I love yoga! Yoga is probably my top favorite form of exercise and relaxation. Now, you probably don't hear those two words in the same sentence very often but that's the beauty of yoga. Yoga can be as intense or relaxing as you want it to be. In fact, there are hundreds of different styles of yoga. Hot yoga is the kind of yoga that counts as a workout, you'll for sure be breaking a sweat during this sessions. Yoga apparel is also different depending on what style of yoga you are practicing.
In hot yoga the room will be heated and the room temperature is usually set to between 95 and 100 degrees. The idea is that warming up your body will relax your muscles and allow you to be more flexible. Now just because it's going to be very warm does not mean you should wear as little as possible. If you wear the wrong clothing to hot yoga, you could end up a slippery mess and unable to complete poses so pay close attention.
Best Hot Yoga Tops
The best option for hot yoga is to pick out a top that's tight fitted and/or a sports bra. Try to avoid lose over sized t-shirts because they will most likely fall down during poses like downward facing dog, revealing your stomach and chest area to the class.
Hot yoga class is hot so many ladies prefer sport's bars rather than full length tops. YogaOutlet.com has many options and I love the ones that are more open in the back. Here are a few examples:
The material is also important. Avoid tops that are made of 100% cotton as they are very absorbant and will become heavy as you sweat. I reccommend wicking athletic fabrics that will help you feel dryer.
Best Hot Yoga Pants/Bottoms
Now that we've covered our tops, let shift our focus to our lower body. Do not wear the shortest shorts possible, it will not go well and you might just end up embarrassing yourself. If you don't necessarily want to wear full length yoga tights to hot yoga, then tight-fitted capris are your best option. I wouldn't recommend going any shorter. You'll want them to cover your knees. Imagine doing the Crow yoga pose (balancing knees on your elbows), if your knees are bare, you'll slide right off. Here are a few hot yoga pants that I would recommend:
LEFT: This is the Onzie Weave Yoga Capri from YogaOutlet.com. They cover your knees but the cut out also proves your skin with more room to breath. They are also a dark color which is important because light colors can become see through when wet and you don't want to be showing off your undies.
RIGHT: These are the Onzie Stunner Yoga Capris and they are absolutely stunning! The lace that is incorporated allows you more skin exposure in those hot yoga sessions!
Both of these hot yoga capris pants are excellent options and you'll look stylish as well. Now when you are out shopping for hot yoga bottoms, keep in mind that you are better off spending a little more money and getting a quality product rather than trying to save a few bucks and getting poor material. The reason is that some material is low quality and will become see through when you bend over, even if it's black in color. The examples I have above can be found on YogaOutlet.com and are around $69. Their products are made with quality material and will last you a long time.
Also, make sure that when you are buying yoga pants for your hot yoga class that you are buying the right size. Going too small will make it harder to be flexible and you'll end up stretching them out.
Hot Yoga Clothes for Men
Men also participate in hot yoga and the same attire features should be considered. Many men choose not to wear shirts which is perfectly fine. If a shirt is preferred you will also want something form fitting and moisture wicking athletic fabric. As are as yoga bottoms go some gym short WITH compression shorts under would do. Otherwise there are yoga pants for men and not all of them are super tight and form fitting! Some mens hot yoga pants are more loose around the thigh area like jogger pants.
Best Hot Yoga Mats and Accessories
Clothing it's the only thing that you should be prepared with when going to your hot yoga class. As you know by now, you will sweat while practicing hot yoga. Your best bet is to look for a mat that will provide you with stability even when wet. You'll want this extra grip during poses. YogaOutlet.com has a good selection of Hot Yoga Mats that are non-slip and available in a wide variety of thickness and sizes with affordable prices ranging from $20-150. Another accessory that is a MUST for hot yoga is a Hot Yoga Towel! It will help you wipe of your mat and yourself if you get too sweaty.
Hair Styles for Hot Yoga
If you have long hair like me, it's best to keep it in a lose pony tail or braid. I personally prefer braids because they allow me to do a wide range of poses without having to adjust of tighten my pony tail. You are going to get sweaty so don't come in with a hair style that you want to keep nice. Bandanas and headbands will also help to keep your hair in place and keep sweat out of your eyes.
How to Prepare Your Body for Hot Yoga Class
Now that we have our outfit and accessories ready for hot yoga, lets go over how to prepare your body for yoga class. During hot yoga you are going to sweat and sweat, this means you should drink plenty of water throughout the day. Don't chug a bunch of water right before class, this will make your stomach upset and leave you having to go to the bathroom. The best strategy is to sip on water the whole day. The Mayo Clinic recommends 8 to 9 glasses of water per day. You should also be aware of what to eat before and after yoga class. A general rule is not to eat three hours before class but if you must, snack light.
Tips for Hot Yoga Beginners
- Go to the bathroom before class!
- Bring a water bottle. I don't recommend the kind with you unscrew because your hands will be sweaty and you risk spilling. Liberty Bottle Works has really nice flip-to water bottles and you can customize your design for something that is unique to you.
- Bring a yoga towel - you'll need it!
- If possible shower so bring travel sized shampoo and other necessities. Depending on where your class is, you might have access to locker rooms.
- No makeup - try not to wear makeup that will run or smear in the hot temperatures and sweat, it will be distracting and irritating if it gets in your eyes.
Remember to relax and breath! Remember that what you eat before and after yoga is super important! Enjoy yourself at your hot yoga class and if you are interested in other forms of yoga look into my Beginner's Guide to Aerial Yoga!