I decided to try yoga classes again despite my fears of sweating in public in close proximity to others, especially in compromising and vulnerable positions. Yoga classes can be intimidating for those with hyperhidrosis. The fear of dripping sweat all over the mat, on clothing, and on the floor is hard to overcome. But if you make the choice to do one thing every day that scares you, then maybe you, too, can finally be one of those people who doesn’t let their excessive sweating rule every aspect of their lives.
Find a Yoga Class
lululemon offers free yoga classes every week at their stores. I didn’t know this until my sister dragged me into one of their locations. If this is your first time doing yoga, I recommend locating some free classes first before you join a yoga studio or pay for individual classes at a gym. It’s a good way to test out different styles of yoga to see which you like best. It’s also a good way to lean into the discomfort factor of being around other people when exercising and sweating. Remember, sweating when exercising is good and very normal, but for those of us with hyperhidrosis this is taken to a whole new level physically and emotionally.
Wear the Right Clothing
My sister owns quite a bit of lululemon clothing and begged me to try on some of their yoga pants. I had no intention of buying anything, but once I tried on a pair of their Wunder Under crops, I was in love. They are crazy comfortable, and what sold me on them was a combination of things: they came down past my knees, which is an area that sweats very inconspicuously on my body sometimes. The fabric was also thick enough that I didn’t worry about anything showing through if I bent over or stretched my legs. The texture of the fabric also is important for those of us with excessive sweating. The Wunder Unders are very soft and smooth; I could wipe my hands on them, and they didn’t show wet marks or leave salty white stains behind when they dried.
As far as yoga tops go, I don’t own any from lululemon. Yet. However, I do have some racerback tanks made out of polyester that work well for me. You can find some pretty decent items at sporting goods stores online or at department stores like Kohl’s. A couple of the tanks I like are the BCG Women’s Racerback Tank Top – which has moisture wicking fabric to help keep you cool – and the Marika Dry Wik Performance Striped Racerback Tank.
If you’re worried about your feet sweating during yoga, there are yoga socks for this, which I’ve written about in my post Hyperhidrosis & Yoga.
Create a Safe Zone
Since it was my first time doing a yoga class indoors, in a retail store location and not a gym or studio, I wasn’t sure what to expect temperature-wise or air flow-wise. I arrived early so that I wasn’t rushed, since we all know that feeling rushed and being in hurry-up mode is an instant trigger for a sweat fest.
At lululemon, they supply the yoga mats for you, so all I brought with me were my yoga socks, a hand towel for wiping off my hands and feet, and a full-size towel to spread on top of the mat supplied. I also brought a water bottle, since staying properly hydrated is important when exercising, especially if you have the uncanny ability to make your own raindrops and further expel more water from your body than the average person. Proper hydration replenishes and refuels the body while also helping to regulate body temperature, so drink up, sweaty peeps. Sometimes I’ll add a dash of sea salt to my water since I lose a ton of salt when sweating.
So, I had the things I needed in order to feel as comfortable as I could, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect from the class.
Once Safe, Venture Out
I’ve been to two free yoga classes so far. The first time I was able to secure a spot in the back row so no one had to look at me from behind. I was in the corner directly underneath a vent in the ceiling where the air conditioning blasted out every so often. Just as I was feeling pretty good, the yoga instructor explained we would be doing a silent walking meditation outside for the first 15 minutes. She said we could wear our shoes if we wanted, but that she’d be walking barefoot. I had my yoga socks on, which I didn’t want to take off and then try to struggle to put back on again once we came back inside. I could have worn them with my flip flops, but there’s a certain dork factor to deal with there, so I decided to take them off altogether and not be inhibited by my fears of sweaty feet on pavement for all to see.
I’m proud to say I made it through the walking meditation completely barefoot with only a few pieces of grass stuck to my feet afterward, which I wiped off as soon as I returned to my mat.
Had I not gone barefoot, I wouldn’t have gotten the full benefit of the walk. The pavement and sidewalks were hot, but it felt good to feel the texture of the ground as it warmed my already hot feet. The grass felt good, too, and cooled me off for the short time I was touching it.
The second class I attended was a bit different. I had a hard time finding parking, so by the time I arrived there were already quite a few people there with their mats set up. I ended up in the front row but still underneath an AC vent. I tried not to freak out about people seeing me from behind or having to look to the side to copy what everyone was doing. I didn’t bother with my yoga socks this time. I didn’t even bother to bring them, deciding instead to leave one of my safe-zone items at home. Sometimes the socks make my feet sweat worse, so I figured I’d just let them sweat anyway and dry them off with my towel if needed.
Despite the faster paced Vinyasa flow yoga we did in the second class, I ended up doing pretty well sweat-wise. There were a few poses where I was standing up and started to sweat for whatever reason, but for the most part my feet stayed relatively dry with only a few glistening drops of sweat versus a full-blown drip attack.
It’s All About the Mat
I was thrilled to discover a mat in the pile of class mats lululemon provides that was sweat friendly. It’s called the hot (towel) mat, and it’s normally used for hot yoga. This mat saved me in class for sure. I didn’t even have to use my towel over the top of it to absorb my sweat. It’s a very thin mat, though, so I recommend placing a thicker one underneath it if you are a beginner or just like some extra cushioning when you’re contorting your body. Some of these mats have extra grippy stuff on each end, others are just the microfiber all the way across. I had the grippy version the second time in class, which I liked even better than the first one I used. lululemon also makes a towel version, so if you already have a yoga mat you can just buy the towel instead. A yoga mat tailored to your specific needs makes all the difference in the world. So grab this mat for sweat, do yourself a favor, and go live in the moment. If I can do it, then so can you.
The hot (towel) mat from lululemon makes yoga possible with hyperhidrosis.
In case you missed these posts, catch up and read about my other hyperhidrosis and yoga experiences – Hyperhidrosis & Yoga and Hyperhidrosis & Yoga – Round 2.
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