I’ve actually been doing a not too bad job of keeping to my promise to look after myself a bit better and now that my steroids have kicked in properly I’m finding that I have a lot more energy for things. So when Fitness First invited me to try out a hot yoga class at their Angel branch to celebrate International Yoga Day I figured why the heck not. After all I’d really enjoyed the hot pilates class I tried a couple of years ago and rumour has it that heat actually helps make you that little bit more flexible too. In fact it has a whole bunch of other benefits including the ability to stretch more deeply, relax your muscles and flush out more toxins through sweating.
We were given a quick tour of the gym which on top of the regular equipment, a pretty substantial weights and freestyle area has a couple of studios including one for spinning and of course their new hot yoga studio which we were there to give a whirl. It’s the first gym in the area to have its own hot room and the best part is the cost of these classes is included in the cost of a regular membership. Given that these can cost £20-30 a time it’s a substantial saving if you’re a regular plus it means you’ll have access to a sauna and who doesn’t like to chill out in a sauna?
The room was already pretty toasty when we entered at a warm 36ºC – a little lower than the 40ºC required for Bikram yoga which differs slightly in that no matter where you attend a class you repeat the same 26 movements in sequence for a 90 minute duration. Thankfully our class was a much shorter (and easier) 45 minute introduction which was just perfect for a beginner like me!
When I say perfect I mean I did my best. I’d picked a mat towards the front of the class so I couldn’t get distracted by how well everyone else was doing in comparison (and it helped that the room was dimly lit too) but for the first time I ever I actually didn’t struggle too much with the breathing part which I think made the whole thing that tiny bit easier. It did soon become very clear that I have absolutely no upper body strength and I struggled to hold the poses for as long as was required. That didn’t stop me from giving it my all though and I actually felt really proud for reaching the end of the class – I’m not sure I’d cope in a regular 75 minute long class but I’d definitely like to try it again some time.
You can find out more about the Fitness First hot yoga classes here and if you want to know what the rest of the girls thought of the class you can read their posts too: Amanda, Ashleigh, Charlie, Emma and Viki.