the HYNW blog
You've come this far. You've done your research, you've found our blog - you're reading this post!! WIN! You've had Yoga on the mind, and here you are: preparing for your first class!
We all started somewhere - Bikram Hot Yoga is a series intended for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. Our studio is full of expert-level staff and Instructors, and we are here for you!
Come on in.. the Hot Room is... hot!
What If I've Never Done Yoga Before?
No problem. Don't worry if you're not naturally flexible. These postures are gentle to the newcomer and challenging for the experienced practitioner. An instructor will guide you through each posture, and we encourage you to do what you can and sit down when you need a break. You are always in control of how far you go and how hard you push yourself.
Pace yourself in class. Take as many breaks as you need by holding still or sitting down during the posture. Breathe in and out through your nose. This lowers your heart rate and calms your nervous system. Sweat is your body's way of cooling you down: allow it to happen. Avoid wiping the sweat as it reduces your ability to cool down naturally. Please do your best to stay in the room during class. Leaving the room is disruptive to others, and staying in the room is the best way for your body to acclimate while getting the full benefits of the practice. It is not uncommon to feel dizzy and nauseous in your first couple of classes. If you feel this way, it helps to focus on your breathing and practice letting nothing steal your peace.
How is Yoga Different From Other Forms of Exercise?
Yoga is more than just physical exercise. Yes, you will get a physical work-out while you're here - but you'll also work your mind. Through the steadying of the mind within the practice, we learn quite a lot about ourselves, our attachments, and our avoidances. With practice, we begin to let go of negative mental patterns and self-imposed limitations that may prevent us from feeling connected to the present.
Why Is Bikram Yoga Practiced in a Hot Room?
Bikram Yoga is traditionally practiced in a room heated to 105°F with 40% humidity. The heat's primary function is to warm your body, making it more malleable so you can stretch safely into postures. The heat also allows the body to cleanse, detoxify, and heal by stimulating the circulatory system. It helps you increase your heart rate for a better cardio workout, improve strength by putting muscle tissue in its optimal state, and softens collagen around the joints for better freedom of movement. It generally takes about 3-5 classes to acclimate to the heat so don't worry if you feel overwhelmed by the heat during your first class. We've all been there!
What Should I Wear to Bikram Yoga Class?
Men are usually comfortable wearing gym shorts, t-shirts are optional. Women usually wear athletic shorts and a sports top. Best to wear form-fitting clothing with sweat-wicking capabilities. Loose-fitting clothing, heavy cotton, and long pants tend to be uncomfortable in the heat. This yoga is practiced bare-footed.
What Should I Bring to Bikram Yoga Class?
Most importantly: a positive attitude. Also - a yoga mat and a towel, if you have one. You can also rent a mat and towel from us at the Studio if needed. Water is optional but recommended, especially during your first few classes. Please bring only a mat, towel and water into the Hot Room. Storage is provided in the changing rooms for your other belongings. No cell phones in the room. This is 90 minutes for you; the world can wait. Electronic pagers/phones are allowed for emergency personnel, but please notify your instructor ahead of time. There are complimentary showers in the changing rooms, and you might want to bring a change of clothes...we promise you will get sweaty!
How Should I Prepare for Bikram Yoga class?
Come well hydrated, 64-80 oz. of water a day is the recommended minimum. Chugging water directly prior to class usually results in just having to "go" and a full, uncomfortable stomach during the floor series. This yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach, so we suggest not eating for a couple hours prior to class. That being said, everyone is different, so it may take a few classes for you to figure out what works best for you. These are just recommendations based on our experiences.
Can I Register For Classes Online?
Yes, please feel free to set-up a MindBody Account from our Home Page. You can sign our waiver and register for class online before coming to the studio! It will make your "check-in" process at the studio much smoother.
When Should I Arrive for Class?
Studio doors open 30 minutes prior to each class, with the exception of opening 15 minutes prior to the 6 AM class. Doors close promptly when class begins and classes range from 60-90 minutes. Classes start on time and end on time. Please come at least 15 minutes early to your first class. This will give us time to meet you and give you time to settle in!
What Should I Do When I Enter the Hot Room?
Lay down your yoga mat and towel in the room over one of the thick purple lines on the floor - they are there to help with your alignment during class. Put your full-size towel or yoga towel over your mat. Try to set up so you can see yourself in the mirror. Make room for your fellow practitioners, scoot over if necessary. Switch it up! Try new locations in the room! Please limit talking inside the Hot Room.
Should I Drink Water During Bikram Yoga Class?
You will have a water break (“Party Time”) about 25 minutes into class. Avoid drinking water during the first 3 postures. You are working on warming up your body and cold water slows down this process! You want to drink water as little as possible during class to avoid feeling full, but after the first 3 postures feel free to drink water as needed, preferable between postures to avoid distracting other students.
What Will Bikram Yoga Class Be Like?
It will be an amazing, life-changing experience! An instructor will verbally guide you through the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises - these postures remain the same each and every Bikram Yoga class. Feel free to take a break or rest on your mat as needed. Your only goal in your first few classes is to stay in the room so you can get used to the practice and the heat. The first couple of classes can be tough, but you will be surprised at how quickly you acclimate and feel the benefits. After you first class make plans to come back as soon as you can!
- The HYNW Team