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.)
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.
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. *