Sunday, 13 November 2011

Why I love Hot Yoga

In May this year I came across a wonderful thing- Hot Yoga. I have enjoyed yoga on and off for a while, but whilst I enjoyed the stretch and the quiet that came from Hatha classes, I often felt that I should have spent that 90 minutes doing something to burn calories as weight has always been issue with me. 

So when I heard that a Bikram class can burn an average of 600 calories per session I was interested, but stories of instructors shouting ‘feel the pain’ and people passing out because of the heat scared me off. Then I came across Absolute Hot Yoga- kind of Bikram but without the shouting, you’re only expected to go as far as you can and they will open the windows when 40oC gets too much.
Turning up to my first class, I was nervous to see that a lot of the class were rather fit, slim, gym bunny looking people and the heat really hit you as you walked through the door- how was I going to cope with 90 minutes of this heat! Carefully positioned at the back under the watchful eye of the tutor- and near the windows- the 90 minutes passed quickly and I left feeling energised, and although sweaty, like I’d had a really good detox session. 

As part of the Absolute yoga offering you can get a 10 day pass for a set amount to try as many classes as possible in those 10 days to check you like it before signing up. 4 classes later and I was signed up to monthly membership. 

The yoga is 50 hatha asana’s (rather than Bikrams 26) with many being the same or a variation on the Ashtanga Primary Series and even though it’s the same sequence every session, the fact that I could feel and see the difference week on week stopped it being boring. My first class I could hardly reach my toes in Paschimottanasana, now my forehead is merely centimetres away from my knees, I no longer need a strap to connect my hands behind my back in The Sage Twist (Marichyasana) and l though I still can’t quite touch forehead to knee on the standing, at least I can stay stood on one leg (most of the time) 

If you are looking for a sedate class then Absolute Hot Yoga is not for you, there is plenty of relaxation at the end and the focus throughout the class is on the breath, but it is a fairly fast paced class, and with the heat expect your heart to be pounding by the end of the standing series, if not before! 

I am currently on a break from Hot Yoga, an office move to a different part of the Island has made it difficult to get to evening class, so I have been experimenting with other styles such as Vinyasa Flow and Dynamic Yoga which are just not for me. Although I have found I enjoy practicing the Ashtanga Primary Series almost as much and will definitely be continuing my practice, I am planning a way to get back to my regular Hot Yoga practice as well!

There are Hot Yoga studios springing up all over the world- I attend the Jersey Classes at Central Yoga, I know of one in Durban South Africa and there are several in Thailand, including the Absolute resort on Koh Samui where I hope one day I may get to spend a month doing my teacher training… Edinburgh has finally got it’s first Hot Yoga classes- not quite the same as the Absolute Yoga, but offering Barkan, not tried it yet, but going to try and get to a class in January when we are up there on holiday. 

So if you want a good stretch, workout and detox all in 90 minutes I recommend you find your nearest Hot Yoga studio. Have a look here at some of the Absolute Hot Yoga graduates and where they are now offering classes.

No comments:

Post a Comment