What Would You Tell a Beginner?

Recently, I asked people to share what they would tell a first timer or a beginner to Bikram Yoga. What are the essential things a beginner should know?

The following list emerged as a response. Names have been removed for privacy, but note that all of these suggestions come from people who have experience with the practice:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!water

Don’t eat before class!

Practice every day- it’s so much harder when you only go once a week!

“Do the best you can with the body you brought to class today.” If that means sitting on your mat and breathing, that’s awesome and everything else is a bonus.

Electrolytes before class and replenish them within 30 mins after class. A small banana and coconut water has changed my practice completely

Don’t push yourself.  Do what your body and mind will allow you to do, and try and get back as soon as you can!


Focus on breathing slowly in and out through the nose for the entire 90 minutes and everything else will fall into place.

Don’t be discouraged by what you can’t do compared to others. Be kind to yourself and celebrate what you can do. Just showing up is awesome!

enjoy & have patience!

I told a worried friend once that I’d never seen anyone pass out. Someone passed out in that class! Oops.

During class calm breathing is going to benefit you way more guzzling water.  And triangle is almost fun when you remember to breathe.

Don’t think just do

Wear light clothes! As little as you feel comfortable in. No cotton! Hydrate and breathe. Also don’t expect the teacher to demonstrate the postures, listen closely.

That they will really, really miss it if they stop. 😦


Focus on your breathing. Take a break if you need to. You’re still doing yoga even if you’re sitting down as long as you focus on your breathing.

Drink at least a gallon of H2O per day, starting at least 2 days before your first class; the liquid you put into your system the day before class affects your practice more than your intake the day of.  Take additional electrolytes that are easily absorbed (I take shots of pink Himalayan sea salt).  Get there early to acclimate before class, ideally breaking a sweat before class starts. Do not even attempt rabbit on the first class – it’s too tempting to look around/move the head while in the posture…ouch!  And, it gets better…A lot better 🙂

What would YOU add?



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