Celebrating National Yoga Day

Last week, I celebrated National Yoga Day with a hot yoga class at Fitness First, Angel. Whilst this wasn’t my first yoga class, it was my first hot yoga class. My biggest worry before going in to the class was whether or not I was going to be able to cope with doing anything in the heat. Usually my coping mechanism for temperatures that are blissfully hot is to lie there like a slug. And during shavasana (corpse pose), with low lighting and a cocoon of warmth, I was about 5 seconds away from a serious nap. (Clearly I wasn’t doing it right since I wasn’t keeping my mind engaged. I struggle with the lure of sleep when I practice Alexander Technique as well. What can I say? I must need more sleep.)

hot yoga  

The biggest benefits of doing yoga in the heat are the ability to stretch more deeply, relax your muscles and flush out more toxins through sweating. And sweat I did. In an utterly ungraceful way. This is definitely not a class that you casually drop in to before meeting up with some friends at the pub. You can read more about the benefits here

As someone who is decidedly “anti-gym”, I really enjoyed my hot yoga class. I know that I have somewhat of a mental block against classic “exercise”. On one hand, I’d be the kid to try anything to get out of gym class at school; on the other, dance was one of my favourite classes. I just don’t have the patience and the focus for things like cardio on treadmills at the gym, or spin classes. I can firmly get on board with things like yoga, pure barre and pilates.  I find these activities fun and engaging and most importantly, I look forward to doing them 

The class teacher was a graceful goddess. Seriously, in the 36 Celsius heat, she barely broke a sweat. Plus she gave me serious arm definition envy. #armgoals You definitely don’t need to be an advanced or even intermediate yoga practitioner to enjoy a hot yoga session. I bet it would seem even more delightful in the winter! 

The class is also meant to relax and calm your mind, and to be completely honest, that night I slept like a baby. 

national yoga day having my mind blown

I was able to try out the Fitness First Hot Yoga class free of charge, but they have them on offer at a super reasonable price. I’d also like to give a huge shout out to the manager, Ash, and all the rest of the staff at the Angel location. They were super lovely and didn’t even laugh at my lack of gym knowledge.

Fitness First Angel is located at 361-373 City Rd, London EC1V 1LR 

Would you give hot yoga a try? 

*My class was free, but as always, my opinions are forever my own. *

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  • I’ve always wanted to give this a go, imagine the cleanup in the studio afterwards! Did you feel too hot at all like when you’ve been in a sauna too long – I can’t ever stay in them for more than about 5 mins! Alice xxx

  • Charlie Elliott

    I have no idea how she didn’t sweat. I was a total mess at the end, thank goodness for those towels!
    Charlie, Distracted

    • Right?! I was super impressed by the fact that you guys went out to dinner after! I was absolutely knackered! x

  • Like you I am not into gyms but totally fell in love with hot yoga despite being a sweaty mess.

    Emma Inks

  • Interesting! I’d be worried I would just pass out or something during the class!! Do you think you will ever go back and do it again? πŸ™‚

    • I think I would go back again, but I’d drink tons of water before going in instead of during next time!

  • I’m well impressed you made it through!

    • I did just sit down at one point in time, but I think everyone did except Emma Inks (legend extrodinaire!)

  • Miu

    I cannot imagine doing yoga in the heat without wanting to die – maybe in winter when I know I can go outside and cool down πŸ˜‰

    • I think it would be way more appealing in the winter. That’s when I find exercising especially hard because I hate the cold so much

  • TravelWithNanoB

    I love weightlifting although I equally enjoy yoga too. I have always wanted to try hot yoga class, but never made it there. You are not alone when it comes to falling asleep during shavasana I can hardly resist. The comment about arm definition made me chuckle, that’s what I look at all the time when I see a toned woman lately…. rounded shoulders and toned biceps and triceps, definite goals! xoxo, nano

    • You should definitely give hot yoga a try. The instructor explained that “hot yoga” is slightly different from Bikram yoga, and I think I lean more towards hot yoga. Arm tone is one of my ultimate life goals. Sad but true πŸ˜‰

  • I love hot yoga, and I always sleep so good after a class. Hot yoga in Icelandic has helped me learn a lot of basic vocab words as well, and it makes the class go by fast since I am focusing on what they are saying instead of watching the clock.

  • I’ve never tried hot yoga before, but the idea of it isn’t foreign to me. I don’t like sweating, but I think I would be okay with it in this setting. The first time I did yoga was as an enrichment class in middle school, and I remember at the beginning and end of the class we’d always meditate, and it was almost like a competition to see who could fall asleep first, because we thought meditation was about relaxation and the ultimate relaxation was sleep ;P -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • I don’t really like sweating either but I didn’t notice it too much, if that makes sense? Haha the ultimate relaxation to me now is still sometimes sleep πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Ah hadn’t seen this before I commented on the previous post. Love hot yoga. I definitely think that hot yoga is beneficial like you said, the sweating is crazy and wonderful. I don’t know why but sweating in environments like that makes me happy – like I’m clearly doing something right, right? lol But I have to say my first hot yoga class, I almost passed out twice, because I was trying to do too much, but it’s sooo completely okay to take a breather at some point and just lie there!

    • Almost passing out twice sounds crazy! Glad to hear that you powered through it and still enjoyed it though! It’s just so easy to get lightheaded in that environment! x