Friday, February 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: 10 Things to Know Before Your First Hot Yoga Class

First of all, HAPPY FRIDAY!! & welcome to what I hope becomes a more regular "series" on my blog!  
SOO I may have mentioned that I'm doing this thing next April called getting married!

I really want to lose weight and get toned for our wedding.  It's important for me on several levels (something I can talk about another time) but mostly I want to feel like I've done everything I could do to enter into marriage as "my best self".  

I've recently changed my diet and started incorporating exercise into my regular routine.  Growing up, I was a dancer so I never really needed to "workout"-it was built into my dance.  In fact, until about my junior year in high school I didn't even realize kids my own age worked out, like went to a gym.  It shocked me, and when I went to college/stopped dancing, I realized how important it is!

Last week, two of my coworkers invited me to attend a Hot Yoga class with them.  It was free so I figured, why not?  Now, I've only done yoga a few times before...Would I recommend Hot yoga for a beginner like me? Nope! Did I do Hot Yoga as a beginner? Yup.

I'll tell you a little bit about my experience, and share some tips.  

1) First of all, it was early.  Our class started at 6am, we had to be there at 5:45, so I left my house at 5:25.  I normally wake up at 6, so it wasn't terrible but my tip #1 is:
Especially for first timers [like me], lay out your outfit the night before!  Try everything on, make sure it fits and you're going to be comfortable in front of other people.  This saved me time, and stress, in the morning.

2) Speaking of clothing...The website for my studio said "wear as little as you feel comfortable in" and people did! There were men Speedo-like shorts and women in sports bras, so honestly-wear what you feel comfortable in, but obviously be respectful, people take it very seriously. 
*note, Lululemon not required to practice yoga.
Choose your outfit carefully.  Tight leggings or shorts, tanktop, no socks.  I wouldn't recommend anything of sweatshirt material-nope, too sweaty.   

3) YOU ARE GOING TO SWEAT! a lot. Like unreal amounts of sweat. 
[^^see they all have towels^^]
Bring at least one hand towel to have in the room with you .  There was literally sweat dripping in my eyes (gross/true) and I'm so glad I had a towel with me during class!

4) Also...
Bring a big *bleep* water bottle into the class with you [everyone does]. 

5) And more water...
and more, and more, and more.  My instructor was so amazing and told us the importance of staying hydrated the 24 hours after a hot yoga class. Honestly, I could not drink enough water that day.

6) Take it easy and don't push yourself too far. 
^^she was a beginner once too^^
Everyone had a first class.  I definitely couldn't do all the poses but I still got a GREAT workout.  Do what you can and focus on the experience.  It's not a competition and no one expects you to master yoga in one day.  You can also use stretch bands or straps, or even your towel, to help you with some poses.    
7)  My instructor also warned us not to over exert ourselves.  She said to just STOP if we felt lightheaded or dizzy.  Also, do not crouch/squat down.  This interferes with your circulation and when you stand, blood will rush to your head and people faint.
Just be still if you need to.  I stopped when I felt like I was crossing "that line" and it was perfectly fine.  Just be aware.

8)  I personally got a headache later in the afternoon (around 3pm).  Several things could have caused it (lack of sleep), but I'm just throwing it out there.  That being said, I would still definitely do it again because I felt SO AMAZING after the class. 

9) On the morning of my class, it was 1° outside.  It was 101° in the studio.  And for all you math geniuses out there, that's a 100° difference.  
Bring extra clothes to layer (remember, you'll be WET you're so sweaty) and bundle up! Take time to adjust to the cooler temperature as you exit the class.     

10) I had a WONDERFUL experience.  Honestly, just enjoy yourself and be refreshed.    

I personally didn't have any time to research Hot Yoga before attending my first class, but here are some articles I've found since that I've really liked:  

The health benefits of practicing hot yoga

Sweating out Toxins 

10 Things No One Will Tell You About Hot Yoga 

Thanks and have a great weekend!

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