat doesn't roll down into your eyes. I've posted a picture of some of my hot yoga gear and listed the products underneath (the S'Well bottle is so amazing! a must buy to keep your water cold even in the heat!). A towel is also recommend so you can either use it to wipe off all your sweat or to use on top of your mat so you don't slip around.
- Stay safe! Yoga is your own practice and you decide the pace. Hot yoga is not for everyone especially if you are pregnant or suffering from medical conditions.
- Only be concerned with your own practice. This is important as in yoga you shouldn't compare yourself to anyone other than you. This is your practice and it doesn't matter what your neighbour is doing. It is not a competition. In every yoga class, you will notice there are experts (I'm talking about you; those people doing handstands like it's super easy!) and complete newbies. Do not compare yourself to them but work on your own practice and challenge yourself. But, always keep in mind of what your body is telling you in terms of any aches and pains.....you want to always protect your body. Listen to it!
- Drink up! keep taking sips when it's needed and keep drinking after your practice. I like to drink infused water after my hot yoga session...it's so refreshing. Check out our post on infusion!
- Eat right. Have a small snack about an hour before your practice. I always have another meal after my hot yoga session as well.
- Rest. You should take a break and rest whenever you need to during your practice. There is no right moment so just sit down on your mat, go into child's pose, or step out of the room when you feel like it.
- Sanitize your mat. For Lululemon mat's don't use any oils to clean as it clogs up the pores in the mat. ! was told to use baking soda and warm water to soak your mat in every week.
- Shower and change soon after class. You don't want all that bacteria to stick to you and cause breakouts.
- Talk to the instructor if you are suffering from any pains/aches so they can suggest some variations to the poses.
- Drink too much water before, during, and after. You don't want to feel uncomfortable and be running to the washroom during your practice.
- Eat too much! you seriously can't practice with a completely full stomach or you will get cramps.
- Come in late and try to squeeze your mat into a space that is way too small or move other people's mat away so you can move in yours. I always find this to be so rude so, come in early!
- Fart or Burp. I know this sounds ridiculous but this happens all the time. If you feel like you have to, please remove yourself from the studio and come back when you are good to go! I had someone who was consistently farting throughout the whole class and it was so disgusting. I was sure to bring a bottle of Febreeze the next time so I could spray it in her direction!
- Be on your cell phone or be chatting with your friend throughout the whole class. You have committed that time for your practice so honour it. Also, you don't need to giggle at all the poses and what people are doing....seriously, it's not that funny.
- Cause a commotion when you leave. Sometimes you have to leave early or if you are feeling sick and you need to leave; do so quietly. I've seen people cause such a huge commotion that the whole class has to stop.
- Breathe super loudly that it's distracting. I understand that hot yoga is tough and you need to keep your breath regular but panting really loudly can be so annoying to your neighbour.
- Take over someone's space. Respect your mat. You don't have to stretch over to the mat next to you while you are doing your poses.
- Wear next to nothing and come into class. Yup, I'm talking about you; Sir, who wear's tiny, loose shorts and bends down or the lady who goes commando and flashes me every time! TMI people.
- Wear make-up. It's not necessary and you will just end up melting away hundreds of dollars in sweat or end up with mascara in your eyes. Your skin should be clean and let your skin breathe (it's like getting a free facial!). Remember to always moisturize later....your skin needs the hydration!
I hope these tips help you out. Regardless if you are doing hot yoga or regular yoga, always listen to your body and enjoy! Be in the moment and let go :)