Some two years ago I wrote my beginners’ guide to hot yoga, after attending my first ever class with Natasha Wynn, taught by the brilliant Adam Husler. Now, I teach more hot yoga than not, which isn’t something I originally envisioned or planned. If there’s one thing I have learnt from hot yoga, it is that you need a whole different kit to keep you comfortable in class. This usually means being a bit more savvy about which sections of your favourite activewear store you shop in. The number one consideration is the heat -and subsequent sweating that comes with it. This is not the time to have your cosiest leggings on! However, you also need to be able to move in a wide range of motion, which more “workout” leggings aren’t always geared towards.
In Bikram-inspired yoga, a combination of the especially high temperatures and strong practice means that many practitioners opt for minimal clothing. For those of you who sweat a lot or find full-coverage tight clothing uncomfortable in heat, this will be the best choice for you. You’ll want to make sure that the shorts themselves provide able cover: test this out with a few side lunges to see how much they ride up and get a friend to check the opacity of the shorts whilst in downward dog. Here, I’m wearing the Sweaty Betty reversible yoga shorts.
If you don’t feel confident in shorts, don’t worry; leggings are still an option for hot yoga. In fact, the friction created by leggings will aid you when doing balances such as tree posture. You’ll need a thinner, sweat wicking material to keep you from getting too warm. You’ll potentially have to compromise on opacity, however patterns (and nude coloured underwear!) can help to disguise this. My favourite leggings are the Contours by Sweaty Betty.
Depending on what you feel most comfortable with, either rock the bra look, or pop a vest over the top. If you’re going for a looser style, look for one is straight-cut so that it sits on the hips without slipping overhead in downward dog. Alternatively, try a longline crop for the best of both worlds. For bras, I like Sweaty Betty’s Stamina, Brahma and Infinity styles.
What about the rest of your kit? You’ll need additional grip on your mat to avoid slipping. Either grab a microfibre mat topper or, if you’re in the market, look for a sticky mat. My hands-down favourite is the Paws mat by Yogi Bare -it has the perfect level of padding and unparalleled grip. There’s also be to world-famous Liforme mat or Sweaty Betty supergrip on the market.
Post-yoga skincare is also pretty crucial -your skin will want to be cleansed and moisturised after all that heat and sweat. Grab your favourite face wash for making you feel squeaky clean, and a good moisturiser for after. Pretty Athletic sent me some of their products to review, and I can honestly say that their Workout Glow is my number one product -the only item that is guaranteed to be in my bag. I find it especially useful if I need to get out of the studio fast, as it takes seconds to use. It cleanses and moisturises in one step, for both pre- and post- class. My skin flares up red very easily (can you tell from the photos that I had just finished teaching a class?!) and this spray helps to cool it back down, partly in thanks to the rosewater used in the product. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and nourishing vitamin E.
Note: I am employed by Sweaty Betty so mostly wear their products! However, this post is not sponsored and all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains gifted products.