The Uncomfortable Truth About Hot Yoga

How comfortable are you with sweating?

I ask because there are a number of people who actively dislike sweating. Yes, it’s a healthy and normal bodily function, but nonetheless there are people who hate on themselves when they sweat.

If this describes you, don’t try hot yoga. It is not for you.

You are going to sweat A LOT. So you might as well embrace the sweat and go in knowing that a rinse off will be necessary post practice.

The studio I practiced hot yoga in is kept at a balmy 100-105 degrees. I expected the heat to hit me like a truck when I stepped inside, but instead I experienced a slow, gentle warming from the outside in.

I placed my mat on the ground and lay a soft towel on top of the mat. My full water bottle went against the wall within arms reach from my mat. I walked to a nearby shelf and grabbed two yoga blocks. After returning to my mat, I lay down in corpse pose waiting for class to begin.

As soon as my full body hit the mat all my muscles started to relax. The heat in the room gave my muscles actively working to keep me warm a mini-vacation, saying “We got this.”

hot yoga equipment

Class began. Power Vinyasa was the title of the class. From start to finish I never felt overheated or overcome by the temperature in the room. I even found myself enjoying watching the droplets of sweat form on my legs and arms as I held a pose.

I was instructed to start hydrating at least one hour before the class started. And I’m really glad I followed that advice. I drank my entire 32 ounces in the class (similar to my barre class experience, I took a sip when I was able, as the instructor didn’t provide water breaks) and promptly went home and chugged another 16 ounces.

The towel on top of my yoga mat was a good idea. It soaked up a lot of my sweat and gave my hands and feet plenty of traction. The receptionist informed me that beach towels are a popular substitute for the fancier microfiber towels they rent at the studio.

I will also confess that I expected their to be a gym-like smell to the studio. Or some other dank stench. I was pleasantly surprised and encountered no fragrances during my practice. There wasn’t even a noticeable scent being pumped in to cover another smell. My first guess was going to be a strong lavender fragrance. I appreciated the wonderful scent of nothingness.

Two changing rooms, two stand alone sinks, a shower and a bathroom were available for members to use before and after the class. There were open cubbies to store your belongings, which I did, and no lockers. I was informed that once the class started the front door was locked.

What I liked the most about the practice was that I felt like I was wrapped in a warm blanket of heat for the entire 60 minutes. What a gift.

If this sounds like a good time to you, I encourage you to drop-in to your local hot yoga studio. Namaste, friends.