What you need to know before your first Hot26 yoga class

After months of half-hearted attempts (navigating schedules, logistics, monthly cycles) – I finally made it to a Hot26 yoga class. Honestly? Who knew sweat could be so cathartic!

This is everything you need to know.

What is Hot26?

A set sequence of 26 postures practiced in a room set at 40% humidity and 40 degrees Celcius.

Why is it called Hot26? What happened to Bikram yoga?

Um, yeah. About that. Here’s an article or a Netflix special to fill you in.

Who is Hot26 for? Do I need to be super fit or flexible or experienced?

While it can seem very intimidating, Hot26 is actually one of the best types of yoga for newbies to try. The postures are always the same, in the same sequence – so, after your first class you know (mostly) what to expect going forward – there won’t be a surprise headstand thrown your way.

The heat also helps your body loosen up quite a bit, so a posture that could have been more challenging in an unheated studio, becomes a little easier for your muscles to settle into when they’re “warmed”.

The postures themselves can also be tailored by your instructor for your level of comfort and experience. So wherever you find yourself on the bendy-scale, you do what you can. The only real goal of the class is to stay in the room. Whether that means you spend most of the class in savasana (corpse pose), that is the main challenge to yourself.

I go to YogaSpirt in Constantia – and something the instructor once said really stayed with me: “Whatever you do in the class, do it well. Whether you’re attempting a pose, or whether you’re listening to your body and taking a few minutes’ time out and resting: do it well.”

What do I need to bring with you to a Hot26 class?

You’ll need the yoga basics – a mat and water bottle -but, then a few important extras:

  • A large towel – that is as close to the size of your yoga mat as possible. You will very likely drip sweat – your towel will absorb it, to prevent you slipping on your mat.
  • A small towel – to dab your face if sweat gets in your eyes.

Then, what to wear: in short, as little as possible. A sports bra and shorts or leggings is a great option if you’re a woman – the men in my classes are generally topless with shorts. Avoid cotton (which will just absorb your sweat) or any loose, heavy fabrics.

Bring a water bottle for the class, but try to hydrate as much as as possible for the few hours before your class.

What should you do after your class?

Hydrate! Drink a lot of water, some people even take an electrolyte supplement. You’ll likely be very wet and sweaty, so you might want to bring items to shower and change into at your yoga studio, if you aren’t going straight home afterwards.

Health concerns

Hot yoga of any type is generally not recommended for anyone with heart disease, low blood pressure or low blood sugar. This isn’t medical advice, please consult your doctor.


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What you need to know before your first Hot26 yoga class