A beginner’s guide to hot yoga

-Nov 20, Hannah Hargrave , Fitness -

If you’re looking to work up a sweat for your mind, body and soul then hot yoga could be your go-to workout. Hotpod Yoga’s Katie Robertson tells Lumity what to expect from a class and explains why it can work for you!

Gone are the days when everyone thought yoga was just about twisting yourself up like a pretzel and learning to breathe deeply. Yoga has been shown to have a never-ending list of health benefits which reach far beyond improved flexibility and posture

Regularly rolling out your mat for a mindful stretch session can help lower blood pressure, boost your mood, lower stress levels and much more. And with so many different styles, there’s something to suit almost everybody.

Related: ‘How my first yoga class ever changed my life after 50’

So with all that being said, it’s no wonder hot yoga has firmly made its mark on the wellness scene.

But for those of you only just hearing about the warm workout or are keen to give it a go, hot yoga instructor and co-founder of Hotpod Yoga Worthing Katie Robertson has answered all of Lumity’s burning questions about it. 

What is hot yoga?

Katie explains very simply that; “hot yoga is yoga practiced in the heat!”.

Bikram yoga is the original form of hot yoga, but there are other less intense hot yoga styles too. Classes take place in hot and humid studios and in HotPod Yoga’s case inside a giant, inflatable, purple pod.

So just how hot can you expect your hot yoga class to be? Katie says: “It could be the 40 degrees of Bikram Yoga, down to the slightly milder temperature of 37 degrees that we heat our otherworldly purple pod to.”

What are the key benefits of hot yoga?

“The heat adds an extra layer of intensity to your practice,” she tells Lumity. “This enables you to stretch further, sweat harder and really melt into it. You are cleansing your internal organs as well as your skin through the sweat (resulting in a healthy body and glowing skin!) and also aiding flexibility, helping your muscles to open and lengthen much quicker than in a non hot class.”

If someone has never done any yoga before can they join a hot yoga class? Or would you recommend they try another form first?

“Hot yoga is for everyone and most people we welcome to Hotpod are actually complete beginners, so you shouldn’t be scared off if you haven’t tried it before.”

Do you need to be flexible to start hot yoga?

“No!” says Katie. “Feeling stiff and inflexible is the perfect reason to attend a hot yoga class in the first place.”

Related: How to keep your body supple and flexible after 40

How can hot yoga benefit the skin?

“The sweat leaves your body through your skin taking with in unwanted toxins and dirt. I always say to people in class to come make up free and to try really hard to NOT wipe the sweat as if you do your effectively wiping the sweat and grime straight back into your lovely open clean pores.”

Is there an age restriction on hot yoga or can anyone do it?

“We recommend being age 16 or more.”

What should someone know before turning up to a hot yoga class?

“That everyone is different! So to not even think about or get hung up on comparing,” Katie tells Lumity.  “That it is completely fine to go at your own pace, rest when you need to and sip water. The heat can feel overwhelming so if it does it is ok to just take a knee, take some deep slow breaths and start again as you feel ready to – no pressure!!!”

Will they need to bring plenty of water?

“YES and be sure to hydrate fully throughout the day before and after, a pinch of salt and dash of lemon helps too.”

How long is the average hot yoga class?

“Our classes in the pod are 60 mins.”

Will you ache from hot yoga?

“It’s likely you’ll ache after a hot yoga class because you are challenging your body so physically. It can be tough, but the rewards are immeasurable especially when it comes to emotional and mental wellbeing.”

Are there different types of hot yoga and if so which one would you say suits a beginner best and why?

“I would say any and all are suitable! I taught Bikram for years and it is intense – so if you are a non-intense person you may enjoy our classes in the pod much better. We are a shorter class and we really pride ourselves on being accessible to all – offering newbies a chance to go slow and more experienced practitioners the chance to push on.”

How regularly would you suggest someone takes hot yoga classes to see and feel the benefits?

“I would say at last twice a week.”

If you’re eager to take up yoga but are still not convinced it’s for you then you might be inspired by what Maude Hirst told Lumity about her life changing experience with yoga and mindfulness.

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