Get Started with Hot Yoga for Beginners

Welcoming all people, all levels, all ages.

Welcome to Hot Yoga Charlottesville! We’re so excited to have you. Are you new to hot yoga but ready to get started? Here’s the most important thing—don’t be scared! We love beginners and helping you get the most out of yoga class. We welcome all ages, levels, and body types, whether you can’t touch your toes or don’t know your updog from your downdog. That’s why we’re here!

I’m a beginner, how do I get started?

Just show up to the studio about 20 minutes early. All of our classes welcome beginners and experienced yogis alike. When you arrive to take your first class, you will be greeted by an instructor who can answer any of your questions. We have bathrooms, showers and change rooms where you can leave your belongings. Then get ready to sweat! Set up your mat in the second or third row (the first row is right in front of the mirrors) so that you can see a good example of the postures in front of you.

How hydrated should I be before class?

VERY hydrated. Drink, drink, drink!! You will find that class will be much easier if you drink water throughout the day. Hydration levels vary for every body type, so err on the side of caution and drink lots of water (3 Liters+) all day long!

What about food?

Do not eat at least an hour and a half before class. If your body is working to digest food while it is also working to do yoga, you will not have an optimal class; you may even feel nauseous.

What should I wear/bring to class?

The room is heated and the class is vigorous, so it’s best to wear close-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe.
You may also need:

– a bottle of water
– a yoga mat and
– a full sized bath towel to place over your mat in class.

For your convenience you may rent a mat and towel at the studio. You may also buy bottles of water or fill up your bottle with our filtered water.

What do I do after my first class?

First, congratulate yourself! We’ve all had our first class, we know how daunting it was to try something new. Second, drink more! A headache and/or dizziness can be a sign of dehydration. Make sure you keep up on your electrolytes (electrolyte powders, coconut water or kelp tablets) before and after class. Stay hydrated. Third, you might want to take a nap. The tiredness is likely because your body has begun to cleanse itself as a result of the yoga practice. Don’t be scared. After the first few classes as you work deep into your internal organ system this sensation will pass.

So is it like, really hot?

The studio is heated to an average temperature of 105+° for 26&2 and 94 degrees for hot vinyasa/power yoga to help each student achieve their goals of increased flexibility, detoxification and mental clarity. But don’t let the heat scare you. As a beginner, your first few classes are all about getting used to the heated environment. If the heat gets to be too much during class, simply sit down on your mat. It is very important to respect and listen to your body. All students – even those who have been practicing for years – take breaks in class sometimes. Stay in the room for the full class and focus on your breath. Approach this yoga, and any yoga mindfully, respectfully and with a smile.

What if I hate the heat?

Many people hated the heat when they first start, so don’t get discouraged. All you need is the strength and determination to take three classes – this will dramatically increase your tolerance. You will be amazed at how quickly the body adapts to the room.

What if I’m not flexible?

This is a common concern, but no one expects you to just walk in and get all bent up like a pretzel! You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga – you come to yoga to get flexible. Flexibility is your birthright… you’ve just got to get it back. Just come, try, and see your flexibility improve.

When should I come back?

How quickly do you want good things to happen to you? It’s simple. The more you attend class, the faster the body will change. For good results, students are encouraged to attend at least 3 classes per week. For life changing results, students should strive for 5-7 classes a week. But if you can only come 1 -2 times a week, you will still feel amazing things happen!

New Member Resources

Here are some additional resources for your first time trying hot yoga and for our new members.


What I wish I had known as a Bikram yoga beginner

An open letter to a new student on their first class

Humans of Hot Yoga Charlottesville Blog

Benefits of hot yoga