Hot Yoga Survival Guide for Men
eal men do hot yoga. If you don’t know what beard or shin sweat is you certainly will after a 90 minute hot yoga class. One of the big draws to take a hot yoga class is all the hardcore, sweaty and toned women men fantasize about being surrounded by. I promise you won’t feel fun and flirty while you are contemplating whether or not you are going to puke or just straight up keel over. About 15 minutes in is when you begin to realize you are actually there to experience the most intense workout of your entire life.
Hot yoga has many health benefits that keep yogis addicted, that svanasana after glow feeling keeps everyone coming back for more. It will keep your pores squeaky clean and glowing from the room’s sauna-like effects. Working in the heated room elevates the heart rate giving you aerobic benefits from seemingly an aerobic exercise. The heat allows you to work deeper into poses while strengthening your mental discipline and focus. Breath work is also an essential component to hot yoga. The heat forces you to learn how to conserve and control your breath. Many have claimed that hot yoga has helped to cure them from skin conditions, bad backs, depression, insomnia, migraines, and more.
Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:
Eat light, eat early
Don’t have a huge meal right before a class; it will leave you feeling queasy and burping especially after inversions. Try to space a meal at least two hours before class. If you do need to eat right before class try to keep it dry and light, something you might eat after having the stomach flu.
Start hydrating the night before class. Coconut water is your best friend here. Drink a coconut water before class and a coconut water after class to restore electrolytes. Drink at least one liter of water the day of class. DON’T chug water during class, simply sip during breaks. At first you might think this will help with the heat, but it will only make you feel sick.
Know your hot spots
This might take a while to learn as different classrooms with different heating systems might have specific hot spots. Generally the more hardcore regulars bask in the hot spots so they are easy to avoid, but just in case sticking to the back of the room is usually much cooler. The closer you are to the door, the cooler you will be is the general rule of thumb. If it is your first time don’t be afraid to as the teacher.
You might be itching to wipe away the sweat or bring a hand towel to dab yourself through out the class. This will actually make it a lot worse and a lot sweatier. Don’t fuss, fidget, adjust your clothing or wipe sweat. The less you move and conserve the better you will be able to perform during poses. You are going to be drenched in sweat no matter what you do, so don’t waste precious energy trying to wipe away the inevitable deluge.
Breath through your nose
Breathing through the nose helps you keep your heart rate under control. Nasal passages are much narrower and slow your breathing naturally. Breathing in hot air through the mouth is also much more jarring and creates a suffocating feeling that will leave you wanting to gasp more through your mouth. This will accelerate your heart rate and give you a shortened, uneven breathing pattern.
Put a towel down on your mat
This is one of the most basic things you will quickly realize—you really need a mat towel. There are specialized ones for purchase, probably even at your studio, that are the exact size of a yoga mat. Any old bath towel will do though, just through it over your mat before class and let it save you from turning your mat into a slip n’ slide.