Hot Yoga: A Beginner’s Guide

© Samantha, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Samantha and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’ve had my fair share of variety when it comes to fitness classes. I’ve always found motivation in being surrounded by others while working towards a common goal. Whether I was swimming laps for hours with the swim team, sweating my face off during spin class, or making a huge fool of myself at Zumba, I always found myself enjoying those group classes.

When it comes to yoga, I’d be the first to tell you that I wasn’t a fan. Too slow, too boring, not intense, no gain were all mantras that rang in my head while trying to touch my toes. If you have caught yourself thinking how I did, maybe you just haven’t found the right kind of yoga. I think I found mine… and it’s hot yoga.

This is the LAST yoga I thought I would enjoy seeing that I have a phobia of being too hot and passing out. But there’s a yoga studio about 10 minutes from my apartment that my friend Shelby has been raving about and since I’m moving in less than ten days, I thought “ehh why not!” They even have a discount for students so I didn’t feel like it was a huge investment.

So what’s a Hot Yoga Studio really like?

Not intimidating at all! As soon as you walk through the door and confirm your reservation, everyone in charge are extremely welcoming. I took off my shoes, socks, and jacket and followed Shelby into the yoga room. And yes it was warm, but not hot.  Especially while just sitting on our mats before class chatting, the heat felt nice after being freezing all day (thank you April snow).

What do I need?

Water. I actually really enjoyed sweating in the class because I felt like my body was showing me that what I was doing was hard. But anytime you sweat, you must refill with water. During the class the instructor encourages taking breaks and drink water. I brought my insulated S’well water bottle with me to keep the water cold while the room was hot.

Yoga Mat. If you don’t have one don’t worry, you can usually rent it at your studio but call ahead just in case. Or you could run to TJ Maxx and pick one up for around $7. I have two because I buy them like I impulsively buy coffee mugs.

Yoga Towel. You don’t need to bring a yoga towel, but it’s extremely helpful when your hands get sweaty. Slowly sliding from downward dog into plank due to slick hands gets old. So I suggest renting or bringing your own. I got mine at TJ for super cheap!  I just laid it down on top of my mat for extra traction.

A positive attitude. In previous yoga classes I found myself looking at the woman next to me flawlessly standing in tree pose while I wobbled around. It left me feeling competitive, annoyed, and usually scattered. I really hated that part of yoga. But it wasn’t yoga. It was me. Go into your practice as if you were alone. Remember that you are going to focus on your own development and your own practice and your own form of mediation.

What’s the class like?

Each instructor is different which one of the amazing things about hot yoga. Some burn incense while others offer cold cloths to put on your forehead at the end of the class. But generally you’ll go through an hour practice including lots of poses, but nothing too crazy due to the heat.

You’ll sweat a lot and burn more calories in the warm room (I burned 260 for the hour). and even though you’re not attempting to stand on your head, you feel like you’re working hard physically and mentally.

I literally can not describe to you the after yoga feeling I got. I usually get the endorphins flowing during my usual workout but after hot yoga it was better. Shelby and I were talking in the car afterwards and I kept telling her I couldn’t remember what I was stressed about. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t know that I had. Like walking out after a massage, I felt like I was in a blissful daze!

Got any advice for my first time?

Get there early. Don’t rush into class. Go early and find where you want to lay your mat. Also they might have you sign a waiver so you want to make sure you have time for that as well.

Remember why you’re there. Don’t get caught up in everyone else. Remember your goals for your practice and why you’re there.

Pay ahead of time. I paid a couple days in advance so I knew I would have a space in the class. Also, this way I felt like I had to go or else the broke college kid inside me would have freaked about the money being wasted. My fears and hesitations would have made me chicken out so if that sounds like you, pay early!

Wear what makes you comfortable. Yes it’s hot, but if you don’t feel like going in leggings and a sports bra, then don’t! A moisture-wicking tank will be just fine.

Eat an hour or two before. I was nervous about fainting in the heat, but it’s nothing to worry about if you are prepared. Eat something healthy and filling a bit before class.

Let me know if you plan on going to a Hot Yoga class or if you’ve been before! 


If you go to Iowa State University, don’t be shy to check out Ignite Yoga!

Why You Need to Listen to Your Body

© Samantha, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Display of this content on any other site besides has not been authorized.

Summer is right around the corner, and for me that means going into “finals mode” except not cramming flashcards, but workouts. I recently have been loving my fitness journey. I’m not comfortable with showing any of my transformation photos on the internet, but I will say that I’ve gained six pounds (of muscle!) and it makes me happy to see the changes in my body rather than on the scale.

The past year I’ve been loving the Youtuber Sarah’s Day. She’s a health and fitness Youtuber who’s motto is “Listen to Your Body.” I always thought that to be a great motto, but I didn’t really live by it until recently. Here’s what I learned about why to need to listen to this motto.

Continue reading “Why You Need to Listen to Your Body”

I Worked Out for 30 Days and this is What Happened

Sounds ambitious I know, but I realized that it was actually a lot easier once I laid down some rules and motivation. Did I go to the gym every single day? Absolutely not! But, I did find that was my favorite type of workout! The other days? a mix of at home videos, runs outside and just plain skipping the gym. Here’s my experience after a challenge of 30 days of working out.

Continue reading “I Worked Out for 30 Days and this is What Happened”

My Goals for 2018

The goals post is finally here! I didn’t want to send this out on the first of the month because I really wanted to take the time to sit down and decide what I want to accomplish in 2018. So if you are nosy like me (personally these are my favorite types of posts!) then just keep reading. I’ll be going over:

  • my goals
  • my resolutions
  • my monthly goals
  • and my word of the year

Continue reading “My Goals for 2018”

How to Stay Fit During the Holidays Without Being Scrooge

With holiday cookies, family dinners, and an endless list of Christmas movies to watch, who really has time for working out. When motivation is at an all time low, it can be hard to workout until a New Year’s resolution is made. For Blogmas day 4 I wanted to share my ways that I stay healthy during the holiday season. The way I achieve this doesn’t result in missing out on any of the festive fun!

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Detoxing from the Chaos

A couple weekends ago some friends and I packed up our bags and headed out into the woods. Holy. Crap. People! If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you know I am all about fashion, pampering items, and you know, a bed. But I was inspired by my friends’ stories of sleeping in forests and hiking mountains, and a felt an urge of adventure.

Now I wasn’t about to pack up the car and drive to Colorado for the weekend. But, we rented out some camping ground and spent the weekend at a state park about a half hour from campus. This was perfect for me because I was super concerned about a good night sleep and bears (I know I’m in Iowa, but still!). By doing this, I took the time to step back from hectic everyday life.

My goal for you all is to become inspired by my leap out of my comfort zone and to find your own time to detach from the world. Continue reading “Detoxing from the Chaos”

Summer Gym Essentials

Finally I got my butt into gear and made it a point to go to the gym, no excuses. I’m currently finding so much motivation with all of the classes my gym has to offer (it’s also given me a reason to go out and buy new gym clothes!) Today #ontheblog I’m sharing with you what I bring to the gym on a typical day. Everything is linked (not sponsored) below to make shopping for these must-haves easier.

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