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What you should know about Hot Yoga – Part 2

Conversations with Elizabeth Venrick, Instructor

One of the most popular fitness trends today, Hot Yoga is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a studio with higher than average temperatures – up to 105° – with added humidity, depending on which class format is chosen.

In this series of blog posts, GreatLIFE Hot Yoga instructor Elizabeth Venrick provides answers to some of the most common questions. This is part 2.

What do I bring to a Hot Yoga Class?

Come in comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. If you have your own yoga mat and towel, please bring it to class. Due to high temperatures, you’re going to sweat, so having your own equipment is ideal. If you don’t have your own equipment, GreatLIFE has mats you can borrow for class.

We are committed to ensuring the studio is peaceful and an ideal place to leave your stress – and your stuff – at the door. Please leave all belongings other than those listed above in the GreatLIFE locker room or the cubbyholes outside the studio. No shoes, cell phones, bags or purses allowed in the studio.

Do I need to warm up before the class starts?

Being on time for class is essential. We begin each Hot Yoga class at GreatLIFE with a proper warm up. We recommend arriving at least 10 minutes before the class is scheduled to begin to allow yourself time to prepare mentally and physically for the class. Once class begins and the door closes, no one will be allowed to enter as it is disruptive to other students. It is also not prudent to jump into a class without a proper warm up. Don’t be late.

Is it a good idea to drink a lot of water during class?

Not usually. If you come to class well hydrated (and I suggest you do), you won’t need to drink much during class. Aim to drink up to two liters of water (8-9 cups) throughout the day. If you don’t reach that goal, don’t try to make it up by chugging water right before stepping onto your mat. Too much water in your stomach can make you feel nauseous and makes for a very uncomfortable session. If you do get thirsty during class, just take a sip and a deep, deep breath. If you find yourself dehydrated, honor that. It’s okay to take care of yourself instead of pushing your body too far.

Should I eat before I come to class?

We don’t recommend yoga on a full stomach, but eating a little something before class isn’t a crime. It’s important to keep the blood sugar levels balanced, so a light snack before class is a good idea. Some of the best foods to eat before yoga are:

  • Bananas – Hello potassium, great before Hot Vinyasas/Hot 60/70 to avoid cramping
  • Almonds – Plain and unsalted, give your muscles staying power and keep you hydrated
  • Avocados – Yogi superfood, enough said
  • Dark chocolate – Eating a little before class will boost concentration and keep your blood sugar levels in check
  • A combo – combine all four in a light-but-mighty smoothie (Check out the GreatLIFE Juice Bar and pick your favorite.)

To avoid mood swings and energy lows during the yoga session, try different eating strategies like adjusting the timing, amounts and types of food consumed and pay attention to what works for you. It’s all about getting to know your body.

That’s it for this week. Tune back in for more questions and answers in part 3 – coming soon.

Namaste

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