A Newbie’s guide to Hot Yoga and where to try it for FREE!

Lucky for you, I did all the wrong things when preparing and practicing Bikram hot yoga recently so here’s your guide to doing it right!

Really sold it for you on line one, huh? Here’s why you should try it.

Benefits Include:

  • Safer Stretching and an increase in Cardiovascular Activity: You’ll notice a rise in your heart rate as the heated environment helps stimulate blood flow, increase circulation and boost your metabolism.
    "The heat in our classes helps to stretch muscles and increase circulation. Increased circulation can encourage tissue repair and help prevent injury." - CorePower Yoga Redondo/Torrance
  • Detoxification & Cleansing: Increased water intake helps flush your system of toxins.
    Just assume you will sweat a lot...

CLASS PREP

  • Pick your class, being mindful of the class level indicators or call the studio to ensure you’re taking the right class (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced) and maybe don’t take the 75-90min class options until you’ve gotten a 60min session or 10 under your belt.
  • Hydrate throughout the day to avoid electrolyte imbalances and cramping.
  • Don’t eat 2-3 hours prior to class.
  • Don’t eat 2-3 hours prior to class. Guess who failed at this…. yep me.
    Oh the cramps…. Seriously, Don’t eat 2-3 hours prior to class.
  • Ditch your makeup
  • Pack Your Bag:
    • 1 Large Towel for your mat
    • 1 Hand or Sports Towel for your face
    • A COLD bottle of water or two
    • Showering After? 1 More Large Towel, Flip Flops, a change of clothes + a plastic bag for wet things, Shampoo, Conditioner and Body wash. 
  • What to Wear: Ladies: a sports bra and your shortest shorts
    (Moisture-wicking! My cotton tank top felt like a turtle neck within minutes...Such a rookie move)
    Fellas: shorts with an underliner or swim trunks. And no socks, k.
  • Arrive early to acclimate to the temperature, stake out your spot and get in the right headspace for your practice. The sweat level is a steady drip, with a chance of puddles so lay your large towel over your mat right away.
    Beginners, there are usually also cooler spots in the room. Ask the front desk where the hot spots are and plan your mat location accordingly.  
    *Some studios have cooler portions of the room, if you're curious about the cool zones ask the front desk and grab a spot accordingly. 

Side note: Be realistic about where you put your mat. One of my biggest yoga pet peeves is when people are super greedy with space while others have to squeeze in and adjust every swan dive to avoid a too-close-for-comfort neighbor.

DURING CLASS

  •  “Nama-Stay in the Room” - This is to help you avoid any shock to your system going from the hot room to cooler temps in the lobby/locker room. Be mindful as you stand up and sit to avoid dizzy spells. And remember, even the pros need to step out sometimes.
    Studios like Haute Yogi Manhattan Beach encourage students to listen to their bodies.
     "Leave if you need to; even advanced students have to leave the room occasionally. Over time, you will be able to remain in the class and manage yourself in the heat." 
  • “Wait to Drink Water” is sometimes encouraged in more disciplined practices like Bikram where you want to hit a certain sweat level before breaking up the flow. Once again, listen to your body and drink when needed. HoweverI would advise that you do not chug water, that is if you’d like to keep it down….get my drift?
  • Ah, so refreshing! Aren’t you so glad I recommended COLD water for class. Seems like a no-brainer-right?
    I unfortunately, grabbed a pre-filled, room-temp Nalgene bottle from the kitchen and regretted it for a solid- 90minutes.
  • Ain’t no shame in some quality time with your mat, child’s pose, corpse pose.
    Hopefully not fetal position. Ugh, cramps. Did I mention to not eat 2-3 hours before class...
  • You may need just more breaks as you acclimate to the heat and flow of the practice. And if you do fall victim to cramps...
    "Cramps and dizziness could be signs that your body is done with it's heated yoga practice for the day. I would advise students to take a seat on their mat, slowly breathe in through their nose, out through their mouth, sip water. Give themselves a moment to make sure they can stand up, and exit the class. If they can let the teacher quietly know whats going on as they leave, that is ideal." - CorePower Yoga Redondo Beach/ Torrance
  • Be careful about wiping your face too frequently. Mine was raw for a days…Proactive being partially to blame.  
  • If you’re like me, you’re dealing with some out of control internal dialogue and if a record button for the brain existed, this article would have written itself. You feel me? Click here for tips to focus on your breath
  • Yoga Etiquette is real. Be respectful of others by arriving on time and not leaving during savasana.
Courtesy: @yogimemes Instgram

Courtesy: @yogimemes Instgram

After Class

  • Re-hydrating is key: My suggestions would be coconut water or some form of an electrolyte supplement.
  • When you get home immediately take your clothes out of your gym bag to dry!
  • Clean your mat and lay it out to dry. I love this DIY Solution I found on the Chopra Center site. Only 3 ingredients: Water, White Vinegar and an essential oil to ensure a good smell during your next child’s pose. Full deets here
  • Your Skin is red but also glowing. The detoxification is visible for my normally rebellious face and I am ready to sign up for another class! See the list below for South Bay Studios and FREE yoga! 

 

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HOT YOGA

“It’s just for girls”
Fellas….. This is where you go to find the ladies, discreetly (yoga etiquette)

“The hotter the better”
I absolutely love this  contribution from SoHo House Yoga Hermosa Beach.
“When looking at scientific research, cellular matter begins to break down at 107, therefore our classes will never reach this threshold. We are trying to stretch and sweat yogis, not cook them like kabobs :)”
SoHo House has done their research and keeps their classes between 99 and 105 degrees, depending on the amount of movement in the class.
 

FREE Hot Yoga in the South Bay!

SoHo Yoga
WIN 1 of 4 FREE classes! 
New Student Special: $45 for 30 Days
Hot Yoga Temp: 99-105 degrees

Class SIze: "We have 2 studios here at SoHo Yoga. One heated and one non-heated. Our heated studio has a class size of 38. Our non heated is a little more intimate and is a great place to start if you are new to the world of yoga. These classes can have up to 18 people."
1242 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 379-3200

Haute Yogi
Haute Yogi Manhattan Beach is giving my readers a BOGO FREE deal! Add SBSWEATs ($50) to your cart then use Promo code "SBSWEATs" to get half off! 
Hot Yoga Temp: 100-105 degrees (40% Humidity)
Class Size: Up to 30
3308 Highland Ave, 
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310.802.0225
Metered Parking along Highland, a big lot on the corner of Rosecrans and Highland as well as Side Streets. 

 

Corepower Yoga
1st Week FREE
Class Size: 12-35
24329 E. Crenshaw Boulevard Suite E, 
Torrance, CA 90505
310.539.9642
Ample parking available in the lot outside of the studio.

2nd Location:
Corepower Yoga
1st Week FREE
4407 Redondo Beach Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260
866.441-9642

HOT 8 Yoga
1 Week FREE

$45 for 2 Weeks Intro Offer
3618 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Metered Parking along Highland, a big lot on the corner of Rosecrans and Highland as well as Side Streets.