During summer in New York, leaving the sanctuary of 24 hour air conditioning and stepping outside is like entering a giant sauna. The air is sticky and soupy. Even the breeze is warm, providing no relief from the humidity, so attending a hot yoga class can seem kind of unimaginable. With the right strategy, though, you can continue to reap the rewards of practicing at a heated studio like Modo Yoga (higher calorie burn and looser, more flexible muscles, to name two) despite the inhospitable temperature.
It goes without saying, but you need to hydrate before, during and after class. By the time you’ve got that dry-mouth feeling you’re already dehydrated, so keep a bottle of water on your desk / in your bag to make sure you’re sipping consistently throughout the day. A Corkcicle Canteen holds 750ml of water (the same as a bottle of wine, which is handy to know if you’re picnicking on the weekend), and has triple insulation to keep beverages chilled for 25 hours, making it ideal for a hot yoga class.
A good sweat followed by a cool shower makes you feel shiny and new, but it’s important to remember you’re losing minerals, not just fluids, when you perspire. Replenish your sodium, potassium and magnesium by adding an electrolyte supplement to your Corkcicle bottle before class. Handy pocket-sized packets are easy to carry, will prevent muscle cramps, and help stave off sluggishness.
You don’t have to wear teeny tiny shorts to hot yoga if you don’t want to. A host of activewear companies are creating technological garments that keep you drier during exercise thanks to sweat-wicking fabrics with smart aeration. And a word to the wise, it might be time you reassessed the underwear you workout in, too.
Yoga on a full stomach, in a hot room, is not a pleasant experience. That said, it’s smart to get a little energy through light and easy-to-digest carbohydrates like hummus with carrot and cucumber sticks, or a couple of pieces of fruit. Banana is great for its high potassium content, and watermelon helps top up hydration levels.
Post-yoga opt for a balanced meal with protein and lots of veggies to provide plenty of energy.
Sweat itself is great for your skin (after all, there’s a reason many cultures prioritize regular sauna and spa sessions). Sweating releases a natural antibiotic called Dermcidin, which helps protect skin from bacteria and impurities. However, those same impurities, if they aren’t removed after you’ve been sweating, can clog your pores and cause breakouts. To prevent pimples carry cleansing facial wipes in your bag to quickly remove makeup before class and grime afterwards. Then, once you’ve showered, apply a light lotion to your face and body to lock-in moisture.