you probably have figured out by now, or have quit hot yoga. but i've done this for a while. i guess hydration is the biggest issue. i try to drink about 1/2 liter before practice, then 1/2 liter during. then, after another 1/2 liter. (all water, but post-practice, will substitute one of those potassium-rich powders in the water bottle, or energ-C). also, i found that eating is an issue -- i make sure that i don't eat 2-3 (actually 3 is best) hours before practice. also, i don't do bikram anymore, but instead go to another studio where they don't crank the heat up quite as high -- just a few degrees makes a difference. check out some other places, and you may find one that's a better fit. good luck!
I hope you haven't quit practicing yoga. The other responder is correct about drinking a lot of water before and after your practice. Don't drink 2-3 hours before class. what you eat during the day (before class) makes a difference. If you don't eat for at least 3 hours before class, make sure you drink coconut water (not milk). It has magnesium and other minerals that are essential for your body and it is very hydrating so you won't feel as thirsty during your practice. I have been doing Bikram Yoga for about 2 and half years and have never felt better. I had some injuries and now I don't feel the pain in my body anymore.
To tell you the truth - I was told to try different yoga styles. None of the yoga styles fit but Bikram Yoga was just perfect. I hated going to practice for at least 3-4 months. Then I got used to it but it took me over a year to really understand the breathing technique. Now, I look forward to those 90 mins. where I get to pay attention to myself. The practice has improved my energy level and I don't have sleeping problems any more.
Getting back to you - You know already that beginnings of everything are hard. If you are trying to build a relationship with your practice, it is going to be challenging until you understand the practice and your strengths and weaknesses to just let it roll.
Go back one more time and give yourself those 90 min. (if you want to practice Bikram) or how ever minutes. Those are yours. Drink water and breathe. It is very difficult but it only gets easier over time and you have to give yourself time. You are going to feel awful for few days or weeks but it will get better.
Good Luck Write back if you want support or any other suggestions. TRY ONE MORE TIME
I currently practice Bikram Yoga regularly. The bottom line is you have to make a commitment to do it regularly, even during an intro. There are things you can prepare for before going to a class, but different people all have different chemistry. Some people (like myself) can eat anything before a class while others need to eat anywhere between one to six hours prior.You won't know that going to one class a week once upon a time; you'll become more aware of your body's needs and tolerance if you make an all-or-nothing commitment to Bikram Yoga.
Here is what I tell my friends who sign up for the intro package: The intro pkg is 10 consecutive daysof unlimited practice. Even if you've never so much as done -any- type of yoga in your entire life, make the commitment to do at least six consecutive days. If you can do ten, DO ALL TEN DAYS. Don't skip days. The benefits of going in there daily, even for ten days, will change your life. I would advise you don't eat or drink 30 minutes prior to class, but drink plenty of water throughout the day (unless you're going to an early a.m., then just drink what you can and pee right before class otherwise you'll cramp). During the class, DO NOT CHUG, just sip! Tiny sips! The first breathing exercise and three postures last about 25-30 minutes and during that time you will not be allowed to sip any water. The purpose is to 'light the fire within', meaning this is all a warm up.I've gone without any water during classes (with intent) and felt fine. You can drink Emergen-C or other drinks w/ electrolytes but it's not necessary. Just add a little lemon, lime and/or orange to your water and you'll help flush out a lot of the toxins.
Breathe. Don't try to get into the poses as much as make peace with the heat. Instructors would much rather you lie down for the entire class than leave the room. Just breathe, go slowly, don't try to overdo it, just get into the pose to the best of your self. Be patient.
Don't be self conscious. Yeah, easier said than done, but go in there with as little clothing as possible. Sports bra and shorts... leave the tees and long pants at home, unless they're designed to breathe in a hot humid room. Get comfortable because people don't actually care what you look like; they're all focused on themselves.
You'll find once you start going, you won't want to stop.
Try drinking coconut water for the electrolytes. Hot yoga is taking all your electrolytes and this is going to be key to stay hydrated. Also, do not eat any salt prior to class becuase that will dehydrate you. Try to eat as much fruit as possible before. Foods rich with water is going to be the key towards your success. But you know what? If after a while you still feel sick, then hot yoga is not for you. Nothing wrong with that. Seems to be some macho thing going on with hot yoga
I love my job offering yoga teacher training programs and helping others discover their life passion.
Water for sure. Coconut water would be even better! And be mindful of what you are eating during the day! Higher sodium foods will make a major difference in how you feel during and after hot yoga.