I’d been wanting to try a hot yoga class for a while, and I finally got up enough nerve to actually go on Monday. This was my first time going to any type of yoga class, but overall, it was a great experience.
I was super nervous about going for a few reasons:
1) I figured I’d be the only Black person there (I was), and I thought the other attendees would look at me like I was crazy. They didn’t. During class, we were all focused on the movement and not passing out (at least I was), and afterward, I actually talked with some of the ladies, and they were cool.
2) It’s hot yoga. I go to the gym, so I’m used to getting sweaty from working out. But moving around in 90 degrees is a whooole different ball game. The first maybe 10-15 minutes were okay, but by the end of the class, I was literally covered in sweat — head to toe. It was pretty intense, but it felt good.
3) I was trying something new, something out of my comfort zone. I’m an introvert, and I’m not very fond of crowds. I can also be self-conscious and a perfectionist, so the thought of practicing yoga in front of others made me feel really uncomfortable. But once the class began, and I focused on myself and my breath, I forgot about everyone else in the room for the most part. And that’s what yoga is about: “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” (The Bhagavad Gita)
Like I mentioned, the class was an amazing experience, and I definitely recommend it. Here are a few tips if you’re about to head to hot yoga for the first time:
Drink at least one bottle of water before you go. (And bring one to class). I already have migraines, and dehydration triggers it. I made the mistake of drinking very little water beforehand, and I could feel a headache coming on in the middle of the session. Also, there were a few times I got a little lightheaded. So make sure you drink up before and after.
Wear a sweatband or headband. You will get super sweaty in hot yoga, and the sweat will get in your eyes; wear something to prevent that from happening.
Wear suitable clothing. 90 degrees is hot, and it feels even hotter when you’re holding poses. Make sure you wear clothing that doesn’t restrict you or that are uncomfortable. I wore yoga shorts and a white, cotton tank top.
Bring a towel (or two). You’ll want to cover your mat with a towel (either a towel you bring from home or a yoga towel) so it doesn’t get slippery from the sweat. You might want to bring another towel to wipe your face and hands as well.
Try to remain focused on your breath — and keep breathing. The first time doing hot yoga (and probably the next couple of times after that), your mind will wander, thinking about how hot it is and wondering how much longer you’ll have to endure. Instead, try to let go of your thoughts, keep breathing fully, and focus on your breath.
Have you tried hot yoga? What tips do you have for newbies?
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