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This is a post from our (always amazing) Mindbody community.
I remember when I took my first trigger-point therapy (TPT) yoga class. The instructor, Annika, combined these hard but-seriously-amazing lacrosse balls with hot yoga to deliver the most therapeutic class I’ve ever taken. I remember seeing her at the studio, pouring over an anatomy book, eager to learn more so she could deliver the best class. I consistently went whenever my schedule would allow it, and did so until I relocated. I still think about how amazing the TPT was for my left hip.
The same goes for when I took what my home studio dubbed a “Meg class.” Meg, the instructor, taught the most difficult hot vinyasa yoga class I’ve ever taken. Not because of how advanced the poses were, but because she knew how to combine quick movement and strength-based poses to obtain optimal exertion. This was no doubt due to her years of expertise in yoga, personal training and massage therapy. I knew when I went to her class, it was going to be sweaty, thoughtfully-sequenced, and hard.
As a student, I never really thought about what it was like to be a teacher. I simply thought of myself and my experience. My mind never went to the preparation they must have done to deliver such a killer class. I never thought about how this was their livelihood and how they pay their bills. Not until I became a teacher myself did I think about the anxiety they must have felt, commanding 30 students for an hour at a time. Or how many emotions they absorbed while holding space for me to feel mine.
The wellness industry is experiencing a huge hit, and its instructors are at the center of those losses. Their hours have been cut greatly, and if they are teaching virtual classes, oftentimes they are at a lower rate than in-person. Many of their other revenue streams (in-person private sessions, yoga retreats, local business collaborations) are nonexistent for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of how intense (Meg) or yogic (Annika) your favorite teachers may seem – they are human – and they are likely experiencing the same stressors you are. They’ve given their heart and soul to their work, and a lot of that work has been taken away. Much like we need our boss and coworkers to give us positive reinforcement and support, fitness instructors need to know they still matter to the communities they’ve dedicated their lives to. A simple DM or text will go a long way. Let them know just how much you loved their core series, or how they helped you achieve your first pullup. The recognition will help fuel them to get through these hard times.
If you’re feeling called to do more, there are many options to support your favorite instructors. If they are offering private virtual sessions, purchase those and take them (what else are you going to do with your Saturday?). If they are offering virtual classes through a studio or gym, take them (and invite your friends)! And if any of their offerings are free, please consider donating directly to the instructor via Venmo or another money-sharing app. They work hard to bring you quality content that you can enjoy through the screen, and they deserve to be compensated for their work.
If you can’t donate, there are other ways to help. Whenever you see them promoting their offerings online, share them. When you take their class, share it. When you see another friend post about their offerings, share that! Write them a review on the Mindbody app. Text a screenshot of the schedule to your friends. Give them a recommendation on LinkedIn. Tag them and @mindbody on Instagram, and we can help spread the word as well! All these actions say, “Thank you.”
Find out how you can show support for your favorite studios here.
Anything helps, and remember—we are all in this together.
I wonder how my two former teachers are doing. I think I’ll reach out. Will you?
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.