How to master your first hot yoga class

 Are you thinking about going to your first hot yoga class? Hot or Bikram yoga takes place in a room that' 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Many consider it intimidating, and it' easy to want to avoid it altogether. If you have practiced yoga, you may enjoy the hot version even more. If you haven't, consider taking a yoga class without the heat first. Here are eight tips to help you master your first hot yoga session.
  • Bring water. You can lose up 5 liters of water in one session, so it' important to replenish as you go along. Without water, you may experience signs of dehydration such as dizziness, muscle cramps or chills.
  • Bring two towels. It' a good idea to bring a beach towel to cover your mat and a hand towel to wipe off sweat. Even if you typically don't sweat that much during exercise, you will find yourself sweating more than you have in any other workout. Towels help keep your focus on the poses without slipping.
  • Arrive early. Most studios will recommend that you arrive at least 15 minutes early your first time because you will have to fill out paperwork. The room will most likely be open for those who want to rest in Savasana (corpse pose) to prepare for their practice. Unlike many exercise classes, you can't arrive and sneak in late. Since yoga involves a lot of breathing and focus, most studios will lock the door once class starts in order to not disrupt concentration.
  • Don't leave early. If you're not accustomed to the heat, there may come a time during the session where you want to bolt. As it' hard to arrive late without drawing attention to yourself, it' even harder to leave early without possibly spoiling the vibe for everyone else. If you need a break, sit, drink water and relax. It' okay to take a moment to regroup as you adjust to the new setting.
  • Take it slow. One of the best parts about yoga is that you're encouraged to go at your own pace. Follow along with the instructor. If something feels uncomfortable or you feel like you're pushing yourself too much, take it easy. You're going to be at a different point than someone who has been practicing for years.
  • Wear the right clothing. It' recommended to wear form-fitting, non-cotton materials. Avoid sweatpants, long pants and baggy clothing because they will weigh you down and make you feel uncomfortable when drenched in sweat.
  • Eat an hour before. If you need a snack before, build in enough time so you don't feel sick during the class. Eat something small an hour or two hours before your session starts.
  • Take a moment before you head home. As you leave the room, collect yourself by drinking more water and taking a few deep breaths. You may feel a little woozy and won't want to get in the car and drive immediately after.
If you don't have a yoga mat or additional supplies such as towels, consider purchasing them before your first class, as many studios charge to use their mats and towels. Good luck on your first hot yoga class and Namaste!