The first time I went to a hot yoga class, it was entirely by accident.
I had been at a yoga event instructed by Thy Nguyen and just loved her style of teaching. I knew she had a studio in Rosebery, so next time I was down that way, I booked in a session using my ClassPass, expecting a nice fun lunchtime flow.
Her studio, Modo Yoga, is beautiful. I popped my bits n pieces in the locker, took off my shoes and opened the door to the yoga room.
And then it hit me.
It was freaking hot in there.
Yes, I’d missed the obvious clues. Like the words ‘hot yoga’ in the studio’s bio. And the flame in the logo.
I’ll be honest, my immediate thought was ‘how can I get out of this’. Hot yoga has never featured highly in my ‘list of things to try’. In fact, it’s never featured at all.
Yet here I was. And you know what? Once I’d gotten over the initial shock and discomfort, and let go of my fears, I actually loved it.
There is a feeling you get at the end, which must be induced by SO MUCH SWEAT, that I’ve not experienced with any other kind of yoga or workout.
I felt really cleansed, uplifted, refreshed. Perhaps it’s all the toxins leaving the body. If you’ve not done hot yoga before, find yourself a studio near you and just do it. Book yourself in and just turn up, give it a go.
But don’t make the mistakes I did. Be prepared.
Here are my 7 tips for your first hot yoga class:
1. Take more water than you think you need.
At least two bottles for before, during and after. It’s so important to start drinking water well before the class starts, and to rehydrate afterwards because I tell you, you will not have known sweat like this before.
I’d also consider some coconut water to get those electrolytes topped up and it goes without saying, avoid coffee and alcohol before and after.
2. Have an open mind.
Expect the heat to be a bit uncomfortable at first. Stay calm and be open to it. Embrace it. It’s doing wonders for your flexibility and provides more of a cardiovascular workout than unheated yoga.
3. Allow more time than normal.
It’s a great idea to get to class a little earlier than usual so that you can lie down in the room on your mat, acclimatise to the heat and get in the hot zone before you start to move.
And boy, you’ll need a shower afterwards, so if you’re not heading straight home for one, allow more time for that too.
4. Take towels.
Can you believe I actually turned up to my first class without a towel? Not even one. I had left the house in a rush and forgot. So my advice, obviously, is not to forget a towel. You’ll need it.
In fact, take two. One to place over your mat, one for you, that covers all bases if, like me, the sweat literally starts pouring off you.
5. Dress accordingly.
Another rookie error I made for my first class was my choice of gear. I had full-length tights and a thick 100% cotton tank on.
I would recommend going as skimpy as you’re comfortable with. For me, that’ll be knee length tights and a sweat-wicking tank, but if you’re more body-confident, go the little shorty shorts and crop top option for sure. Dharma Bums does really cute shorts.
6. Don’t rush.
At the end of the class, you might feel a little light-headed. Take it easy. Don’t jump up and dash out. Slowly does it.
7. Find the right studio.
Do a bit of research. Some studios offer beginner lessons, some offer classes without heat (or at different temperatures) to ease you in gently.
At Yoga Hot Spot in Chatswood, for example, you can choose beginner classes with no heat, or at 32 degrees (Yoga Hotspot is also on ClassPass).
OK, so you know all you need to know before that first class.
Book it, go get sweaty and enjoy, hotties.