7 Tips for Your First Hot Yoga Class


Hot yoga offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga: stress reduction, improved flexibility, and improved strength. But, turning up the heat during your yoga session will release toxins from your body, enhance your immune system, nourish your skin, provide a cardiovascular boost, build bone density, and more. 

For that reason, every TruFusion studio offers heated yoga, barre, cycle, and circuit classes: to ensure your body is open and ready to move to its fullest potential. We know that coming into a class that’s up to 102 degrees with added humidity is intimidating. The heat creates an entirely different environment and set of requirements for your practice.

It takes continuity, self-assuredness, and dedication to get through your first few classes. But, once you break through, your detoxifying sweat will bring you a sense of accomplishment, an unbeatable high that will keep you coming back. 

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your Hot Yoga Class – whether it’s at TruFusion, Bikram Yoga, or at another heated studio. 

1. Hydration is Key

Sweating is part of your body’s natural cooling system. Your sweat glands activate to release moisture, mainly consisting of salt and water, from your body to cool it off. Sweating hydrates your skin and maintains your balance of electrolytes. 

Because your body sweats during hot yoga, you need to make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids before and after class. 

You can never do your body wrong by drinking too much water. If you want to add the benefit of electrolytes, you can drink sports drinks (but be wary of the added sugar and other not-so-ideal ingredients). Coconut water contains 5 key electrolytes, B-vitamins, and potassium, effectively rehydrating the body, without the added sugars.

Don’t forget to bring a water bottle to class! Make sure it’s insulated or has ice in it. Take small sips during class instead of chugging – practicing yoga with a full body of yoga will make you uncomfortable. 

2. Arrive to Class Early 

Going to any group fitness class early is always optimal. But it’s especially important to arrive early to hot yoga classes in particular. Arriving early gives your physical body the time it needs to acclimate to the climate before you begin. Arriving to class early also benefits you mentally because it gives you the time to get in the zone before you move your body. 

3. Less is More

Dress for success by coming to class in clothing that is breathable and stretchy, made out of lightweight and high-performance fabrics. Stay away from loose-fitting clothing made of thick materials. Practicing in saggy or soggy clothes can feel suffocating and hinder your practice. 

Because the temperature is hot, many students opt for shorts or sports bras or go topless (for guys). Yoga classes are a no-judgment zone, and as long as you’re comfortable, you will be able to fully prosper during class. 

Need something new? TruFusion has many high-quality yoga apparel available for sale in our studios. 

4. Fuel Yourself, but Don’t Overeat.

Fuel your body with a healthy and balanced meal for your practice, but avoid going to hot yoga on a full stomach. Large meals can rest in your gut for the entire class and a full stomach can make you feel queasy or weigh you down during your hot yoga session.

The sweet spot is to eat a nourishing meal 2-4 hours before class. If you’re hungry for a pre-class snack, grab a handful of nuts or dried fruit. Eating healthy fats, fruits, whole grains, or hydrating foods such as watermelon, cucumber, or yogurt, are also beneficial.

After class, rehydrate with water, and stock your body up on protein and good fats for muscle recovery and satiety. 

5. Bring These Essentials

Hot yoga requires additional accessories as opposed to traditional yoga. In addition to bringing a water bottle, bringing these other items will help improve your practice.

Because you sweat a lot during hot yoga, many yoga mats lose their grip and traction once they are wet. Slipping can be distracting or sometimes dangerous. It’s important that you bring a non-slip yoga mat or bring a towel that covers your entire mat. Look for a towel that has grips so it stays in place during your session. 

Don’t forget to bring a hand towel to wipe off sweat between poses. If your hair is long, bring a headband to prevent sweat from dripping into your eyes, and pull it back in a bun or ponytail. Avoid putting on lotion before class because it will melt and become slippery once you sweat. 

6. Take Breaks, But Stay in the Room

When you’re new to a hot yoga class, surrounded by people who look like experts, it’s easy to forget that everyone there had their first class at one point. Adding the extra layer of heat to yoga class is an intense experience.

Don’t push yourself too hard, and listen to your body. If you feel the need to take a break, sit out for a few postures, go into a restorative asana like Corpse Pose Child’s Pose, collect your breath, and let your heart rate decrease. Your classmates are there to support you in this shared journey, yoga is your judgment-free sanctuary.

It’s important to stay in the room. Leaving will do the opposite of cooling you down, delaying your body’s ability to adjust to the heat when you get back to class. Leaving the room can become a bad habit, it makes students lose their focus, momentum, flexibility, and self-confidence needed when coming to your next class.

7. Find Balance

Consistency will ensure you are reaping the wide range of benefits of your hot yoga practice. But, just like other intense forms of exercise, you must allow your body to rest and restore. It’s recommended to practice 3-4 times per week for optimal results. Use the remaining days to relax, so when you come back, you feel strong, healthy, and ready for more. 

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