From dancing and jogging to hiking and weight training, exercising is an effective way to improve your physical health. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough emphasis on your emotional well-being. Considering yoga improves your strength, endurance, and flexibility while also decreasing stress in your life, the benefits are easy to see. While a popular exercise option, you may not be familiar with Bikram Yoga. Practicing traditional yoga motions in a room with temperatures between 90 and 105 degrees probably does not seem appealing. However, Bikram Yoga offers intense benefits including healthy detoxification, weight loss, toned muscles, improved heart health, and decreased stress and anxiety. Using this guide, you will have the necessary tools before starting Bikram Yoga.

Successful Dress

Visit your local gym and you will see many well-dressed women. Shorts or tights with matching tanks and tees may seem attractive, but they are not fit for hot yoga. Before joining your group of Bikram enthusiast, be sure to focus your wardrobe on the following pieces:

  • Bottoms – Avoid loose-fitting shorts and pants. While they may seem comfortable for aerobics or jogging on the treadmill, they are not fit for Bikram yoga. Opt for a comfortable pair of yoga pants or capris. Specialized yoga apparel for women are designed to move with your body, which is important during stretches and other movements.
  • Tops – A baggy tee may seem like the best top to wear while exercising, but it will make you more uncomfortable in a hot yoga room. Opt for a stretchable tank top that fits your body without inhibiting movement.
  • Shoes – Shoes are not necessary during any type of yoga. Barefoot is best for proper movement and comfort during Bikram yoga.

Yoga pants and tops fit each person differently, so be sure to everything on before purchase.  While in the dressing room, perform a few standard poses to determine if your yoga gear will be comfortable.

Must-Have Mat

Most retailers offer a large selection of exercise mats and towels. While perfect for regular exercises classes, these mats are not suitable for a hot yoga class.

Due to the increased temperatures, you will perspire a great deal during Bikram yoga. The excessive amount of sweat may cause you to slip and slide across a traditional mat, decreasing the benefits of the yoga poses and stretches. Consider purchasing a skidless mat with rubber backing to avoid injuries caused from slipping.

Wishing Well of Water

Proper hydration is imperative for a successful Bikram yoga class. Not only will you be sweating out all of your body's water, but you will also be exerting yourself physically and mentally. If you become dehydrated, you will experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurry Vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal Balance
  • Improper Coordination
  • Headache
  • Shaking
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Fainting

At the first sign of dehydration, you may wish for a well of water, but chugging water during and immediately after your hot yoga class will only increase your nausea and headaches. To remain hydrated, drink 16 ounces of water a half hour before your class. After the class, continue drinking water throughout the day.

Complete Understanding

Bikram yoga requires heat, so you should understand the importance of sweating. Considering it is body's natural air conditioner, the act of sweating is necessary to cool your body's temperature down within normal ranges. Allow yourself to sweat without any worry.

Avoid focusing on the physical changes that stem from perspiring. Do not try to fix your hair or adjust your makeup because the sweating will continue well past the end of class. In addition, do not wipe away sweat from your head or body. This will only cause your body to perspire more in an attempt to lower your temperature.

A hot yoga class may seem intimidating, but the physical and emotional benefits make it a great exercise option. With this list of must-haves, you can have a successful Bikram Yoga class.