When I was invited to a hot yoga class by Giant Tiger to celebrate the opening of their new Burlington store, I reluctantly accepted. I had never tried yoga before, let along hot yoga, and admittedly I was terrified. Don’t get me wrong, I have always wanted to try yoga, but was intimidated. I’m inflexible, lack balance and am not good at being still and present. I was worried I would be judged by others in the class so I never stepped out of my comfort zone and tried it.
Since I love Giant Tiger and had some sweet ACX athletic gear to wear to the class, I decided it was time to conquer my fear of trying yoga and jump in head first with a hot yoga class at Chrysalis Yoga Studio in Burlington. If you’re a newbie like me, no need to sweat (you’ll do enough of that in the class), just follow my tips and your first class will be a breeze:
Have the Right Gear – The great thing about yoga is that you don’t need much to do it. A yoga mat and your body are your main tools. If you don’t have your own yoga mat, it’s no biggie. Most studios will let you use their own mats or rent them for a small fee. Check out the studio’s website, which will usually provide this information or call ahead to see if you need to provide your own mat.
Find Your Sweet Spot – If it’s your first class, you’ll want to find the best spot to set up your mat. Aim to set up your mat about 10 minutes before class starts. This will allow regulars the time to migrate to their usual spots (and ensure you aren’t parking yourself in someone’s fav spot), but also ensure you can secure a spot near the back. I suggest a spot near the back for your first class so you can watch the people in front of you (especially if you’re unfamiliar with the poses) and because you won’t feel like there are too many eyes on you.
Arriving early also allows you to take your time and acclimatize your body to the heat of the room. Spend a few minutes laying on your mat and taking deep breathes until your body adjusts to the heat and is ready for the class.
Bring Towels – This is one thing I wished I would have done for my first class. I was sweating in places I didn’t know sweat could even develop. My mat became wet and slippery and I had nothing to wipe the sweat out of my eyes. You could bring a small hand towel for this, or even a beach towel. The person beside me actually used a beach towel to cover her mat so she did not slip and was still able to do the poses this way.
Hydrate – Hydrating yourself for hot yoga is so important. Don’t guzzle water before or during the class though. Be mindful of your water intake during the day and aim to add in a few more glasses. During the class, take small sips. Avoid chugging water because this can cause you to get a side stitch or make you feel nauseous.
Wear the Right Clothes – Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and that will allow you to move. You want clothes that breathe, especially for hot yoga. I rocked some Giant Tiger ACX black leggings with a black tank top. I felt the leggings were perfect as they did not inhibit my ability to move and were not bulky or loose. A tight fitting top is also recommended so you are not constantly having to pull it down or having the fabric get in the way.
Go Easy on Yourself – Remember that everything in life takes practice. Yoga is all about trusting your body and speaking positivity into your life, two things I learned during my first class. After experiencing hot yoga, I can say I really enjoyed it. What I liked about the yoga environment was that no one judging my poses because everyone was focused on bettering themselves. At the end of the class, despite being very, very sweaty, I felt proud of myself for trying something new and was excited to continue exploring yoga more.
I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone! I’ll be returning to Chrysalis Yoga Studio in my ACX athletic wear to sweat it out again soon.
Have you tried hot yoga?