10 Things you should know before starting your first Bikram Hot Yoga Class
So, you’ve heard about “Hot Yoga” and “Bikram Yoga” a couple of times and you’re still hesitating about trying out this yoga practice or you don’t really know how to get started with your first class? Well you’re totally right! Bikram Yoga is a little different from other types of Yoga practices. So, before starting your first Bikram Yoga class, read these top 10 things to know about a Hot Yoga class. It’ll give you an idea of how to prepare for it!
1/ It’s going to be hot, really hot
The first thing you should know is that Bikram is practiced in a romm that is warmed to 105°F with 40% humidity. It’s going to be really hot in there, so make sure to wear very loose and comfortable clothing. Try not to wear cotton or other sweat absorbent textiles. Give a priority to lightweight, breathable clothing
2/ The class lasts 90 minutes
An authentic Bikram yoga class lasts 90 minutes because you repeat each 30 second posture two times. Also, it gives you more precious time to breath between each posture.
3/ The Bikram Yoga philosophy
Bikram Yoga has its own philosophy and cycle. Whether you’re in Los Angeles, India or Buenos Aires, you’ll find the same 26 poses (asanas), always practised in the same order. Also, there are no levels in Bikram… which means you’ll find yourself in the same room as beginner, intermediate and expert Hot Yoga students.
4/ Being well-hydrated and having a healthy nutrition
Hot Yoga makes you sweat a lot of your body’s water and mineral salts, so don’t forget to drink before, during and after your session. Additionally, your body and stomach need to be light so try not to eat 2 to 3 hours prior to your session. If you absolutely need to eat something before your session, try to eat a small, light snack that is easy to digest.
5/ Bring at least 2 towels
6/ Breathing exercises at the beginning and the end of the session
It’s very important to have a good inflow of oxygen in your body while you do Hot Yoga. That’s why, you’ll start your session with a breathing pranayama exercise and you’ll finish your class with a “breath of fire” Agni pran breathing exercise.
7/ Get there early
Normally, your Hot Yoga class room will be open 20 minutes before the beginning of the class, so get there a bit earlier to give your body the time to get used to the heat of the room. You’ll additionally get the best spot!
8/ The mirrors
Another thing you’ll notice that’s different from a regular yoga class : there’s mirrors everywhere in the room. These mirrors help you correct your postures and your alignment.
9/ Breaks between the postures
There’s nothing more normal than encountering various problems at your first Hot yoga session. Your body will be adapting to the strong heat. If you don’t feel well, take a small break. Sit down on your mat to catch your breath.
10/ Don’t miss out on the final pose : Savasana
Too many people rush to get to the showers first at the end of the hot yoga class, but try not to do the same mistake. After a long 90 minute session, your body needs a moment of relaxation. The best position to regain your energy is the Savasana. It will calm your nervous system and favour equanimity in your whole body.
Finally, don’t worry if you find this practice still difficult after your second class. You’ll need a couple of sessions before feeling comfortable with the high temperature and fully enjoying the class and its benefits. The most important thing is to listen to your body to understand its limits...Especially when you practise Hot Yoga!