Are you a fitness enthusiast? If so, you might want to consider looking into Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, as many people refer to it. Hot yoga is not your regular kind of fitness routine and is not for everyone; in a while you will understand why.
Bikram yoga has a series of 26 muscle-stretching postures that works to contract your major muscle groups. You will have to perform the postures within 90 minutes.
Studios for hot yoga are, of course, hot. The temperature in such studios are usually somewhere around 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit), but some places even crank the temperatures higher than that standard.
You can only imagine, then, how intense your physical routines become when you do them inside such a heated place. The demanding intensity of hot yoga serves a dual purpose—to tire your muscles out and to increase your heart rate.
As such, hot yoga is not for the general public. Individuals whose bodies cannot tolerate high levels of heat would do well to avoid this form of yoga. Doctors also highly discourage expectant mothers from engaging in such a strenuous physical activity.
Why, though, should anyone want to take on the discomforts of hot yoga?
Those who advocate the practice of hot yoga claim that warm muscles are easier to stretch than cold ones, assisting in fast weight loss. Hot yoga also makes possible the removal of toxins while increasing your body’s flexibility.
If you want to practice hot yoga, how can you ensure that you remain safe while doing so?
Read on for ten hot yoga safety tips from fitness experts, which the next paragraphs will then expound –
10 Must-Learn Tips to Survive Hot Yoga!
1. Determine if hot yoga is for you
As the onset of this article has stated, hot yoga or Bikram yoga is just not for everyone. So, before you enroll for hot yoga sessions, do determine if such classes are for you or not.
Keep in mind that hot yoga is not for you if you have a heart condition or are heat intolerant. The same goes if you have diabetes, constantly experience dizziness, or have low blood pressure.
Please note, too, that pregnant mothers, children, and those who are already beyond the age of 60 (except if they regularly practice yoga) should not do hot yoga as well.
2. Shower before you workout
Taking a shower before you work out removes all the lotions you have applied before going to the studio.
Why is it important that you remove body creams? Remember that you are doing yoga in a very humid and hot room. Removing body creams before you work out ensures that you don’t end up feeling sticky after your routines.
Also, do skip spraying perfume on yourself before class to avoid overwhelming those who are near you while doing hot yoga. You can, of course, use a deodorant, but do not apply anything that has a strong scent.
3. Do bring along towels
Sweaty limbs make it difficult for you to nail a posture well, and yoga mats can become very slippery in the middle of your hot yoga routines. So, it is much better that you use a yoga towel for your regular workouts.
Unlike yoga mats that cannot absorb your body’s sweat, yoga towels have absorbent microfibers that do well in keeping your skin dry. Some towels even have silicone beads that keep you from feeling sticky all over. Also, make sure that you bring along a hand towel to wipe off sweat from your face as well as limbs.
4. Learn to move according to your body’s limits
Yoga encourages flexibility, but not flexibility to the point of breaking. Warm muscles may be easier to stretch, but you should know how to respect your muscles’ limits.
Yoga postures may cause some discomfort, but it should not cause you pain. So, only stretch your muscles as far as your body will allow you.
Also, do avoid bouncing when trying to stretch your muscles out. Don’t worry, in time, you will find it easier for your muscles to stretch.
5. Do not overwork your body
Do not exhaust your body’s capacity for physical activity. If you feel lightheaded, give yourself a break. You can try sitting down on your mat until you feel well enough to continue with your routine. If you feel that sitting down on your mat is not enough, then you may decide to step out of the heated room until you feel better.
Of course, going in and out of the room is not something that yoga teachers encourage, but if you are feeling very ill, then do not hesitate to go out. It is better for you to go out discreetly in the middle of practicing than choose to stay and end up fainting in class.
6. Do not allow your body to suffer from dehydration
When you practice hot yoga, you lose a lot of body fluids. It is imperative that you constantly replenish your body fluids by drinking up from time to time. When is the best time for you to drink up? Yoga instructors encourage drinking water before the class starts and after it ends. However, save the guzzling for when you finish class! You most certainly do not want the discomfort of trying to do a pose while feeling that your bladder is going to burst anytime soon. A cup or two of water 30 minutes or an hour before the start of the class will usually suffice to hydrate your body for the session. You may also sip a little water in between your practice, but only drink a minimal amount so that your belly does not make it difficult for you to keep a pose.
7. Replenish lost body fluids after class
For every hour of exercise, your body loses some 32 ounces of water. So, it is important that you drink twice the amount of fluids that you have lost immediately after your routines.
If you have gone past an hour for your exercise, try having a sports drink as an addition to your water consumption. The sports drink will supply your body with sufficient levels of electrolytes and carbohydrates to allow your body to carry on with its normal pace.
8. Make sure that you eat right
If you want to be healthy, then you should also make sure that your diet is supporting that goal. Do not practice yoga on an empty stomach, but do not practice with a belly that’s too full of food either.
If you are going to eat a light meal before a workout, make sure that you do so at least two hours prior to your class. If you are going to eat a heavy meal, then do so at least four hours before you start your yoga practice.
That way, you don’t practice on a full belly.
Also, make sure that you eat foods that are high in protein and carbs within 60 minutes after your routines. If you’re worrying about gaining more pounds than you have lost, you may also want to take natural fat burners along with your regular yoga practice.
9. Stay attuned to your body
Ignore that little voice in your head that tells you to push your body harder than you know it is capable of. Do not exercise beyond your limits to avoid injuring your muscles.
Just stretch within your body’s boundaries. Remember that you are the sole judge of what your body can and cannot do. Listen to it when it tells you that you are straining yourself too much.
10. Make sure that you dress up comfortably for yoga
You would want to make sure that you are comfortable performing the different yoga postures. So, avoid wearing bulky clothing when practicing yoga.
And don’t worry about having to wear revealing clothing for your hot yoga workout. When the temperature of your room gets into you, you would be thankful that you do not have unnecessary layers of clothes on.
A great choice of clothing would be tank tops and tight-fitting capris. Avoid wearing clothes that have cotton fabric, as cotton can weigh against your body when you drench it in your sweat.
Also, make sure to wear a headband to keep your sweat off your brows. Dripping sweat will only break your concentration, so you would do well to make sure that that does not happen.
Let us know any other hot yoga safety tips you follow during your yoga practice by commenting below!
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About the Author – Ashley Sotelo is a pro-active health enthusiast; she does research for various leading health companies–focusing mainly on the different alternative treatments available for chronic illnesses. Writing health articles has grown to become her passion, becoming the author of roughly a hundred of such articles and currently writing at BRI Nutrition whose sole purpose is to provide natural and safe supplements. When she is not writing or engaging in her regular fitness routine, she could be found curled up in a nook and reading her favorite books.