Taking your first hot yoga class can be intimidating.
I remember being absolutely terrified to take my first class. I didn’t know what to bring, what to expect or what half of the poses were called and my first experience ended up being an absolute disaster.
To get some tips on surviving your first hot yoga class check out this post but I think another part of making your first experience in hot yoga the best it can be is knowing proper hot yoga etiquette. Veteran yogi’s know this etiquette since they practice it multiple times a week but for newbies this whole yoga concept may be completely foreign.
As someone who has been doing all types of hot yoga classes for 5 years I interact with new students all the time which really inspired me to write this post. I promise if you’ve never taken yoga and follow these 10 etiquette tips you’ll be able to walk into any class and nobody will have any idea that it’s your first time and that you have no idea what the f*ck you’re doing haha!
Yoga Etiquette: 10 Tips For New Students
- Be on time- Popular yoga classes often get filled to capacity a few minutes before they begin. To avoid being that person who runs into a packed studio once class has already started trying to find a place to set their mat down ALWAYS arrive to a class at least 15 mins early. This will give you enough time to check in, to set down your mat, use the restroom and be in the room before class begins. The instructor and your fellow yogis will thank you.
- Wear clean clothes- This should be self explanatory but people really do wear some musty, nasty smelling clothing to yoga. Normally I wouldn’t care, you do you, but in busy classes where you’re right next to another person who straight up stinks it can ruin your whole experience.
- Use a clean mat and yoga towel- Speaking of cleanliness, another nasty thing people often do (usually guys) is use the same yoga towel over and over again. Those things get soaked in sweat and after 1 use start smelling awful. Be respectful of your fellow classmates and bring a clean towel and wipe off your mat.
- Bring a towel for you and your mat- In this post I’m specifically talking about HOT yoga where the classes get up to 95+ degrees so obviously, you are going to sweat. To avoid creating a lake of sweat around you and your neighbor bring a towel. Having the ability to control your sweat keeps you safe from slipping and keeps the person next to you free of your nasty sweat.
- Don’t be that person wearing strong perfume/cologne- Ahh this may be the most important tip of all. There’s something about a hot room that just enhances smells x10! Don’t try to cover up a stinky yoga towel or your stinky feet with spray. Hop in a quick shower, use the sink or use face wipes to neutralize your order.
- Honor the silence in the room before class- Before a yoga class begins you are suppose to be silent. This allows the students to relax and get into the correct mindset for class. Do not be the people gossiping about who hooked up with who in the front of the room. If you need to talk simply step outside the room or save it for after class.
- Make room for fellow students- In popular yoga classes you often have to get a little closer to the person next to you than you’d probably like…it’s just reality. When you notice that class is getting full and people are wandering in awkwardly looking for a place to set their mat down be courteous and move a couple inches over instead of pretending you don’t see the person.
- Do they flow the teacher is teaching- AHHHH this one drives me crazy! You come to a class to follow what the teacher is doing- not to do your own thing. If you want to do what you want stay home. Thanks!
- Try the moves but know your limits- To get better at something you should always get out of your comfort zone and try BUT you also need to know your limits. For example, if you’re in a packed class and the instructor is teaching everyone how to do a headstand but you’ve never done one well maybe this isn’t the right time to try it and cause a domino effect when you fall (yes, I’ve had someone kick me in the face trying to do a headstand). Modify the pose or do what I do and get to class early so you have a wall near you to catch you just in case you lose balance.
- Don’t leave the room when things get tough- Yoga isn’t easy and hell yeah when it gets challenging and hot in the room I want to leave but the entire point of yoga is calming your mind and body to get through difficult and uncomfortable situations. If you start feeling dizzy, fatigued or light headed simply lay down on your mat instead of leaving the room. It causes less distractions to fellow students and allows you to get back into the flow of class easier.
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Have you ever taken a hot yoga class before?
Do you have a funny story about your first experience taking hot yoga?
What hot yoga etiquette tips would you offer new students?