So, you've heard of yoga, right? But, how about hot yoga? This isn't just another fad - hot yoga offers so many benefits! Taking place in a 'hot pod' or a heated room, the high temperature makes the heart and lungs work harder, helping you to burn more calories. The heat also increases flexibility, easing muscles and joints and helping to prevent any injuries. Wanna know more? Well, Grenade®'s European Account Executive, Lauren Fahy, is a big fan of hot yoga and a regular at Bromsgrove's Hotpod Yoga, so we asked her to give us the lowdown!
HAVE YOU ATTENDED THIS CLASS OR A SIMILAR ONE BEFORE?
I have attended this class before, yes. My friend heard about it when her local Hotpod Yoga site first opened, so we thought we would give it a try together as it’s nothing like the kind of exercise we had done before and there were first-time/new starter trial options available, which made it really worthwhile.
WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS BEFORE YOUR FIRST CLASS?
I expected it to be a bit claustrophobic and humid but this wasn’t the case at all! The pod is warmed with Dyson heated fans and there’s a pod at the front which pumps out a holistic sort of aroma (the kind of thing you’d expect in a spa or massage parlour) meaning the temperature and humidity is in no way unpleasant. Don’t get me wrong, you sweat from every pore in your body, but that’s what your towel is for!
WHAT DID YOU WEAR/BRING WITH YOU TO THE CLASS?
I wore gym/yoga leggings, a sports crop top and a loose fitted vest so that I had plenty of room to move and be flexible. You have to take a bottle of water and a towel too – you lose A LOT of water through sweat so need to re-hydrate as often as you can, and more so afterwards.
HOW DID YOU FEEL BEFORE THE CLASS BEGAN?
I was looking forward to it as I don’t normally do exercise classes so it’s quite nice to do a work out where I don’t have to plan the routine myself.
BREAK IT DOWN FOR US - WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE CLASS?
There are a couple of variations to Hotpod Yoga; I attend the Hotpod Flow session, but Nurturing Flow is an alternative (slightly slower, more holistic practice). The class starts with all attendees seated on their towel, over their yoga mat, in whichever position is most comfortable for them and you are taken through breathing exercises to focus the mind and body and let go of any stress, tension or worries - it's important to just concentrate on yourself for the duration of the practice.
The class then moves into stretching, moving into poses like Downward Dog, Warrior 2, and Reverse Warrior. You work on elongating the muscles, stretching out and improving your flexibility. You then transition into the core part of the class where you work on balancing poses and also on improving abdominal strength. At the end, for what feels like maybe 10 minutes, you return to your mat and take your concentration back to your breathing and the instructor makes her way around each person to give a brief (optional) shoulder and head massage with a perfumed oil to finish.
HOW DID YOU FEEL AFTER THE CLASS?
After the class you’re dripping with sweat but you feel refreshed and like you’ve had a good workout, but also more supple, relaxed and more “zen”!
WOULD YOU ATTEND THE CLASS AGAIN?
Yes definitely, and I have done multiple times since! Hotpod Yoga is great because when you refer a friend and they use their pass, you get a £5 reward added to your account so your next session is free/cheaper. You can pay monthly, on the go, or there is an intro offer where you can go to as many sessions as you like within 10 days for £14. If you don’t want to commit to a membership, there is also the option to buy a 5 or 10 class pass, so there is something for any timetable or lifestyle. There are also gift vouchers available and you can buy towels, water bottles and Grenade® Carb Killa® bars on site - what's not to love!
WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE CLASS TO?
Anybody of any age or fitness level who wants to improve their flexibility, experience a unique way of exercising and take the time to clear their mind, focus on their breathing and enjoy their own practice for an hour.
So, who's up for a bit of hot yoga? If Lauren's review has intrigued you, head over to Hotpod Yoga's website to find your local class and see what it's all about for yourself! If you'd like to find out more about group classes, have a read of our review on the Boogie Bounce class, a high energy, trampoline session that'll have you getting fit and having fun - win!