These are not quite your regular yoga classes – hot yoga is practised in a heated (36oC) studio. You’ll find Bikram yoga positions and breathing exercises, but in an environment closer to the home of yoga – India.
The heated room is not the whim of someone feeling the cold, there are a host of benefits associated with practising yoga in the heat. It warms and relaxes your muscles so that you can stretch more deeply – but be careful not to overdo it. It raises your heart rate, which increases blood circulation, giving you a really good detox, as impurities are flushed out of your system through sweat.
By its nature hot yoga is low impact, with positions designed to work your muscles, even those you didn’t know you had, and so increases body strength and flexibility. The breathing exercises improve your breathing and help focus the mind - and hot yoga is very good for the mind - it’s calming, helps reduce stress and aids sleep.
Regular practise can help regulate your weight, boost the immune system and help reduce symptoms of conditions and illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and obesity.
Fitness First Hot yoga classes are designed for all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced, and members are encouraged to go at their own pace and not to overstretch. Remember, yoga is not a race it’s a relaxing form of exercise, so take your time and feel the benefit.
Here’s what Fitness First’s James Mcgoldrick had to say about his experience. “I started hot yoga around three or four months ago and it’s the best decision I’ve made. My only focus is to bulk up, so I lift weights like there’s no tomorrow and the thought of yoga was really laughable for me. But since starting hot yoga I have seen amazing results in my flexibility and even strength! I feel amazing after a class and I can see my progression with the moves is going really well. I will continue to do hot yoga because I want to increase my flexibility and strength... and I love it!”
So what are you waiting for? Grab a towel and a bottle of water and give it a go. You’ll find classes at Fitness First gyms in Angel, Hammersmith, Leyton Mills and Tottenham in London, and at Poole on the south coast.