As part of my HOORAY CHANGE actions I joined a hot yoga studio. I’ve done it once before, admittedly a long time ago and I hated it – it was so hot, I was left so dehydrated, and honestly, all the other chicks intimidated the shit out of me in their head-to-toe lululemon get ups (the studio was in a ritzy Chicago neighborhood) with their headstands, it was too much for me to really consider joining. Plus I was smoking, and while it’s not cardio, the heat really loosens up your insides and I’ll spare you the details but – ew.
So, this time around I am living in suburbia full of soccer moms and trendy stay at home dads, and my best friend :) She suggested we give it a try as an attempt to look SUPER for our Halloween costumes. While our Halloween ended up being a bit of a flop (we cancelled our original downtown plans) we did stick to the yoga and I really dig it.
So, first things first, what is hot yoga? It’s yoga in a 105 degree, 40% humidity room – it can be Bikram where there’s a set program or just yoga you do in a really hot temp (which is what we do). Why I like it so much is I live in Chicago where our temps are constantly “record breaking” – it’s already snowed twice this year – so, for me, being in extreme heat daily and sweating your ass off is amazing. And it burns like 500 calories per class (which I know that’s not yogi at all to speak about but come on! If you want to get toned in a jiffy with yoga, I strongly suggest hot yoga) – not to mention it detoxes your entire body by sweating out all impurities so it’s really just a win all around.
But back to my intention (see what I did there) here are my tips for being a hot-hot yogi:
1. NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL BEFORE CLASS OR GO HUNGOVER – which you would think would be a given, but I have attempted to do this and it never. ends. well. There’s nothing that distracts you more than trying to hold it down. And you smell like booze. Spare everyone and stay home to sober up.
2. Don’t eat directly beforehand but do eat beforehand. Similar to any other type of sport, an empty stomach sucks but too full and you’re an inflexible blob that can’t move out of your child’s pose. Minimum a piece of fruit.
3. Bring a towel or hand grips – your heads will get slippery and it will be terrifying.
4. Bring water – and drink it throughout the day. I usually drink about 1.5 gallons of water a day, which, I understand not everyone has the luxury of being able to accommodate a lot of water consumption but drink as much as you can as often as possible.
5. Try to recruit a friend! More motivation to get your ass to class :) but don’t not go if they don’t go. You’re still doing this for you!
6. Leave everything at the door when you step into the studio. Yoga is my favorite part of the day because I get to peel off all the experiences and just focus on me. My breath, my body and just let it all go. Even for an hour, it’s so important to have that time to just quiet your mind. And no judging in class! That’s just not a very zen thing to do.
7. Wear wicking fabrics and you may not feel the most comfortable in shorts due to all the poses that require bending over. I wear capris most of the time – and, if you’re like me you don’t have a ton of wicking clothes because you too started working out like yesterday (Ok, so I’ve been at this for a month now) and constant washing wears away at the fibers but I actually just thoroughly rinse mine while I’m showering after class and just pay extra attention to the implied areas… I get 2 wears out of them, re-wearing it once is still kind-of iffy for me, and then I wash them.
- Tip-tip: TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are excellent for yoga clothes. You can get nice brands for even cheaper than Target’s C9! And there are a bunch of sites out there that provide outfits too, if you can wait for them ;)
8. Blow your nose, remove your makeup, ect, before class because once you hit that heat… Boy, it’s all coming off and out. I just get the generic make-up wipes from Target and take it all off when I’m on the train home. It’s like $4.99 for 25 which lasts about a month.
- Unrelated Life Tip: I also keep some by my bed for when I’m feeling lazy (drunk) and don’t wash my face before bed.
9. Bring a towel to wipe your sweat off on – trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Bottom line: (and this applies to any type of workout) You always regret not going but you never regret going.
Keep calm and sweat on!