What Is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga refers to yoga practiced in a heated studio, usually between 90-105°F with 40-50% humidity. The high heat helps warm up the muscles, increase flexibility, and promote sweating to detoxify the body. While any style of yoga can be hot yoga if done in heat, some common hot yoga styles are Bikram and Vinyasa yoga. Bikram yoga includes the same 26 poses done in a 105°F room, while Vinyasa yoga links breath to movement with flowing sequences in a hot room. Hot yoga provides an intense workout in the heat that takes some getting used to.
What Benefits Can Hot Yoga Bring?
Practicing yoga in a heated environment provides many benefits for the body and mind:
- Increased flexibility – The heat allows the muscles and connective tissues to stretch further and more safely. Warm muscles can get deeper into poses without strain or injury.
- Cardiovascular benefits – The heat and humidity in hot yoga raises the heart rate similar to doing cardiovascular exercise. Flowing through yoga sequences in heat provides a heart-pumping workout.
- Detoxification – Sweating profusely during hot yoga helps flush toxins and impurities from the body. The heat boosts circulation and metabolism as well.
- Calorie burn – You can expect to burn 350-500 calories per hour-long hot yoga class depending on the style and your exertion level. The intensity of heat ramps up the workout.
- Mental focus – The humid heat eliminates distractions and enhances concentration. Endorphins released from the demanding workout provide a sense of centered calm.
- Muscle tone – Holding yoga poses for longer periods is achievable thanks to warmer muscles. This increases time under tension tones and strengthens the muscles.
- Stress relief – The deep breathing and meditative aspects of hot yoga calm the mind and relieve stress. Ending class in savasana deeply relaxes the body.
What Are the Precautions for Doing Hot Yoga?
While practicing hot yoga offers many benefits, there are also important precautions to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water before, during and after class to replace fluids lost through sweating. Dehydration is a serious risk.
- Listen to your body – If you start feeling light-headed, overheated or dizzy during class, stop and rest in child’s pose. Do not push past your limits.
- Check with your doctor – Those with medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes should consult their doctor before trying hot yoga.
- Ease in slowly – Allow your body time to acclimate to the heat. Start with gentler styles before progressing to more intense heat.
- Prevent injury – Avoid locking knees and come out of poses slowly to prevent dizziness. Use props like blocks to aid alignment.
- Special considerations – Pregnant women should avoid hot yoga. Menstruating women should not do inversions.
- Hydrate well – Drink electrolyte beverages after class to replenish lost minerals and rehydrate.
What Kind of Clothes Are Suitable for Hot Yoga?
Choosing the right gear, such as moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics designed for exercise, is key for hot yoga (learn: Choosing the Best Clothes for Hot Yoga: Tips for Keeping Cool and Comfortable) outfits. Ideal fabrics include:
- Polyester and nylon – These synthetic materials dry very quickly and wick sweat away from the body well.
- Lycra and elastane – Providing four-way stretch, these offer a full range of motion when blended into fabrics.
- Mesh – Mesh paneling adds significant breathability to hot yoga clothing.
- Microfiber – Made to be absorbent, microfiber effectively soaks up sweat.
Avoid wearing 100% cotton, which absorbs sweat and takes a long time to dry. Tops should fit snugly enough not to fall over your face during inversions. Bottoms should be opaque when wet and allow free movement. Opt for dark colors to conceal sweat stains. The optimal hot yoga outfit will keep you cool, comfy and confident as your practice heats up.
|Form-fitting tank tops
|Allow ease of movement without falling over face during inversions
|Provide support without constricting ribs and movement
|Short sleeve t-shirts
|Give more coverage than tanks but ensure not too baggy
|Allow ventilation and airflow to lower body
|Lined yoga shorts
|Provide coverage and confidence while giving airflow
|Offer stable grip compared to shorts but can get overly warm
|Loosen when wet from sweat so can get twisted in poses
|Mesh paneled leggings
|Mesh allows breathability while leggings give grip
|Keep damp hair off face and neck
|Hair ties / bands
|Pulling hair up in bun or ponytail keeps it contained
|Dries quickly and wicks moisture away from skin
|Lightweight and dries quickly to keep you cool
|Lycra / Elastane
|Provides stretch and range of motion
|Made to absorb moisture and sweat
|Absorbs sweat but dries slowly and gets heavy
What to Wear to Hot Yoga Female?
Finding a moisture-wicking sports bra that provides support without constricting the ribs is essential for yogi women. Look for wide straps that don’t dig in and opt for a racerback style to allow arms full motion.
A form-fitting tank top made of lightweight performance fabric is ideal for hot yoga. Racerback tanks pair well with sports bras. Avoid overly loose tanks that could fall and cover your face during poses.
For women who prefer more coverage, a slim-cut short sleeve tee shirt (Learn: Women’s long sleeve shirts) is a good option. Choose moisture-wicking technical fabrics rather than heavy cotton shirts that will get soaked.
Skin-tight yoga pants may end up too restrictive as you sweat during hot yoga. Look for looser pants tapered at the ankle to avoid bunching up. Make sure the fabric is opaque even when wet with sweat.
Going for shorts allows lots of air flow to keep your lower body cooler. Look for a flattering length that won’t rise up, especially in seated poses. Lined yoga shorts provide more coverage and confidence.
Leggings provide stable grip on sweaty limbs compared to shorts, especially in a hot yoga studio. Look for ultra lightweight leggings with mesh cutouts along the calves for ventilation and cooling.
Keep long hair up in a bun or braids to avoid a sweaty distraction. Headbands effectively corral flyaway hairs and keep damp strands from clinging to your neck and face.
What to Wear to Hot Yoga Male?
To Shirt or Not to Shirt?
Going shirtless avoids having a sweat-soaked shirt sticking uncomfortably to your torso. However, being topless could be distracting to others. If wearing a tee, choose a slim cut in moisture-wicking technical fabric.
Shorts or Pants
Lightweight shorts allow for maximum airflow and cooling. For more coverage, opt for lightweight yoga pants or joggers tapered at the ankle. Avoid baggy sweatpants that can get twisted in poses.
Special Yoga Socks or Barefoot?
Practicing hot yoga barefoot provides the best grip so you won’t slide around in standing balances. Socks end up soaked in sweat and slippery. However, you can wear grippy yoga (learn: What Shoes to Wear to Yoga: A Helpful Guide for Beginners) socks if you need more cushioning or have foot issues.
What Not to Wear to Hot Yoga?
Avoid the following unsuitable fabrics and clothing items for hot yoga:
- Heavy cotton that retains moisture rather than wicking it away.
- Bulky fabrics like terrycloth or velour that cling when damp and limit range of motion.
- Super loose or baggy shirts and pants that can fall over your head and interrupt the flow of practice.
- Bottoms or tops that are overly revealing and may make you self-conscious.
- Light or sheer fabrics that can become transparent when wet with sweat.
- Denim, wool and other fabrics that hold heat and moisture close to the body.
- Anything restrictive that inhibits breathing and movement during practice.
What to Bring to Hot Yoga?
Staying hydrated before, during and after hot yoga is essential. Bring at least 24 oz of water and consider electrolyte beverages. Drink at least 8 oz of water 30 minutes before class starts. Drinking water is a necessary thing.
Choose a non-slip yoga mat that provides cushioning for joints but still allows you to grip the floor when wet. Consider an antimicrobial mat to inhibit bacteria growth.
Layer an absorbent microfiber yoga towel on top of your mat. The towel gets grippier when damp, providing traction during sweaty practice. Mist it with water before class.
Freshen up after your hot yoga class by washing away sweat and grime from your face. Pack travel-size facial cleansers, moisturizers and makeup wipes.
With breathable, moisture-wicking activewear and the right accessories, you can stay cool, comfy and confident in your hot yoga class. Listen to your body, stay hydrated, and ease in slowly. While the heat takes adjustment, a safe hot yoga practice provides invigorating benefits for the mind and body.
Your Trusted Yoga Clothing Partner-UGA
At UGA, we offer a wide selection of yoga apparel designed to keep you cool, comfy and confident during your hot yoga practice. Browse moisture-wicking tops, shorts, pants and more to find the perfect hot yoga outfit. We’re here to help you look and feel your best in class. Check out our hot yoga clothing now!