What to Expect at Your First Hot Yoga Class

We both love hot yoga and, specifically power yoga (we’re C2 addicts at CorePower). It’s definitely our favorite workout and primary source of exercise sweating. We found it ~4 years ago (yay, the list!) and now each go 3-7 times a week. These are some of the things we’ve learned (and wish we had known at that fateful class many moons ago). Let us know in the comments if you have any favorite yoga clothes, props, or poses!

Yoga at CorePower

What to Bring/Wear

  • Workout clothes: we like shorts (faves: [1], [2], [3]) or leggings (faves: [1], [2], [3]), plus a sports bra or yoga top (faves: [1], [2], [3])
  • Mat (Stella’s: [1], Laura’s: [1])
  • Yoga towel
  • Water bottle! (wateriest: [1], [2])

Before Class

  • Most classes are an hour long, but if you’re looking for more there are some 75 or 90 minute options available
  • Fill up your water bottle
  • Get in the room, grab your props (block, strap, bolster, weights…whatever your teacher recommended)
  • Respect the studio’s quiet rules, if applicable. We like taking these minutes to stretch, meditate, or nap!
  • Let your body get used to the heat… get ready…

What Class is Like

  • Class usually starts with a 5 minute spine warm up, put those cat/cows to use
  • Then you’ll go through a flow, holding each pose for multiple breaths…
  • …and then things get warm! Go through the same flow, but breath-to-movement (this means faster, which is not necessarily harder because you’re not holding poses as long)
  • Core! Most teachers will use this section to focus on ab work. It’s a nice break where you’re closer to your mat (usually on your back) so the heat isn’t as intense
  • The next section is a wildcard. Sometimes teachers will focus on working up to a peak posture (crow, headstands, arm balances) while some will do some sort of Sun Salutation “C” (similar to the flow before core)
  • Next up is the cool-down (finally!). You’re usually down to the mat for this, stretching into seated forward folds, bridge postures, happy baby, and twists. Let all the hard work melt off, you’re almost done!
  • Savasana. Close your eyes and stop thinking about your to do list (Stella…)

Tips for the Heat

  • Your studio and teachers should be very open to and offer modifications (take a knee, kickstand instead of balance, etc.) as well as skipping poses altogether. Always feel free to come to child’s pose, because closer to your mat is cooler!
  • You should be able to see the heat source in the room. If it’s your first class, start closer to the door and farther from it
  • Water! Water! Water! Make sure it’s full before class, and take sips whenever necessary
  • Stay in the room. It might feel brutal your first few classes, but it’s better to get low and take a break from a pose than walk out altogether

What You’ll Get Out of it

  • Hot power yoga is known to be a great detoxification and strengthening practice
  • Stella swears by the “clean sweat” that happens in class and loves the glowing effects

After Class

  • Shower. Please, for everyone’s sake.
  • Drink lots of water. You’ve likely sweat out a fair number of toxins, but you also depleted some electrolytes…time to fill back up!
  • Go to more yoga! The only way to feel more comfortable in class is to keep going.

Where You’ll be Sore

  • Everywhere. You’ll be shocked at how much “just stretching” really focuses on muscles you didn’t know existed. Can we recommend an epsom salt bath?


** Planning on getting ready for work or an outing after class? Check out Stella’s post on morning exercise routines! **