For New Students, What to Expect

Cobra

Expect to sweat! 105° is hot, so you should dress and prepare appropriately. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins so that you will have time to get checked in.

Make sure you are well hydrated — try to drink plenty of water throughout the day before you come to class. This is better than trying to pound a lot of water right beforehand — you won’t be properly hydrated, and you will have to pee in the middle of class.

Try not to eat for at least 1-3 hours before class — a full stomach interferes with the process of yoga, and can also cause nausea in a hot room. Better to practice on an empty stomach.

Wear light, comfortable clothes that do not restrict your movement. Remember that it is hot, and the less clothing you wear, the more comfortable you will be. Women generally wear tank tops or sports bras and shorts, men often wear just shorts. Of course your own personal comfort level is important, but loose, bulky clothing will trap heat and make you feel hotter. Don’t feel embarrassed — this is a space of non-judgment, and all bodies are beautiful!

Bring a yoga mat, a large towel (or two), and a bottle of water. Mats and towels are also available to rent.

Remember that yoga is a practice — be patient with yourself! Your only goal for your first class is to stay in the room for the full class time — that’s it! As long as you do the best you can, and follow the instructions of your teacher, you will get all the benefits of the postures, whether you can do them to the fullest extent or not. It is normal to feel dizzy and/or nauseous during your first class or two while you are getting used to the heat. Take it easy at first, and you can begin to push yourself later on.

After class you may feel extremely tired, sore and stiff, or very energetic and “hyped up.” All of these are normal responses to hot Bikram yoga. Come back to class as soon as you can — this will relieve the worst of the soreness and stiffness. You may also have a headache or feel dizzy/nauseous after class. This is a possible sign that you are either dehydrated, or that you weren’t breathing properly during class. Drink lots of water, replenish your electrolytes (you can have a vitamin-C packet, a sports drink, or a banana), and don’t hold your breath in class!

Standing Bow