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There have been many updates, emails, and social posts about what studios are doing to prepare to reopen, but have you thought about what you’re going to do for yourself? While we love to see our studios taking precautions to keep us safe, to some extent, our health and safety is in our own hands.
We’re all trying to do what’s best for us in the current situation, and our safety precautions can vary for lots of reasons. Age, location, personal risk, state/county guidelines, overall anxiety, and many other factors can affect our choices regarding our own health and safety measures. That’s why we went to the source: You. We polled our Instagram audience, asking you what your plans are to stay safe and prepare for your glorious return to gyms and studios. Based on this poll, here’s what you all had to say:
Hand sanitizer is a hot commodity these days—everyone wants to get their hands on it (or get it on their hands?). 46% of you mentioned bringing your own hand sanitizer, wiping down equipment, washing your hands, or general sanitization when going back to the studio. If you didn’t wipe down machines before or after using them before (we'll try not to judge), you’re definitely thinking about doing it now.
We all love a good group fitness class—and we’re all missing our in-person sessions a lot right now. Surprisingly, even with social distancing precautions in place, 62% of you would prefer to return to your group fitness classes rather than sticking with personal training or solo exercise for a bit. But we also know our classes are probably going to look a little different when we return. In response to our question about what you’re doing to prepare and stay safe, 32% mentioned hoping for smaller class sizes, keeping distance, and/or respecting people’s space while in the studio. Even as studios limit capacity and class sizes, and increase distance between machines, we should all remember to respect the space of those around us (yes, unfortunately, that means no high fives for now).
Props. An important part of many workouts, but also a breeding ground for bacteria (sorry, gross). When it comes to props, a whopping 74% of respondents said they’d bring their own to the studio rather than going without for a bit. Whether it’s yoga mats, blocks, bands, towels, or water bottles, we’re all going BYO for now. When it comes to masks, though, most of us would prefer not to wear them during workouts. But don’t worry, we’re all willing to follow the rules. 78% said they’d wear a mask “only if it’s required,” while the other 22% said they’d wear one either way.
Although many counties are beginning to reopen studios, you may not feel comfortable returning quite yet. 21% of respondents said they would be staying home for a bit, despite gyms and studios reopening. They mentioned continuing to take virtual classes for a while, waiting until COVID numbers are down locally, and feeling safer in their homes for the time being.
Fun fact: we’re all loving virtual! 80% of respondents said they’d “totally!” continue taking virtual classes, even if they’re going to the studio as well.
Whether you’re camping outside your favorite studio’s doors, masking up and entering with caution, or sticking to virtual for a while, it’s up to you to decide how to prepare and stay safe right now. We love hearing from you—thanks for answering our questions! Be sure to head over to Instagram and keep your eye on our stories for more polls in the future.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.