105-degree-plus temperatures and sweating with a group of strangers can make hot yoga intimidating for those who are either new to yoga or haven't been to a hot yoga class before. The practice can be very therapeutic, however, and if you come prepared, not the least bit daunting. "It's a challenging, vigorous, full-body workout; a 'one stop shop' that builds mental and physical strength, improves flexibility and balance, and detoxifies the body and mind at its deepest levels,” explains Loren Bassett of Pure Yoga, a luxury playground for yogis that offers nearly two dozen different types of yoga.
Bassett, who created her own yoga/cardio fusion class called Bassett's Boot Camp, hailed as "America's Toughest Workout" by Marie Claire, goes on to note that "the sheer intensity of the heat can take you deeper physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The discipline of holding a posture in a sustained intensity, while sweating profusely, promotes a deeper level of mental strength and concentration. It teaches us to find comfort in discomfort, exceed the limitations of the mind, and overcome mental obstacles."
Sounds pretty fantastic if you ask us. Here's a look at what to pack for class.
The Elite Hot Hybrid, $88
There's nothing worse than a sweaty, slippery mat. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can be dangerous or prevent you from executing poses properly. Most people's solution is to cover their mat with a towel, but towels aren't grippable. Kulae offers a solution with their yoga mat/towel hybrid which combines the function and support of a traditional yoga mat with the absorbability of the brand’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, super-absorbent yoga towel. As an added plus, it's made of environmentally friendly materials and free of PVC, latex, cadmium, lead, and rubber so there are no possible allergies.
Some Like It Hot Bra, $48
If there's one type of fitness class where anyone is justified in opting to wear nothing but a sports bra up top, it would be hot yoga. This bra stands out as particularly notable because of its breathable, four-way stretch and moisture wicking fabric. It's also got cross-front straps to help you more readily ease into poses.
Love Cami, $52
Part of New Balance's Anue Yoga range, this cami is made from soft sweat wicking fabric and it has an internal shelf bra, sculpted hem for coverage during poses, and thin, but supportive straps.
Trust us, to avoid glaringly embarrassing sweat stains, opt for black bottoms.
If there's one beauty imperative when it comes to hot yoga, it's don't leave the studio without washing your face. Not only can sweating cause breakouts, but it pushes out toxins, which some experts believe can be absorbed back into the skin. If you don't have time for a full face clean, opt for one of these quick and easy dermatologist tested towelettes formulated with white tea, aloe, and cucumber extract to sooth and cleanse skin.
Single Pack, $1.25
The tag line for this product is "full body wet wipes for when you can't shower" which isn't very pleasant to think about, but there may come a time where you don't have time to shower immediately after class in which case these will come in handy.
Perk up feet with these wipes that come formulated with tea tree and peppermint oil (for their natural antiseptic properties), and vitamins E, C, and B and aloe vera to hydrate and nourish.
Clarifying Spray, $37
Your face isn't the only place that needs extra attention when you're sweating buckets. One of the telltale signs of a devoted hot yogi is a broken out upper back. Don't fall victim with this unique body spray that allows you to easily treat those hard to reach areas.
Founded by an acupuncturist and holistic body therapist, Elemental Herbology is a favorite among master yoga instructors because it's 100% free of synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, mineral oils, sulphates, and parabens. This soap-free cleanser works to cleanse skin and decongest pores.
Yoga and Fitness Mat Cleaner, $9.99
Prevent bacteria from forming with this natural mat cleaner.
Arnica is a powerful healing ingredient for sore muscles and this arnica bath liquid has been specifically formulated for use after physical activities to help ease any soreness or tension.
Birch Arnica Body Oil, $28.95
As an alternative to a bath liquid, this arnica-based body oil will not only help sooth muscles after a hot yoga class, but will invigorate with its mint and lemon scent.
It's hard to feel anything but invigorated when you leave a hot studio, but now you can boost the positive vibes with this natural blend of therapeutic grade essential oils. The portable blend combines cedarwood wood oil, rosemary leaf oil, black pepper dried fruit oil, and juniper fruit oil to stimulate circulation and energize.
Water Bottle, prices vary
Sweating can lead to dehydration, so hydrating before, during, and after class is crucial.