Full of hot air

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10 hot yoga myths debunked

What’s holding you back from trying your first hot yoga class? Perhaps you’ve been scared by rumours that you’ll be left feeling inflexible, parched or be ‘the one that wobbles’…Well, we’re here to allay your fears and debunk 10 common myths of the hot yoga studio.

Myth #1

I’m not flexible enough

That’s ok, we have over 25 classes Monday to Sunday! But seriously, you do not need to be physically flexible to start hot yoga – we hear this worry all the time and it’s really not a problem. Every pose starts at a basic level and increases in intensity, which the teacher will talk you through. Push yourself as far as you feel comfortable with. The element of heat helps to warm muscles, joints and ligaments, more so than in a non-heated class, and over time you will see improvements in flexibility which is really rewarding.

Myth #2

It’s just a stretching class

Noooo! Whilst stretching is an important and enjoyable part of each class, it is so so much more than that. The physical benefits of hot yoga are endless, including building strength and muscle tone, improving metabolism, circulation, balance, posture, stamina and giving your ticker a great cardio workout. You’ll be surprised at how much your heart rate will rise during certain poses! You will certainly be able to challenge yourself in every class whether you’re a beginner or experienced yogi.

Myth #3

I’ll look really hot (as in red-faced and sweaty!)

We can’t lie, it gets hot and humid in there – the clue is in the name! But the temperature is not excessively high. You will sweat, just like everyone else, including the teacher. Tomato faces are allowed and embraced in our classes…we don’t care what you look like so you shouldn’t either! We just want you to feel amazing afterwards. Sweating is all part of the experience, but after a few classes you will acclimatise and cool down quickly after class. Bring a towel to place on your mat to avoid sliding around (or buy a grip towel from reception, lots of funky colours to choose from) and also one for your face if you want. Regular sports clothes made from quick-drying fabrics are great for staying as comfortable as possible.

Myth #4
I won’t be allowed to drink water

No one is going to stop you from drinking water in the hot studio so definitely bring along a bottle. Our teachers will prompt you to take water breaks and will encourage you to sip rather than gulp so you don’t take on too much fluid during class. The best preparation you can do, however, is to hydrate well in the lead up to your class so drink plenty of water during the day or night before.

Myth #5

I won’t be allowed to leave the studio once it starts

The door isn’t locked, don’t panic! You are free to leave whenever you want! We’ve all experienced the hot studio for the first time and it’s all about acclimatising and managing the heat effectively to begin with. Your teacher will keep an eye on you during class and will encourage you to take rests and sit down on your mat and breathe as needed. Sitting down is not cheating and you don’t need to power through all of the poses! In every single class people will sit down, take breaks, and resume when they’re ready. Class by class you’ll be able to do more, rest less and feel like a superhuman!

Myth #6

People will sweat over me!

Class numbers are limited, not only to create an optimum experience, but to allow space for every yogi to stretch their arms and legs without getting too cosy with their neighbour. Don’t get us wrong, classes do get busy but everyone is easily retained to their own towel and mat area. As it’s a low impact and non-contact activity, it’s one of the most civilised ways to sweat!

Myth #7

It’s just for women

Stop right there! It is for EVERYONE. We are welcoming more and more men into our classes who practice for a huge variety of reasons…wanting to loosen up and become more flexible, increase fitness, de-stress, enjoy an activity that’s calming as well as challenging, and to compliment other sports like running or weights sessions in the gym. These are exactly the same reasons that women come along! It’s your time to focus your mind on whatever you want. It is your practice, so whether spiritual or for fitness, just enjoy it. Although our classes do not include meditation per se, we do teach you how to breathe calmly (which is a skill you can use in daily life for things like stress management) and always leave time for relaxation at the end of class.

Myth #8

I’ll feel too self-conscious in a class

Once you get into your practice you’ll find you’re busy focusing your mind and body on the task in hand. Don’t be scared of the mirrors! They are there to help you check your alignment and help with balance in certain postures and they’re actually really useful. All ages, shapes and sizes are enjoying hot yoga with us and as long as your clothing is practical, you can wear what you’re comfortable in. As for worrying about wobbling or ‘falling out’ of a pose, we all do it – even the teachers! The best thing to do is laugh, have fun and just go with the flow.

Myth #9

I’ve got a bad back/knees/shoulder so I can’t do it

Amazingly, people have found that hot yoga has healed or alleviated on-going aches and pains or kept them active whilst recovering from minor injuries, but everybody if different and it’s important to know your limits and for us to know your injuries. When you arrive for your first class complete a participant questionnaire outlining any injuries and you should chat with the teacher before you head into the studio. If you have a niggle, pain or a specific medical condition, your teacher will advise on poses to avoid or go easy on and will show you how to modify them if needed. There will be plenty of other poses you can partake in as a typical class devotes time to the whole body.

If you have any concerns about coming to a class due to injury or medical reasons, please seek professional medical advice or talk to us beforehand. We may request confirmation from your doctor that you are safe to participate if needed.

Myth #10

I have to be a member to come to classes

Firstly, you don’t need to be a member and secondly, we wouldn’t want you to commit to anything unless you’ve tried it and liked it! You can get started a few different ways – drop in classes, our popular 2 week intro offer or a workshop or course. We then offer a range of flexible options to help you build a regular practice in the most cost effective way, including class bundles and monthly memberships. Come and chat to us about what’s best for you.

We understand that experiencing hot yoga for the first time may be a little daunting but we promise you a warm welcome, supportive teachers and lots of advice on which classes are best for beginners. We also run workshops and courses for beginners which are a great way to get to grips with some of the basics before you join a group class. Head to our website to find out when they are taking place.

So come along and give it a go! You’ll be hooked after your first few classes and wonder what you ever worried about!  Find us at www.hotyogaclub.co.uk or call 01784 463100 to talk about the best way to get started.