the room was too hot!” “Was she trying to cook us?!” “He held the postures waaay too long.” These are just a few things that run through the minds of hot yoga newbies and seasoned practitioners alike. Here’s a gentle dose of reality folks. If you have a rough class, you might want to turn that pointy finger around and aim it at your beautiful sweaty face. What happens to you in those 90 minutes in the hot room is directly related to what you were up to the other 22.5 hours of the day. Below are 3 sure-fire habits that will help you to be physically and mentally primed for an amazing class.
Here’s a gentle dose of reality folks. If you have a rough class, you might want to turn that pointy finger around and aim it at your beautiful sweaty face.
Being properly hydrated before you come to class is key to any successful hot yoga practice. Symptoms of dehydrations include: headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, lack of energy, rapid heartbeat, and confusion just to name a few. The best way to ensure that you are hydrated is to sip water throughout your day. You should be drinking a good amount of water before class and after class. If you don’t normally make drinking water a habit, there’s no time like the present to start. Avoid chugging water before you get to the studio, that will just make your belly feel full. Having a full, sloshy belly will not make for a good yoga experience.
Water isn’t enough to hydrate
You also need to replace the vitamins and minerals that make your muscles work. Balance your fluid intake with clean healthy meals, i.e., lots of dark greens and colorful vegetables. Take your vitamins including your water solubles Bs and D. Supplement with good electrolytes if necessary. Look for electrolyte supplements with the four pillars: calcium, magnesium, potassium, salt. Eat whole foods with these vitamins and minerals. If you find that you’re depleted, try Pedialyte to get you back on your feet, then rest, drink lots of water, and eat good foods.
Try the 1:1 hydration regiment
Easy peasy, drink 1 water to 1 electrolyte solution in equal parts. For example, drink 1 liter of water then 1 liter of electrolyte solution. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Drink your bodyweight in ounces. When your urine is a light tint of sunshine yellow, it’s a good sign you’re hydrated. Remember folks, if you’re not peeing, you’re not hydrated.
Chili and bean burritos are not your friends! They will haunt you during class!
It’s best to avoid heavy meals 3-4 hours prior to practicing. If you are heading to the studio in the morning on your way to work, eat something small when you wake up. An egg, half an apple or banana, or even a couple of dates are great options. If you are planning on practicing in the evening, a colorful salad with lean protein would make a nice pre-yoga lunch. Whatever you do, avoid anything that you know will make you gassy, or cause indigestion. Chili and bean burritos are not your friends! They will haunt you during class and be distracting to everyone if you actually remove your wind in Wind Removing Pose! Choosing nutrient rich foods, like colorful, fresh fruits and veggies and lean protein will help your body feel energized and ready to move during class. After class, it’s important to replenish the vitamins and electrolytes that have just been depleted. Coconut water, bananas and yogurt are all great natural ways to replenish them.
It’s so nice to have a little time to get grounded on your mat and acclimated to the temperature in the room before class starts.
3. Transition Time
Give yourself some space to transition from work, traffic, or that heated text battle you just had with your sister. Arrive at the studio 15-20 minutes prior to class time. This will give you plenty of time to check in at the front desk, store your belongings (including your phone), and make that last trip to the restroom. It’s so nice to have a little time to get grounded on your mat and acclimated to the temperature in the room before class starts. If you arrive late or just in the nick of time, it will take you that much longer to calm down and settle into your practice.
Follow these three simple habits and you will be well on your way to thriving in the hot room.