Today I decided to try something different and signed up for a hot bikram yoga class. I chose http://sohotbikramyoga.co.uk as it is conveniently located in Central London and the class length is 90 minutes.
In order to join a class no booking is required but instead you need to buy credits. My friend purchased two single class credits at £20 each but in order to share these the other person must also create an account. It is necessary to bring ID with you on your first class, have a photograph taken and arrive at least 30 minutes before the class starts. I think for someone like myself, just coming along for the experience it is quite a lengthy process, also no one asked me if I had any injuries or illnesses and why I had chosen to come in the first place. Instructions are found on the website that you should consume 2 litres of water prior to the class and give at least two hours between eating and the start time.
The room itself was 41 degrees C and 40% humidity and on arrival it doesn’t seem to hot. We started off with a breathing exercise and after about 2-3 minutes you realise how hot it really is. As mentioned by the instructor, the first few classes you do you need to focus on the movements and the sequence and you will not be able to really focus on the movements and let your mind go. Over the next 45 minutes I found this to be very true. We did many different poses, each set we did twice and it was very very hot. Mid way through whilst doing the warrior pose, you can actually hear the sweat dripping off people like rain in the silent room. After 60 minutes standing up we had the final 30 minutes doing floor work. This was by no means any easier than the previous. When this came to an end we had 10 minutes relaxation before the next class arrived. At this point I was extremely red faced, hot and sweaty.
Reflecting on my experience, I would go again as I feel very clean. I feel like all the toxins in my body have come out through the sweat and my skin feels softer and smoother. As I go to the gym a lot, yoga is necessary to increase my flexibility. I would like to try 4-5 sessions to see if I see any progress. I also feel that moving in these conditions improves your breathing and heart rate and will most likely improve your endurance levels in the gym under normal conditions. Unfortunately, once you have paid for one session you cannot sign up for the £40 21 day trial and this would probably prompt me to sign up for a trial elsewhere now that I have given it a go.
The day before the class I purchased some new sports wear to accommodate for the heat and thank god I did. I bought an outfit from Pink Soda Sport and I could not have been more grateful that I did. The materials were breathable, light and sweat absorbent which is exactly what I needed. Not to mention they are very sport chic. I highly recommend if you do hot yoga or any high intensity sporting activities where you sweat buckets. From a distance no one would actually be able to tell your sweating as the material doesn’t show it at all.
Top and Sports bra – £30
Shorts – £18