The Hot Yoga Experience

Hi, Hey, Hello!

So I ran out of ideas this week because for some reason I only foresighted two weeks post Letters to Spring. Thankfully The SITs Girls are always on hand for me to provide some inspiration when I’m truly stuck.

Now, the title is probably an indicator of what the subject matter will be today.

Hot yoga.

I’ve mentioned it a few times on here but exercise recently has become more than an abstract concept that I would watch other people do but largely ignored for myself. And with that new found acquaintance I’ve also found that I’m always looking for new classes to try. Some don’t stick, like I truly detest running and so anything that includes a treadmill can do one (she says when a part of her also wants to try at least one Barry’s Bootcamp class which includes, you guessed it, a whole treadmill based section…). And some do, in fact my now weekly boxing based class has become cathartic as hell for me and something that I almost crave each week (although I didn’t do it last week, am not doing it this week and have made no decisions on next week yet…). Another thing that stuck was yoga.

Now there are many types of yoga and I haven’t tried them all by any means but Vinyasa yoga is where it is at for me, it’s the right combination of movement and static. I also try to do them weekly and I can always tell when my body craves for the stillness that comes with a yoga class. And the stretching. I did one tonight and for the past 24 hours my body was quietly humming with joy at the prospect of it after I had to cancel last week’s.

And because I’ve this new huge appreciation for yoga I am always open to trying new versions of it. Which led me to Ethos near Liverpool Street one autumn night (it was a Be:Fit London event and the other two options sounded like cardio hell). I was a little bit nervous at the prospect of actively moving in a very heated room because my reaction to heat can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes I’m fine, sometimes I feel dizzy and lightheaded. It didn’t help that I had convinced myself for most of the day that I was going to be that person who couldn’t take the heat and had to leave.

There was a lot of water involved, for which I am grateful. I had brought my own with me and there was a delightfully cool bottle of the stuff waiting for me when I got to my mat.

The heat of the room was obvious the moment I had settled properly on my mat, it felt like the moment when you step off a plane in a hot country. It was mildly uncomfortable, but to the side of me was a waterfall-esque display and so initially I focused on that and it did help calm me down.

Once the practice started I felt more relaxed. I know how to do most of the poses to suit the way my body is built, I felt comfortable with that knowledge. What was obvious from the moment I moved a single muscle was that it was going to be a very sweaty mess.

Within 10 minutes I got over my self-consciousness and shed my vest top just so that I didn’t overheat and I started to regret the full length leggings and was just thankful that they involved mesh so I could breathe.

Now I am not the most flexible person, but after practicing yoga for about a year now I have noticed areas of improvement and I can get deeper into stretched these days. But that’s now, in October this was not the case and I did find that being in a heated room did help me get deeper into poses, especially twists. It felt like the stretches were really getting into my muscles and even though it burned (probably because it was early days in me upping my workouts in a week, and also I’d just come back from Filey where I had done a lot of eating. A lot.) it burned in kind of a good way.

Due to the fact that very quickly i was slick with sweat it did get kind of hard to ground myself on the mat in the poses, especially downward dog, so there was a lot of wiping down with a towel (which on this instance was provided, but I believe you have to pay for them usually).

The heat was actually something that I slowly acclimatised to and it was easy to just sort of forget about the sweat because it you do cardio (which I do) then sweat everywhere is just something you get used to. I will also say that that savasana at the end was one of the most satisfying savasanas that I have had. Also we got given cool towels during that time which was such a relief and helped to cool down slowly.

I finished the class feeling incredibly satisfied and equipped with all these endorphins associated with exercise. It was a good experience. I loved it and enjoyed it immensely. I mean I also haven’t been back but that’s for no other reason but money. And also as we creep closer to supposedly warmer weather just being in a room with 20 other people all exercising in a non air-conditioned room almost mimics the experience.

Or at least it did tonight.

What about your experiences, if you have any? How did you find it? Are you a regular or a one and never again? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Parentheses count: 5. See you tomorrow!

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