Five Things We Love About Hot Yoga Classes

The heat

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? In your first few classes, the heat may not seem like the blessing it is. Before long, you’ll find yourself loving the heat and enjoying (perhaps even craving) its effects on the body.

Learning control

All forms of yoga emphasise mind and body working smoothly together. Hot Yoga is self-paced, so we are always in control, learning to sense when we can push and when we should rest. As you maintain the hold in a challenging position you never imagined you’d do, you’ll feel how much stronger and better balanced your body has become.

The energy

In our demanding world where energy is a precious resource, it’s good to be able to recharge. The less we do, the less we feel like doing. It’s so easy to fall into bad habits with the best intentions. Exercise turns this negative cycle on its head because the more energy we expend through exercise, the more our bodies can do over time.

Camaraderie

Many people think of yoga as a solitary, serious exercise, but in a class, it’s far from that. An inspirational teacher passes her energy and enthusiasm on to students, and in turn, they help boost each other.

The afterglow

After a good hot yoga session, you’ll feel the same buzz of collective achievement you experience with team sports. Ever watched the winning football team at the end of the Champions League final jumping up and down together holding the cup? Expect that kind of feeling – not so intense, of course, but every time – you’re never on the losing team with yoga.

Studio Etiquette

Hot yoga studios differ, but these guidelines work well for us:

  • Be on time for class
  • Be prepared – for example, bring your favourite yoga mat and lots of water
  • Dress comfortably, choosing clothes that you can move freely in
  • Be kind and respectful
  • Be responsive to the cues of the session leader
  • Know when to be quiet
  • Be here with us totally – turn your phone on silent or leave it behind if you can
  • Be patient with yourself and others around you
  • Join in with the meditation – we think it’s an important part of the class
  • Use positive language – many studios are bad language free zones
  • Celebrate your own and your classmates’ achievements
  • Relax and enjoy!

 

How to Recover After a Hot Yoga Class

Despite the blog title, expect to feel amazing after a hot yoga session: our class members often tell us how fantastic they feel. If you’re a fan of hot yoga, you’ll know exactly what we mean, but it’s not an easy sensation to explain to those who have never experienced it. Try to imagine a sense of achievement, the joy of being in tune with your body, the buzz of having taken part in a great session, and a feeling of relaxation, all mixed together.

But there’s still work to be done. Your main priority afterwards will be to rehydrate. Hot yoga classes can be 36 degrees or more, with up to 80% humidity. Some people claim you can detox through hot yoga, but in fact your body has extremely sophisticated ways of dealing with toxins. They are processed mainly by the liver or the kidneys rather than being lost through sweat.

Your body, like you, is unique and the amount of electrolytes lost during a class varies from person to person. Electrolytes are the salts in your blood. Sweat tastes salty because of the sodium and chloride lost in it. You also lose low concentrations of potassium, magnesium and calcium. Ideally, these electrolytes will be swiftly replaced through your normal diet. We’ll share tips on eating well in another post. For example, a handful of heart-healthy almonds will provide magnesium, calcium and other nutrients such as vitamin E.

What’s certain is that everyone will need to rehydrate as quickly as possible. Some class members rehydrate with coconut water, a natural source of electrolytes with a neutral pH. There are a number of coconut waters on the market, with varying sugar contents. Some are extremely high in sugar which means that, along with that great taste, you’ll get a high calorie count so might want to limit how much you drink. You’ll be tired of hearing this, but always check the label, especially for anything you’re likely to consume regularly.

If you’re thinking about trying coconut water too, or want to see how the brand you prefer compares to others, check out these coconut water reviews.

You’re always welcome to bring your favourite drink along to your hot yoga session for some expert advice. One of the sports scientists in our class advises that just drinking plenty of water will be sufficient to replace the electrolytes you have lost during the class.

It’s fairly obvious that you will need to shower after a hot yoga session, and change out of your yoga kit, but also spare a thought for your yoga mat. It will also need to recover and dry out, so try to avoid keeping it rolled up in a bag. Follow the manufacturer’s advice for keeping it in great condition, ready for your next class.

During a hot yoga session, tie your hair back if it’s long enough to get in your way. We suggest you come to the class without make up – mascara halfway down your face is not a great look, not that we would bother! The good news is that the warmth of the room will naturally open your skin’s pores, so after the class is a great time to quickly cleanse and moisturise. This applies to men, just as much as women. You will not believe how great your skin will start to feel: that healthy glow of exercise tends to pay dividends for your complexion.

Some of the beauties of our classes are the tips and advice we get from each other. Our members come from different professions and walks of life and are happy to help and advise if required. For example, another of our members, an amazing hairdresser and colour specialist, reminds us that the heat can dry out some people’s hair. Use a good conditioner as part of your recovery routine if that applies to you.

After a class, you will be experiencing the afterglow of a job well done. Your body releases chemicals called endorphins during exercise and these natural, mood enhancing chemicals will help you feel amazing. They are one of the reasons yoga is so good for alleviating stress and anxiety, a topic we will cover in greater detail later on.

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The Yoga Magic Three: Mind, Body and Soul

Ever wondered why yoga works for so many people? Yoga acts on three different levels.

Mind

It’s simply this – after a busy, sometimes stressful, week it’s hard to still your mind and stop replaying things over and over again. In a 60 minute class you’ll get loads of space to completely unwind. You won’t have chance to think about work, your shopping list, what to make for tea, you will just be able to lose yourself in the music and in the here and now.

Body

Your body will thank you for your investment in posture and alignment. After a day hunched over a keyboard, stuck in one place or rushing about, you will have chance to unwind and relax your shoulders and neck. Your spine will decompress itself and you will create much needed space between your joints, warming and mobilising that golden synovial fluid that protects your joints.

You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling much more refreshed and ready for the new day. Better sleep allows your body time to produce those hormones that regulate hunger (leptin). Your blood pressure will typically lower, allowing the oxygen and nutrients to circulate round your body and work their magic.

Soul

Your mood will lift, and you will feel more relaxed and positive. You’ll leave the studio feeling a calmness, happiness and sense of achievement that will support you through the rest of your day.

Why not test it out? If you live in the Lancashire area, come and join us to see if the benefits we enjoy from Hot Yoga are true for you too. Or, if that’s too far to travel, take the first few steps towards a more energised mind, body and soul by checking out yoga studios in your local area. Your future self will thank you for it!

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How to Find The Perfect Hot Yoga Class

We believe that the perfect hot yoga studio is a place you feel at home – where the atmosphere suits you and you feel part of a community. Somewhere people will pay you attention, care about your well-being and connect with you. 

Not all yoga classes are equally sociable, entertaining or lively. It’s great if you have the perfect class almost on your doorstep, but it can be worth travelling a little further to a special place.

And of course, it all depends on your personal exercise goals. A dedicated athlete looking for strength and conditioning may have different requirements to someone looking to improve their flexibility and range of motion. A serious yogi looking for the most pure and spiritual side of our practice might favour a more formal style of studio. Even if you have very specific requirements, it often helps to keep an open mind. 

Try out classes at several studios to make sure the time you invest in your fitness is as rewarding as possible for body, mind and spirit. If you can find a class you really enjoy, you’re much more likely to stick with it and achieve your fitness goals.

Bolton Hot Yoga Fitness studio is vibrant, lively, full of laughter, with people there to support you whatever your needs. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and have sometimes been described as zany. Many of the people who exercise with us are seeking to improve their overall fitness, balance and body tone or want to learn or refine hot yoga poses and have fun while they’re working out. Even our background music often receives rave reviews.

Ladies feeling the glow after a hot yoga class
Glowing and happy after an exercise class at Bolton Hot Yoga Fitness

Whether you are just starting out, getting back into exercise for the first time in 40 years, or have specific medical conditions you’d like to improve, we can help. 

Only you know what type of fitness studio is right for you, but the good news is that there are plenty for you to try. If you live in or around the Bolton area, we hope you’ll come to one of our classes so you can find out how well we suit you. 

Book online here