Hot Yoga Burns More Calories
Yes, the heat and humidity is challenging and your body works harder to cool itself down than it would at a more regular room temperature, and thus you feel your heart rate increase considerably.
"It gives you the feeling that you're burning tons of calories, but really you're losing a lot of water, which all comes back when you replenish and rehydrate after class," says Brown.
"Instead of looking at hot yoga as a workout, it should be more of a 'work in.'" She considers hot yoga a means to strengthening and lengthening—a "moving meditation."
Expectations Are High
"Expectations, competition, walking into a room and sizing people up will not serve you," says Brown. "You just need to show up at your mat, listen to your body and see what happens."
If you're new to hot yoga—or yoga in general—Brown suggests trying a beginner class, if available, with less heat. This is the reason Core Power offers a free first week. In fact, more and more hot yoga studios offer a free or discounted introduction for the purpose of allowing new students to ease into it or to just try it out, without pressures or expectations.
Brown adds that you also have the option of leaving class when you've reached your limit, at first. "Be safe. If you're new and you make it through 10 minutes, that's great. Maybe next time you'll make it through 15, then 20. Ease yourself into it."
You Have to Be Flexible
"You just have to be you," says Brown. "Flexibility will come in time. All bodies are different." She reminds us that each, unique body will approach each pose differently and find different sets of comforts and challenges with each and every pose.
She also suggests finding instructors you like. "It's all about how you're talked through your yoga journey."
You're Going to Get That Yoga Body
Images of a new you: svelte, sinewy, with that "yoga body" are hard to let go of, but they're often unrealistic and definitely not going to magically appear.
"What you put into that 'yoga body' is going to affect you the most," Brown says. "If you eat a cheeseburger, you're going to feel like a cheeseburger. If you drink a green smoothie, you'll feel like a head of Romaine—light and airy."
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