Have you ever tried Hot Yoga?
So the beginning of June, I tried to go to hot yoga everyday for a month. I had never been before and I thought it sounded like a good idea. I wasn’t completely successful. Some weeks I did better than others. I thought I would share some of the things I learned from the process.
1. Show up early. Plan to be to class at least 10 minuets before it starts. It helps me to clear my mind, to lie in the hot room 5 to 10 minuets before the class starts. Especially when I was attending a mid day class during a lunch break, its hard to quiet your mind and let yourself go and be in the moment when you are thinking about everything you have to do after.
2. Give yourself a break. Sometimes class will be such an enlightening experience, you will feel powerful and proud. But sometimes you wont be able to do a pose you nailed the day before. Don’t be afraid to take breaks, sit down, drink some water. You are always perfect regardless of how your tree pose looks.
3. Learn the names of the poses and practice them at home. Yoga is practice. You will love some moves and hate others, but always make an effort to try. You will not always be perfect. But track your progress, a move you can’t do the first day, you will be able to do eventually. Yoga is about you, its not about how you look its about how you feel. mentally track how you feel during some poses and check in on yourself.
4. Invest in a good yoga towel and hand towel to whip your face. My boyfriend got me a good grippy yoga towel from Dick’s sporting goods, and its amazing. There are mixed emotions about wiping your sweat away. Some contend that you earned your sweat, why are you wiping it away, you should embrace it. For me however, I wear contacts and when sweat drips into my eyes it stings so bad. I try not to fidget as the say in poses, but back to my last remark, give yourself a break. Honestly you don’t need anything for yoga but yourself. If you don’t want to buy anything for class, don’t. any towel will do just fine, I like getting my towel wet before class so it sticks to your mat better, it will be sopping after class regardless.
5. Get in the habit of drinking lots of water. I lose about 3 pounds every time I do hot yoga because of how much I sweat. But you want to be sure you drink back all that water. Dehydration is no good. Your practice will be so much better if you are hydrated. The class itself will be more enjoyable. Drink water all day. Before class, during class, and after class.
6. Don’t worry about looking ridiculous. Everyone looks a little ridiculous doing yoga. Let go of that childish feeling of worrying about how you look. Get a seat where you have a good angle of yourself in the mirror (I don’t mean you have to sit in the front) but see the beauty in yourself during class. You are beautiful. you are human, all humans are beautiful. Love everything about your physical and mental being when you’re in class. Yoga is about self love. Love yourself fully, no apprehension, give yourself that 90 or 60 minuets to just love yourself unconditionally.
7. Got to class even when you don’t feel like it. When I had the pass unlimited yoga for 30 days, I was only able to go 25 of the days, but sometimes I didn’t feel like. I tried to push myself, because I knew how I felt after class, even when the class itself wasn’t my best. You ALWAYS feel good after. Always. Do yourself a favor, don’t think about it it. Just show up. Just go. Only excuses are holding you back.
8. Get yoga clothes. Do NOT wear cotton. I have found that thin bike shorts and a full coverage sports bra is perfect for class. Honestly you could wear a swimsuit. You are going to sweat, sweat and sweat some more. The sweat never ends. You will smell, you might want to shower at the yoga studio, bring an extra towel. I have seen people do hot yoga in all kinds of attire. That’s awesome. Any yoga is better than no yoga.
9. Enjoy the heat. If you are nervous to do hot yoga, try a warm class first. But I love the heat. It lets you clear your mind, it made me nervous at first but its actually amazing. Try it before you swear it off. My boyfriends mom is super anti hot yoga because she believes its bad for you because of one story she heard where her friend pulled out her back or something. Let me just say. Yoga is not supposed to hurt. Yes its hard, yes it can be painful and physically challenging. But its not supposed to hurt you. if a pose hurts in a bad way DO NOT DO THAT POSE! I hear people say, “oh hot yoga, I know all these girls who did that and fainted” etc. Honestly I have never seen anyone faint. If you feel weak or see spots. sit down and bring your breath back slow and sip water. And if that doesn’t help you, step out of the room for a minuet. Yoga is about listening to your body. These anti yoga stories about people pulling muscles and fainting, are the side effects of not listening to your body. Yoga is for you, not anyone else.
10. Believe in yourself. Honestly I am not very good at yoga. I have seen steady progress in my balancing standing poses. but I still cannot do a full chaturanga (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6631/How-to-Do-Chaturanga-the-Right-Way.html). Believe in your practice even if you are not a pro the first day. even your teachers are still practicing.
I hope I have inspired you to try hot yoga. Its not for everyone but it can be a great addition to an exercise plan, and with those groupon and living social deals, its relatively inexpensive.