Prep Like a Pro for Your Next Hot Yoga Class

  • Lindsay Cohn
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If you’ve ever practiced hot yoga (like Bikram Yoga and Modo Yoga), you know it’s one of the most intense workouts out there. Practiced in a room heated up to a steamy 105 degrees, classes work every muscle in the body, raise your heart rate, promote flexibility by helping you sink deeper into stretches and flush toxins out of your body.

Hot yoga is different than other types of yoga. Most notably, as its name would suggest, it’s much hotter – which comes with its own benefits and challenges.

Whether it’s your first time or you practice every day, there are a few things you should keep in mind before your next hot yoga class.

Prep like a Pro with These Pre-Practice Tips

Hydrate Like a Boss

With the heat cranked up to the triple digits, it’s safe to say you’re going to sweat a ton, so proper hydration is a must! Skip this step and you risk feeling dizzy and could end up spending all your time in child’s pose or worse … you could faint during class. Given how much you’re going to sweat, your body needs extra fluids on the days you practice. Consistency is key – drink water throughout the day. But refrain from guzzling water immediately before class. This will lead to a sloshy stomach (you know the feeling) and will likely make you have the urge to use the restroom during class.

Be Mindful of What + When You Eat

Hot yoga is demanding – and you’ll need to fuel your body with nutrients to power you through class. That said, most yogis agree that it’s best to practice on an empty stomach. So eat healthy meals earlier in the day and stop consuming heavy food at least three to four hours before you plan to practice (you don’t want anything churning around in your stomach). If you need a boost of energy, opt for a light snack one to two hours before class like a smoothie, a handful of almonds, an apple or banana.

Wear the Right Clothing

When it comes to hot yoga, choose functional clothing that won’t interfere with movement during your super sweaty practice. Opt for form-fitting pieces, rendered in breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics and steer clear of cotton, which tends to trap moisture. Clothing should verge on tight but not so much so that you have to resist the urge to pull and fidget with your attire during class. A sports bra and capri leggings or shorts is our recommended go-to outfit. Remember, no one looks good when sweating profusely, but the right clothes can make you feel a million times better during your practice.

For more info about hot yoga, check out “What I Learned From Bikram Yoga Teacher Training.”

About the author: Lindsay Cohn is a writer, editor and storyteller with a passion for holistic beauty and wellness. When she's not practicing vinyasa flow, you can find her trying to breathe deeply among the crowds of people on the M Train.

Photo credit: Shutterstock