Yoga Tribe Blog


Tips to Survive a Hot Yoga Class

1. Drink Up
This is a no-brainer for any form of strenuous exercise, but it’s extremely important for hot yoga. That means drinking enough water before you start class, says Kay Kay Clivio, a hot yoga instructor of 14 years, currently teaching at Pure Yoga in Manhattan, New York. She also advises preparing for class by drinking coconut water or beverages with electrolytes or taking trace mineral supplements to replace the salt and potassium you’ll lose. (She swears by Emergen-C.)

Fantigrassi suggests weighing yourself before and after class and drinking one-and-a-half liters for every two pounds of water weight lost during the sweat session. You’ll know you’re dehydrated if you have a headache, feel lightheaded or lethargic. “It will feel like a hangover,” he says.

2. Give Yourself a Break
Although yoga encourages students to push past their comfort zone, you shouldn’t do it in hot yoga. Not only do you risk over-heating, but also you might injure your muscles that feel unusually flexible thanks to the humidity and high temperatures.

“You never know when that feeling of dizziness or shortness of breath is going to suddenly come over you,” says Clivio. Her advice: Don’t run out of the room or dive into child’s pose. Sit down on your mat, take a sip of water, and focus on slowing down your breathing before catching up with the class.

However, if you’re feeling flushed, don’t be embarrassed about stepping out for a few minutes to cool off, adds Fantigrassi. Wipe off with a wet towel or splash water on your face to lower your core temperature.

3. Lose the Layers
This is one activity when you don’t have to worry about appearing immodest by wearing short shorts or going shirtless. “You want to expose as much skin as possible to increase the area for sweat to evaporate, so heat can escape, which helps you stay cooler,” says Fantigrassi.

4. Mind Your Own Body
Clivio says hot yoga tends to attract students with competitive personalities who like the mental and psychological challenge. “[Yoga] feels harder in 105 degrees,” she says. “This is the ultimate opportunity to turn inward, focus on your breathing and get mentally focused and strong, instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing.”

Even if hot yoga feels hard at the beginning, Clivio promises that students who keep practicing will be transformed physically and spiritually over time. “Stay inspired by the small shifts you make during each class to gain the big results.”

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