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If you’re thinking about trying Bikram yoga for the first time – or if you’re a veteran practitioner looking to upgrade your gear – here are the most important items you’ll need for Bikram classes, which differ from many of the other types of yoga.

Bikram yoga is done in a hot room – very hot, 105 degrees. There are other types of yoga that are offered in heated rooms, but Bikram yoga encompasses just 26 specific postures. This consistent regimen, combined with the heat and humidity, makes certain clothing and gear highly recommended for women who are practicing.

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BY Allison Olmsted

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If you’re going to your first Bikram class, there’s no need to go out and buy these items before you know you plan on continuing. Most studios will rent a mat and towels to you. You likely already have clothing that will meet your needs for your first few classes. But if you’re going to become a regular practitioner, or if you already are, here are some things that will improve your experiences.

A yoga mat and the right towels

You will need a yoga mat. But the towel you will place on top of it is even more important. A standard width mat is fine for most people; I’d caution against using a very thin “travel” mat, as some poses are done in a kneeling position, resting on your knees, where extra cushioning is appreciated.

You need a towel on top of your mat because you will sweat more than you thought possible. For your first class, a bath or beach towel will be fine. But once you’ve committed to going to classes regularly, I highly recommend a towel specific for yoga. It should fit your mat well and will be thinner and easier to take to and from class. Most important is a towel that will not budge. I have found that both regular cotton towels, and even most thinner, microfiber yoga towels move around and get lumpy during poses and need to get smoothed out frequently, an unneeded distraction during class.

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Forbes: Essentials For Bikram Yoga

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