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What you should know about Hot Yoga – Part 3

Conversations with Elizabeth Venrick, Instructor

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.

I’m ready to try Hot Yoga, but I’m not sure if it’s right for me?

One of the great things about yoga of any sort is that it can be adapted for any fitness level. Although it is often practiced in a group setting, yoga is very personal. It’s about knowing your own body and your own limits – and honoring both.

The following are a few questions about the class itself that I hear often.

Is there an age requirement?

Yoga can be practiced at any age, but our GreatLIFE studio requires hot yogis to be at least 15 years old.

Can I do hot yoga if I’m pregnant?

Practicing hot yoga during pregnancy is not recommended, although if you’re experienced, you can attend class at your own risk and modify poses on your own. Not all of our instructors are certified for pre-natal yoga. We suggest checking out something a little gentler during this exciting time in your life such as a basic flow or yin class.

Can I do hot yoga if I’m not very flexible and I can’t do all the poses?

At GreatLIFE yoga, we don’t practice to be perfect. We practice to be wiser on and off the mat, to be better humans, better employees, better athletes, better mothers, fathers, children and spouses. We practice to be happier and more loving.

Yoga may not be easy and you may not be flexible, but there is a class that’s right for everyone. Some poses may be harder than others and some days you’ll be off, but it’s important to honor where you are and keep coming back.

During “those days,” don’t push it. Find comfort with the help of your breath through those less-than-comfortable poses. There’s never a need to be overaggressive and force a posture.

What do I wear to hot yoga class?

The important thing is to be comfortable. Choose clothes that breathe and wick the sweat away from your body, with no more than two layers. For women, we recommend shorts or leggings and a tank top/sports bra. For men we recommend shorts – shirts are optional. Remember GreatLIFE yoga studios are all a #nojudgementzone and a safe place. Don’t be afraid to show some skin if that’s how you’re comfortable. Due to the high temperatures and humidity you will perspire, beginning very early in the session so wear clothes that allow your body to move and breathe. Check out the GreatLIFE boutique for hot yoga options.

What if I pass out?

Remind yourself that yoga is primarily a breathing exercise. Don’t get worked up about the temperature, but focus instead on the practice itself. Drink lots of water in the days and hours leading up to your class. Listen intently to the instructor and don’t worry about what the person next to you is doing. Long, slow and deep breaths – you’ve got this.

Smiling also helps.

We ask that during class if you are feeling faint or nauseous, simple lie down on your back. Try to avoid leaving the hot yoga room as jumping from the heated studio to the room-temperature hallway is a shock to your system. And remember, it’s all about the breath.

Look for more questions and answers about GreatLIFE Hot Yoga in part 4 of this series – coming soon.

Namaste