40 degrees Celsius, 104 degrees Fahrenheit – Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, sounds like it could be one of the scariest nightmares of your life.
Stretching and contorting your body in ways you did not think it could, and in sweltering heat does not make happiness, serenity and peace spring to mind.
Surprisingly, however, it may be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
You may be reluctant at first but you will not regret it!
So, here’s our guide to taking part in hot yoga:
Maybe the hardest thing to do. You are in a cauldron, trying to figure out how to naturally displace your hip in order for your forehead to meet your ankle and you are expected to remember how to breathe? Well, yes, because, you know, you need to do it to live and stuff.
Guys – all you need is shorts. Show off those dad bods!
Girls – form fitting clothing is your best bet. Tank tops, sports bras, shorts, cropped leggings.
Before you even enter the first position, you will be dripping with sweat. Because of this, I cannot stress how important it is to stay hydrated when you are crumpling your body into a ball like a hamster in what feels like the Sahara desert.
Bring a yoga mat
This is self-explanatory. It is yoga.
Bring a towel
To place on your yoga mat. It absorbs the fluids dripping from your anatomy as you question the choices you have made in life. You should probably bring another because you should shower, you stink.
This does not mean scoffing an 18-inch pizza while on Netflix, watching an Orange Is the New Black marathon. This means continuing the good work because your body is a tem… nope, I am not that bad yet!
Pre-workout: look at having something light like a smoothie or some oatmeal about 60-90 minutes before.
Post-workout: Protein and carbs are your friends. Look at grilled chicken, salmon, vegetables, sweet potato – or just a nice glass of chocolate milk to aid muscle recovery.
If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
You are experiencing temperatures that you may have never felt before while forcing your body into demanding positions. If this gets too much for you, do not be afraid to step outside to regroup and collect yours senses. Nobody will judge you; remember everybody was once a beginner, even the instructor.
You are not going to be a Yogi Bear Master Warlock from day one, so do not beat yourself up about not being able to get into a position. Yoga is all about creating positive energy.
To see my woeful attempt at hot yoga, visit: http://riveronline.co.uk/the-river-does-bikram-hot-yoga/
If you want to give Bikram a try for yourself, visit: http://www.bikramyogasurbiton.com/