Dim lights, soft music emitting all around me, sweat trickling from my body on to the floor, heart beating fast and my muscles pulsating, I close my eyes as I steady my breath to focus on enjoying last few minutes of the class… 30 minutes later I am bouncing down Regent Street, with my body feeling exhausted but deliciously light at the same time…
A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely yoga session at Marshall Street Spa in Soho. A 1.5 hour session was centered around increasing flexibility in hamstrings and hips. Increased flexibility and mobility is one of my physical goals for this year, so I was really happy with the focus of the yoga flow for that day.
Our instructor was very friendly, with calm and soothing voice. She took us through the sessison with good pace, allowing for enough time in each posture, providing alternatives for harder or easier options, and generally being very helpful in correcting our form without too much of ‘hovering’ around.
The class itself was not a typical bikram yoga, it was a slow vinyasa flow. Our instructor kicked things off with slow and gentle stretch, with postures gradually increasing in intensity and complexity until I looked at my friend next to me and we both laughed…Because at that point we knew that the class was set to be not exactly ‘a walk in the park’. And we were glad it wasn’t, the class content was just right – challenging but accessible, ensuring that we are on track in developing our flexibility and endurance.
What I really like about the studio was that it had a clean calming decor with dimmed lighting. I feel the lighting is so important, it really helped us to centre, focus, and really get into our practice. Hey, who wants glaring lights, on top of the ever present heat, and sweat trickling into your eyers?!
Soooo..would I come back? I sure would 🙂 Hot yoga will build muscle tone, improve flexibility, aids in weightloss (your heart rate goes up and you sweat buckets!). It also increases metabolism post session, improves the lymphatic system and flushes out toxins (did I mention sweating in buckets again?), not forgetting the reduction in stress.
A few things to note before you attend a Hot Yoga class:
Consult your Dr before attending the class if you have diabetes or a cardiac condition
Hydrate well before your session and bring water with you
Bring Two Towels. The temperatures and sequences in hot yoga are designed to make you sweat — there’s a good chance you’ll be dripping by your third pose.
Wear regular yoga sweat wicking clothes. Steer clear of baggy items (uncomfortable with all the heat and sweat) or cotton (will just trap sweat).
Don’t eat right before the class, leave at least 30 minutes for digestion
Last, but by no means least, be patient with yourself and your body. Like with any exercise, and in fact life itself – its all a journey 🙂