I’ve done yoga before and heard people talk about hot yoga and I will admit I was intrigued and so when my friend and PT, Emma, mentioned that there was a studio near us that held these classes I signed up with her straight away, I mean it is literally 5 minutes from me so would be rude not to!
Yesterday we headed down to 121 Urban Hot Yoga with our bags including towels as we assumed we would be dripping in sweat, deodorant because well the whole sweating part and lots of water. I was nervous – I always am when trying new things like this – the thought of entering a class full of people that can contort their bodies in weird and wonderful ways as I stand rigid like the tin man wondering why I cannot get my left and my right foot behind my ears whilst balancing perfectly.
I needn’t have worried!
The minute we walked in we were welcomed by a lovely man named Dean (who was actually lighting some candles and burning some incense – perfect timing or what?). We went down to the basement studio and got ourselves signed in and was made to feel perfectly at ease immediately. There was no stuffiness that I was worried I would find – an assumption that some yoga people take this very seriously with no talking or joking but serious intense yoga sessions but more hardcore in the heat. We were introduced to our instructor, Maggie, and completely reassured that this caters for all levels and is a personal journey so not to worry what those around us are doing but to do as much as we comfortable with.
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on a series of movements designed to increase strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Hot yoga is all of the aforementioned but with heat put in for good measure. The heat helps you to stretch more and it also helps you sweat. The moves themselves are detoxifying for your muscles, organs and glands and sweating furthers that.
As the hour and a half class began we started with breathing and then moved onto some of the movements. There were 3 levels the first for either those who were new, had an injury or had recently given birth and then 2 further options increasing slightly in difficulty each time.
To my surprise i was able to do most even if a tad wobbly and not looking as elegant as some in the class who were clearly practised in these moves. There were some I just couldn’t do – one in particular where your hands clasped each other behind your back but going under your bent leg and round the back of your knee. There was a name for this but I cannot remember it though I was hugely impressed with those in the class that completed this with what looked like relative ease.
Emma and I had a few giggles as we battled to get the moves right and wobbled around but on the whole i think we did well and the instructor seemed to think so too. One day I will be the one on the left and not the one on the right:
I sweated so much I looked like I had been swimming and drank so much too but we had a great time and signed up immediately for next week.
If you are thinking of hot yoga I would recommend and if you are local I would definitely recommend checking this studio out and if you are going next Sunday morning you get the added bonus of witnessing my attempts in the process!