!. Arrive early! The biggest mistake you can make is arriving late and flustered. This energy not only affects you, but the instructor and the entire class! If it's your first class or two, you will want to be a good twenty minutes early to meet your instructor and to get acclimated to the new facility. You might also have paperwork that will have to be filled out before you begin the class.
2. Dress for success! Bikram is performed in a 105 F room for approximately 90 minutes so you will want to be dressed appropriately to avoid heat exhaustion and being just plain miserable. Women should wear shorts and a sports bra or tank top. Avoid wearing yoga pants and a loose tee shirt. Men should stick to wearing shorts and if they're confident enough to go without a shirt they should take advantage of that perk.
3. Come prepared. Bring a towel and change of clothes because you will want to shower after a Bikram class! You will also want your own personal yoga mat and hot yoga towel. Be prepared to sweat! The most innovative and convenient product out there is the Namastay slip free yoga towel, which combines a yoga mat and a skidless yoga towel in one and is also going to prevent you from slipping or falling out of posture while in a pose. If you have ever tried switching from the 26 positions without a slip free yoga towel, then you know how disconcerting it is to be slipping out of posture while the rest of the class is moving onto the next pose.
4. Don't wear perfumes or colognes! Some people have a very strong sense of smell and perfumes in a hot steamed room can amplify any scent. With this being said you should also be considerate of others by wearing deodorant! Scent free please!
5. No cell phones! This is a given. Yoga class is not a place for cell phones or smart phones! You should be silent throughout the whole class. People are trying to experience inner peace and meditation. Besides, you wouldn't want your phone to be exposed to the elements of a hot, steamy, room. Can we just say, water-damage?
6. Don't eat food 2-3 hours before class. You don't want food and digestion to slow you down and possibly make you feel nauseated while working out in the sauna-like room.
7. Stay hydrated! Drink about a liter of water about an hour before class and maintain hydration by sipping on water in between poses. New beginners may feel nauseated by the extreme heat and exercise combination but don't let that feeling hold you back from drinking water! You will be sweating a-lot! Stay hydrated! If you feel dizzy or light headed, take a rest by laying flat on your back or relax with your hands on your knees in a crouching position. Coconut water will bring you back to life if you drink some while feeling this way. If you absolutely feel like you're going to pass out, then step out of the room!
8. Have a positive attitude! Your first few classes are going to be rough but stay tough! People go from hating Bikram yoga their first few classes, to loving it beyond measure! Keep reminding yourself that you are stronger than you think you are and you are going to make it through the whole class!
9. Keep it real. You must have realistic expectations if you are going to get any enjoyment out of Bikram. Don't go in to a class comparing yourself to everyone around you. This is something that takes time, experience, and endurance to perfect.
10. Cool down. After your last pose don't run out the door! It is recommended to lie on your back and breathe deeply for 2-5 minutes after your last pose. This will help you reflect on the intense workout you just finished and also help bring your heartbeat back down. The biggest tip is to just HAVE FUN!
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