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Top NYC yoga teachers share tips for keeping cool in class

yoga woman gulping water, keeping cool in yoga,
Gulp your water after yoga, say NYC yoga teachers

There’s hot yoga. And then there’s accidentally hot yoga. (And as NYC yogis are learning this week, A/C is not a yoga prop.) So I’ve been suffering though this particularly hot week. My coping strategies? I never go to class without a sweat-sponging Yogitoes towel and a bottle of water. And I show up in a top that wicks and just-washed wet hair to keep my body temperature down. But then I thought, I’d better ask the experts what they recommend.

Sarah E. Bernier of Relax Already and Kate Reil of Bend & Bloom like Sitali Pranayama, the tongue-curling breathing that helps the body cool down. Virayoga-founder Elena Brower recommends bringing a couple of sarongs: one for the end of your mat and your hands, and one to have ready to wipe your head. And Mike Patton of YogaVida says not to forget the mat: a good one like Jade (not Kmart-bought) helps prevents a Slip ‘n Slide effect, he says.

curled tongue cooling breath Sitali Pranayama
NYC yogis cool down with curled-tongue breathing

And Marisa Sako, who teaches at Kula and Bend & Bloom, goes all Amy Sedaris on how to deal with the heat. Her five suggestions:

Slow the eff down
People who live in areas where it’s hot year-round have it right: slow down! You can still have an intense and satisfying practice while moving more slowly. In fact, I enjoy the heat—I feel like I’m just oozing through my practice to some sultry slow jam.

Don’t guzzle water
Hydrate before and after class. If your mouth or throat feels dry, take small sips. Twisting with a gut full of water or barfing in uttanasana tends to put a damper on your (and your fellow yogis’) practice.

Marisa Sako Vinyasa yoga teacher
No sweat: Marisa Sako, a NYC Vinyasa teacher, takes the heat

Don’t muscle your way through the poses
Find your center, stack your bones, and work smarter instead of harder.

Ladies, wear the yoga top that takes the least amount of effort to get out of
Dislocating a shoulder while trying to extricate yourself from your tightest built-in-bra top can be avoided with proper wardrobe planning.

Pin those bangs back
When I forget to do this, the stream of sweat running off them nearly washes my contacts clear out of my eyes.

Got any tips for how to stay cool in unintentionally hot yoga? Share your Comments, below!