What to bring to hot yoga class

Yoga in a heated, humid room requires advance planning and specialized gear. Depending on the studio, “hot” can mean anything from 80 degrees to over 100 degrees. Come prepared to sweat a lot.

Yoga mat towel. A towel layered between you and your mat will absorb the inevitable pools of sweat and keep you from slipping. The best mat towel for hot yoga is thin and absorbent and has some type of nonskid backing to keep the towel in place as you move (like the silicone dots on Yogitoes, the towel I use). A good mat towel isn’t cheap, but it can mean the difference between loving hot yoga and not.

Hand towel. Bring one from your guest bathroom to get sweat out of your eyes.

Hot yoga outfit. The baggy pants you love for traditional yoga will become your enemy in the hot room. Anything loose or made of cotton will get soggy and heavy. Tight clothing in a technical fabric is a better choice.

Bring a sweatband for your head.

You’ll be tempted to wear shorts, but ankle-length leggings can help keep your sweaty shins from slipping off of your sweaty triceps in Crow Pose and keep your sweaty elbow from flying off of your sweaty thigh in Side Angle Pose.

A lot of men go shirtless in hot yoga, but a long-sleeved top absorbs sweat. It’s so hot in the room already that the extra layer doesn’t make much difference.

Wash your face before class. Any makeup, sunscreen or moisturizer you have on will end up in your eyes.

Water. Staying hydrated is crucial in hot yoga. Choose a bottle that holds at least 16 ounces, but be careful not to guzzle too much water right before or during class. Also, watch what you eat for a few hours beforehand. Keep it light.

For what to bring to a traditional (unheated) yoga class, click here.

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