Hot Yoga has always intrigued me. I have several friends who practice it on a regular basis, and swear by it for a good sweat. I also knew it would help with flexibility and strength, both of which are vital for active runners.
What initially put me off was the price. Most yoga studios nearby charged around £14 per class, which is way over my budget, especially when I’m a member of a gym already. Nonetheless I was advised it might help with my running injury. Whilst I was doing everything possible to get my sore feet better, my overworked calves were the main culprit of my Plantar Fasciitis. I think they threw a hissy fit at 30-mile weeks on the regular and decided to go on strike.
A quick Google turned up Yotopia, a hot yoga studio based in Covent Garden. And luckily for me, they had an introductory offer: 20 days unlimited classes for £35. Perfect, I thought, three weeks off running, combined with hot yoga, and I’ll be back out in no time! (Obviously that didn’t happen. But you gotta love my optimism at the time!)
During my 20 day trial, I sampled a wide variety of classes, and gradually figured out what worked for me. Essentially: Hot Rocket and Hot Boxing Yoga almost killed me (but in a good way); Hot Forrest Yoga was a bit too slow for my liking, and Hot Vinyasa was a nice middle ground. As the 20 days went on, my muscles thanked me, and I stopped holding so much tension in my body.
Sadly, the experience had to end, as I genuinely cannot justify the membership rate of over £100 per month (but by god was I tempted!) But thank you, Hot Yoga; I will look back on you with fond memories of new levels of sweat and stretchiness!
What I wish I’d known; my advice for a newbie:
- Not all hot yoga is created equal! My studio offered Hot Vinyasa, Rocket, and Forrest yoga, in addition to Hot Ballet and Pilates. It’s not all Bikram. (Side note: Bikram can be fantastic, but I found it a little to ‘drill sergeanty’ for my liking).
- Ensure you’re well hydrated before the class! Some instructors allow water in the studio, some don’t. It’s always better to be safe!
- Don’t eat a heavy meal just before class. If you really need to, have a snack, but you don’t want to do yoga on a full stomach. In a sauna.
- Don’t wear shorts! I mean, you can totally do what you want (you do you!), but I suggest you wear something that at least covers your knees. I tried to get into crow pose and ended up sliding around because I was too sweaty to get any grip! (Attractive mental image for you guys, I’m sure).
- Even a gentle yoga class can take it out of you when it’s in a hot studio. My studio sells individually-wrapped electrolyte tablets which are really useful! It’s not essential, but it definitely helped me recover a little more quickly.
- Not everyone is a bendy goddess superwoman. There was a wide variety of abilities (and genders) in my class. Also, when trying hard postures, people occasionally fall over and make a fool of themselves. You won’t be the only one!
- A towel placed on your mat, whilst not essential, can really help you get through the class without slipping around too much.
That’s all for now folks!
Have you ever tried Hot Yoga? What would your advice be for a first time hot-yogi?
Lots of love,