What to Expect From Your First Hot Yoga Class

fhycWalk­ing into your first hot yoga class can be a lit­tle intim­i­dat­ing. Even if you reg­u­lar­ly rock the vinyasa flow, there’s some­thing about a 90-degree room that just amps up the pre-class nerves. But don’t fret; it doesn’t have to be scary. Regard­less of the yoga style, here are some things you can expect from your first heat­ed yoga class:

It will be hard, but that’s good
Part of a yoga prac­tice is learn­ing to trust your body and let go of con­trol. It’s going to be hard and that’s the point. You will nev­er mas­ter yoga; it will be chal­leng­ing every time. So dwell in the heat, breathe into it and don’t beat your­self up if you need to take a break in child’s pose. It’s your prac­tice, so take care of yourself.

You’ll be bendier
One of the great things about hot yoga is the abil­i­ty to sink deep­er into pos­es than you oth­er­wise could. This can absolute­ly make for a whole new yog­ic expe­ri­ence, espe­cial­ly if you can bend into some­thing you’ve nev­er been able to before. But do take care of your­self, and if some­thing starts to hurt, back off until it feels better.

yoga pose

You’ll sweat buckets
If you sweat a lot in a non-heat­ed yoga class, expect to sweat ten times more in a heat­ed class. So bring a tow­el to wipe off when­ev­er you need to and plen­ty of water, because you will get thirsty. Def­i­nite­ly be sure to dress for the heat. Think tighter-fit­ting cloth­ing (loose clothes will get heavy) and shorts. Hon­est­ly, for the ladies, a sweat-wick­ing tank top or sports bra and yoga shorts or capris is the way to go, and for the fel­las: you might con­sid­er just tak­ing your shirt off.

Also, extra sweat-drip­page means extra chance of slip­page on your mat. You can com­bat slip­ping and slid­ing with one of two ways: an extra stick­ing mat, like a Jade mat or Lululemon’s “The Mat,” or a mat tow­el to lay over your mat that’ll soak up the extra moisture.

You might get a lit­tle dizzy
It’s not uncom­mon to get a lit­tle light-head­ed and dizzy dur­ing your first hot yoga class. So if it hap­pens, don’t freak out. Just con­tin­ue to breathe, and take a break in child’s pose and drink some water if you need to. But the key is to stay calm—it’s com­plete­ly nor­mal and it will pass.

You’ll be sore later
Your hard work in class is def­i­nite­ly going to pay off lat­er in mus­cle tone—thus, you should expect to be a lit­tle sore the next day. Seri­ous­ly, you’ll real­ize you worked mus­cles you didn’t even know you had, which is a real­ly fan­tas­tic feeling.