by Ashley McGuirk
Why do you love hot yoga?
“Because I can actually move all my stuck muscles and joints!”– Lia McGuirk
“I love the hot yoga at Razz because it allows my body to move better due to the warmth of the room. It is not so hot that I’m sweating and in need of a towel. It is the perfect amount of heat to help my muscles warm up. This is a nice option when I don’t want to sweat like crazy and have a more intense practice.” –Lisa Mazzilli
“It allows me to bend more easily and I found that I handle extreme heat better. Even cycling in long sleeves through a class before I’d be in my tank.” – Dianna Peterson
“Because it’s a challenge! Heated classes enable me to release tension in my muscles (and mind) allowing for more flexibility.” –Sarah Beth
“Invigorating, sumptuous, challenging, humbling, ego eradicating beautiful sweaty practice that lights my spirit on fire!” –Nilvis Frederick
“The heat of the room definitely gets me ready to stretch more quickly than if I start in a 68-degree room and have to generate all my own heat. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that it’s not so hot that I have to go into survival mode just to stay in the room. Most of all, I think when I walk into hot yoga, my body knows what’s coming; something just switches on and regardless of the hellacious day or week or whatever, I’ve got 60-75-90 sweaty minutes on my mat, just for me.” –Cindy Papesh Shephard
“I love hot yoga because I feel invigorated and empowered after finishing a class. I like the extra mental challenge of the heat as well and how my body feels better when it’s warm vs cold and stiff.” –Amanda Lane
“Simple for me. I feel alive when the sweat runs.” –John Clifton
“I love hot yoga because I love the detox from the sweat and the extended depth of my practice from warmed muscles. Also the heat feels good on any soreness I may have whether it’s joints or muscles.” –Austin Brown
“I like hot yoga because it’s like yoga and exercise had a baby and that works perfectly for me!!!!!” –Cathy Rock Duffy
So, after reading all of those answers, you want to try hot yoga, huh? Well, I don’t blame you! Heck, I’ve been out of commission for over 6 months (#postpartum) and it made me want to get up and go myself! That’s because attending hot yoga is all of the above answers. It makes you feel empowered, challenged, ALIVE, like your soul has been set on fire! Hot yoga is all of these things and more. If you’re new to hot yoga, but just realized you need this in your life, stick along because I’m going to give you a quick crash course on how to prep, survive and thrive in a hot yoga class.
First off, WATER. Yes, that’s the most obvious necessity in a hot yoga class. Physically, your body needs water to survive. So, when attending a hot yoga class, you need A LOT of water. I’m not talking an 8-ounce glass…I would recommend at least 100 ounces. During a hot yoga class, you can lose up to 50 ounces of water. A best practice is to drink at least double that amount to make sure your body stays hydrated. Bottom line- stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after class so your sweet, amazing human body stays alive and thrives. (insert winky face here).
Next necessity in a hot yoga class is a towel. You’re going to be sweating during class so it’s important to keep yourself from sliding all over the place. This is where your towel comes in handy. Use it to wipe yourself down and keep you on your mat and not on your neighbors. I say this because it’s happened to me during a transition from Warrior I to Warrior II pose. Yep, I slipped and basically plunged into my neighbor’s space. It was a good laugh, but could have been avoided if I had used my towel. Learn from my mistake.
Third necessity, mindset. Hot yoga is humbling. Humbling because it challenges you to go deep physically AND mentally. Therefore, your mindset will make or break your experience. People experience all sorts of emotions and thoughts during class but the most important mindset to stick with is openness. Stay open to yourself, stay open to your practice during a hot yoga class. The rest will follow as it should (because duh, that’s how our wonderful universe works). Let’s put it this way, I’ve never heard someone leave a hot yoga class in regret. It provides us with a new lesson/experience/understanding each time.
Fourth necessity, correct form! In hot yoga, your mind and body are continuously challenged between the heat, the sweat, the transitions etc. So, making sure you have correct form during transitions like chaturanga are super important! Correct form is crucial to avoid injury, because no one has time for an injury! Injury results in no yoga and no yoga is no Bueno. Below I have included some pictures curtesy of yogi approved to remind us how to chaturanga with correct form. If you ever have any questions pertaining to correct form, always feel free to ask one of our informative yoga instructors. All of them are more than happy to guide you through your yoga practice. I hope these basic steps help you enjoy your next hot yoga class. Hydrate, dry off, stay focused and don’t injure yourself. Namaste.