Our psychic powers tell us you may be wondering: is wearing a mask in hot yoga even safe?
Are you prepared to take excellent care of yourself during class?
That means breathe through your nose, and rest when necessary (Hint: if you find it hard to keep breathing through your nose, you need a rest:
When you first return Home, you will probably need to take more breaks than you are accustomed to. It's true that a mask will be in the way of air headed into your nose, but also don't forget that you haven't been in a hot room for 7 months!
Everyone is going to be out of "hot yoga shape" at Homecoming, masks or no masks. We all get to re-acclimate together.
If you think about it, that's kind of awesome.
Never in the history of the studio have we ever had a class where everyone was still getting used to the heat!
What a gift that we all get to support and inspire each other in this way.
Look, if you have any concern (and especially if you have any respiratory issues) you should definitely ask your doctor if wearing a mask in hot yoga is for you.
Having said that, there may even be some benefit to exercising while wearing a mask!
For years, athletes have used "elevation training masks" which decrease levels of oxygen to simulate working out at high elevations. The idea is training the lungs to perform with less oxygen, will make performing with normal oxygen levels that much easier.
It's important to note that wearing a regular (non-ETM) mask does not actually decrease oxygen levels (though it may feel like it sometimes)
Bottom line: athletes have been training in masks for years. The word "training" is the key: it's a practice. Like yoga.
Doing your yoga in a mask is going to take practice.
So are you prepared?
If you're prepared to try- mindfully and patiently, practicing in a mask will be way less lame.
By the way, just like trying ONE class in a mask is not really enough.
Because, imagine if you only tried Standing Bow Pulling pose ONCE, and then decided you couldn't do it?? You've got to give this (and yourself!) an honest chance. Just like when you first began practicing in the heat: 2 or 3 classes in your first week will help you adjust the quickest.
Who knows, your respiratory system may actually get stronger from the experience! Your ability to tune in to your body's signals and manage intensity accordingly definitely will.
And that's a bonus worth training for!
Check out this post for more thoughts and tips on wearing masks in class.
HHY Founder, Yoga Business Coach, yoga-doer and life-lover, Kay Afif!