Whether you like it hot or not so hot, we've got a class for you! The main difference between a hot and not so hot class is about 10-20 degrees. In the moon room, we keep the room temperature cool around 70-75 degrees and the sun room is heated to 80-95+ depending if the class is labeled "warm" or "hot."
We've gathered tips from our teachers on how to survive a hot yoga class. Most of these tips apply to the moon room as well.
1. Hydrate. Drink lots of water before class, sip a little during and drink water after class. Try to practice on an empty stomach. If you need something light, we recommend nuts or a banana. Everyone is different, find a balance that works for you.
2. AVOID hot yoga if you have a history of heat injuries/rhabdo, or heart conditions, or anything that could be dangerous with the extra heat/stress to your system. There are different thoughts out there for pregnancy. Students should talk with their medical provider but like other strenuous activity, we do not recommend starting hot yoga during pregnancy if you’ve never done it before.
3. Get your own mat. We have mats but keep in mind they are shared. If you can, get a yoga mat specific for hot yoga or a hot yoga towel that covers your entire mat. We sell some at the studio.
4. Arrive at least 10 minutes early to get acclimated to the room temperature.
5. Wear deodorant and avoid wearing fragrances.
6. Prime spot for air is near the door where there is a draft. 🙂
If you do start feeling lightheaded or get tunnel vision. Be honest with yourself, set your ego aside and get to the mat regardless of whatever the rest of class is doing, otherwise, your body/brain may get you to the mat. Have a seat or come into childs pose (can support head on a block if it feels too low or sit/lay down and hug knees) if you feel steady enough, step out of the room, find a seat, have some water, and cool down. Give your teacher a thumbs up or down if you leave the room. He/She will be concerned about your safety and will likely leave the room to check on you.
7. Wear breathable clothing.
8. Take deep breaths and exhale out the mouth to release hot air. Other cooling breath exercises you can do are sitkari or sitali pranayama.
9. Bring a change of clothes so you aren't sitting in your own sweat. Or bring a towel to sit on in the car.
10. Be careful not to overstretch. The heat can make you feel more stretchy so please practice mindful movement and do not go beyond your range of motion. For really flexible folks, we recommend that you back off and engage your muscles a lot.
11. If you want to try hot yoga, appropriate classes to start with are Warm Yin, Warm Flow or Hot Slow Flow.
You do not have to attend a hot class to experience a vigorous practice, many classes on the moon room side of the house can be challenging as well. Whatever class you attend, you will experience the many benefits of yoga when practiced in a safe and mindful manner. Every class is not for everyone so know that there are plenty of other classes - heated and not so heated that could fulfill your yoga intention.
Let us know if you have any other tips!