A few years ago I finally gave hot yoga a try. As someone who is insanely hot-blooded and doesn’t enjoy sweating, I didn’t think I’d like it at all. But I do enjoy yoga, and it seems as though there’s only hot yoga available these days. I gave it a try and ended up loving it! There are so many benefits to it from the great stretching, increasing blood flow and the mindfulness that comes from it.
Hot yoga temperatures can vary from the lows 90s (which is where I like it to be) all the way to over 105. The heat is there to help loosen your muscles, which people may argue is just mental. There are also claims that it may help burn more calories and increase your heart rate. I believe it’s all bull shit, to be honest. But my favorite studio in Atlanta, Highland Yoga, does a fantastic Vinyasa class with great yoga teachers. And it just so happens to be hot, so I power through. To me, the yoga teachers really make it so once you find a few you like, it can really make all the difference in your practice.
What To Wear To Hot Yoga
Whenever I head to my yoga classes, it’s always the same uniform and essentials for me. It took a few classes to learn what I needed. From what to wear, what to bring and most importantly, which mat to invest in!
Most people prefer to be in leggings when they do any sort of yoga. They move easily with you, don’t ride up like shorts do, and provide some traction when you are doing certain poses and stretches. I always recommend investing in moisture-wicking leggings, ones that have good stretch and aren’t see-through when you bend over. Personally, I wear my Align lululemon leggings. I also do love my Athleta Salutation leggings as well. Below are some favorite leggings from Athleta. Always a great price and good quality.
Tight Fitting Shorts
Hot yoga is well, very hot. So sometimes it’s more tolerable to wear shorts. However, I recommend wearing fitted ones, even biker shorts. With all the movements, it’s best to have things that are more fitted in yoga. I have found though that I am one of the very few people in hot yoga who wears shorts. I’m just SO hot that it gives me a bit of relief. However, your legs do get sweaty and it can be hard to hold tree pose and a few others when your legs are sliding against one another.
I always recommend investing in quality, supportive sports bras for working out in. They make all the difference. I personally love these from lululemon. Expensive, but lasts forever and high quality. you just want to make sure you’re choosing ones with moisture-wicking technology and that gives you full range of movement.
shop sports bras
Moisture Wicking Tops
Should you choose to even wear a top in hot yoga, definitely opt for moisture-wicking. Crop tops are great too since it’s just so hot. I recommend keeping your tops more fitted. Flowier tops can get in the way of downward dog. So long as it’s fitted around the waist and stays put, you’re good!
Hot Yoga Essentials
Never head to a hot yoga class without the following items. They’ll ensure you have an enjoyable class and don’t look like a total newbie. Plus, if you’re heading out after class to run some errands, you’ll want to freshen up to prevent any breakouts and make you feel less gross! Here’s what I always have with me.
Not only is a water bottle great for a workout, but it’s essential for a hot yoga class. Since you’re spending 60 minutes sweating non-stop, it’s crucial to hydrate during the session. I recommend drinking a bottle before you head in then refilling right before class starts. Aim to finish that bottle during the class to make sure you’re staying hydrated. This will also to reduce muscle cramping and any lightheadedness you may experience during hot yoga.
If you’re going to be taking a lot of yoga classes, I can’t recommend enough investing in a quality mat. I love my lululemon one. It doesn’t require a towel to prevent slipping from all the sweat. I’ve noticed cheaper mats can easily get slippery and fall apart quickly.
If you have a cheaper mat or one that gets slippery, I’d recommend adding a yoga towel to your mat. It will help absorb sweat and also extend the life of your mat. Just wash it after each use. They’re really great since they’re super thin and absorb sweat really well.
Most studios will offer small towels for you to grab. But if you want to bring your own, great. Some studios just don’t offer things like mats and towels, so be sure to check ahead of time. Oftentimes, you can pay a small fee to use theirs.
Post Yoga Toiletries
Since there’s SO much sweating that happens at hot yoga, I recommend bringing a few post-yoga toiletries. Especially if you aren’t heading straight home to shower. I usually always have a travel face wash with me so I can cleanse my face of sweat and prevent any breakouts. This also means, I always have a moisturizer with me too. Deodorant and some perfume are essential too for feeling refreshed after a sweaty yoga session.
shop yoga essentials
Photos by Hannah Lozano