You don’t need to bring a whole lot with you to a Bikram Yoga class, but there are a few essentials I always like to bring with me to make class more enjoyable. Here are eight things you should bring to a Bikram Yoga class:
1 – Yoga Mat
Everyone needs his or her own mat in any yoga class. The type of mat you use will depend on the type of flooring your yoga studio has. If the studio has carpet, you can get away with a mat made of terry cloth material, similar to a towel. Just make sure it’s long enough to lie on comfortably. If the studio has rubber or vinyl flooring, you’ll want a mat that prevents you from sliding around during class and keep you in one place. When shopping for a mat, not only consider the flooring of the studio you plan to practice at, but also the mat’s grip, thickness and durability.
2 – Large Towel
If you have a rubber yoga mat, you’ll want a large towel to lie over your mat. The large towel will help catch your sweat from getting all over the studio floor and it will feel a whole lot more comfortable than sweating on top of a rubber mat. I love Breathe Mats because it’s a yoga mat and large towel all in one. These types of mats are designed specifically for Bikram and hot yoga. Breathe Mats are waterproof, sweat-proof, machine washable, dryer safe and can be used on both carpeted and rubber floors. There’s even a built-in Rabbit Flap that’s designed to give you a solid, dry grip on your feet during the Rabbit posture.
Some yoga studios rent towels and mats and may sell water. If you don’t already own your own mat and/or towel or forgot them at home along with your water bottle, call the studio ahead of time and ask if they have these items available for rent or purchase.
3 – Small Hand Towel
Are you the type of person who sweats a lot? If you sweat like I do, you might want to bring a small hand towel with you to class. A lot of instructors encourage you not to fidget or move in-between postures, but sometimes I find it completely necessary to wipe the excessive sweat from my face. Especially when it’s dripping off of my face like a faucet in postures like Triangle and Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, making it hard for me to see or feel like I’m drowning. Its times like these that make having a small hand towel super convenient for me. I also like using a small hand towel to rest my face on while laying face first on my mat during the Spine Strengthening Series.
4 – Water
Always bring a water bottle filled with water to a Bikram Yoga class. I recommend bringing at least a 32oz water bottle. I personally like using a 48oz water bottle and always polish off the entire thing by the end of class. If you like taking the first class in the morning like I do, fill your water bottle and store it in the fridge the night before. The cold water will feel and taste extra refreshing during the hot class.
5 – Yoga Costume
A yoga costume is whatever you plan on wearing during class. For ladies, this generally means shorts, capris or leggings with a sports bra or tank top. For guys, this generally means any type of shorts with a liner. Shirts and tank tops are optional for guys. For more details and suggestions on what to wear to a Bikram Yoga class, click HERE.
6 – Extra Bag For Wet Clothes
By the end of a Bikram Yoga class, your yoga costume will be completely soaked. Be sure to bring an extra bag to put your wet clothes in. Some studios may have extra plastic bags on hand for this very reason. Just incase your studio doesn’t, always be prepared to bring your own bag.
7 – Change of Clean, Dry Clothes
I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable than driving home or going to work in cold, sweaty clothes after a Bikram Yoga class. Bring a change of clean, dry clothes to change into after class. If you’re going to work after class, check to see if your studio has showers. Most studios have showers, making it super convenient to get ready for work at the studio.
8 – A Great Attitude
Even though every Bikram Yoga class is the same postures done in the same sequence in the same amount of time, every class is going to be different. Your body will feel different in every class. Always be prepared to have a great class, but don’t get discouraged if you feel your body or mind struggle through some of the postures. Remember it’s the practice room, not the perfect room.
Sometimes shit just happens. There’s construction going on in the alley behind the studio so class isn’t as peaceful as it normally is. Class is incredibly busy and causes everyone to put their mat closer to each other than they normally do. Or only a couple people show up for the class and the instructor decides to lead a silent class. Despite what happens in class, know that you’re going to walk out of class feeling a whole lot better than when you first walked in so just smile and roll with it.