THE PONG After a few hot yoga classes you will notice it and it will begin to permeate everything you own.
THE SOUNDS Moans of pleasure while not unheard of, in hot yoga classes you are more likely to witness grunts, groans and four letter expletives as the sweaty student curses the sadist teacher, unbearable heat, ghastly pongs, flying sweat and their own limitations.
THE EMOTIONS Fits of the giggles are fairly common while at the opposite end of the emotional roller-coaster you may have tears. You’ll begin sobbing for no apparent reason as in a hot yoga class you are kicked right out of your comfort zone and confronted with your frailties. Sometimes by holding on so strongly when you are unable to control something (the heat, your body, etc.) it forces to completely LET GO. Rest assured the yoga studio is a pretty safe place to be vulnerable and the sweat should hide the tears. Don't forget crying and laughter is good for us.
THE REGULARS You will know them by their routines and rituals. Their early arrival to secure their spot in the room and their failure to grasp yoga's teachings of non-attachment. If you do find yourself encroaching on their personal territory and simply pick up your mat and move - don't mess with them.
THE FALL OUT There is every possibility in a hot yoga session that you will fart or even throw up in class. One of the points of some Yoga postures is that they twist and compress the abdomen and stimulate the digestive organs. Don't be ashamed if you let one go it happens to us all. Also, backbends stretch the lining of the stomach and can leave you feeling a little nauseas while often the heat and excessive sweating is enough to make you feel queezy. To save your embarrassment don’t eat for two hours or so before class.
THE SWEAT No it doesn’t stay neatly within the confines of your own mat and towel. It’s messy, it splashes and sometimes lands in your eyes or in your mouth and very often its not yours!Just be optimistic that your neighbours aren't big fans of vindaloo or garlic .
THE MALFUNCTIONING WARDROBE True its too hot to wear very much and a hot yoga class is no place for the modest but do wear clothes that fit and cover all the right places ladies and men, make sure your shorts fit or at the very least wear some cheeky boys them. Nothing worse than an eye-full when you're up close and personal in a standing forward bend.
THE PICK UP If you're searching for love, the hot yoga class might be a bit of a red herring. True you're often going to encounter a younger clientele some wearing little more than what they were born in. But you will look like a sweaty, flushed, splotchy car wreck afterwards. This might also be a timely opportunity to re-flag up the unexpected outburst of emotions or a bodily function.
THE ESCAPE When it all begins to overwhelm you don't be surprised to find yourself marking out your route through the maze of sweaty bodies to the the door, the cool fresh air and ESCAPE!
THE WARNING In hot yoga be prepared to be bumped out of your comfort zone but maybe that is when we start to learn something about ourselves.
As you can tell maybe I am not Hot Yoga's no 1 fan! To be fair maybe these days I'm a bit too long in the tooth to be its target audience! But my research now complete, from now on I think I'll stick to the yoga I know and love!. BUT if you want to experience Hot Yoga for yourself then please don't take any notice of me just don some lycra and go check out a class somewhere near you!
Elisa Williams is a London based yoga teacher and mum with over 25 years of practice in both. She teaches private and public yoga classes, yoga holidays and retreats. Her interests include family, people , sunshine, sailing and holidays. http://www.elisawilliamsyoga.com