Recently I bagged myself a Hot Yoga Society 20 day pass after a one armed fierce battle with the troll that lives under Vauxhall Bridge. I was victorious and my prize was doing some of the sweatiest yoga I have ever done in my life and this isn’t an exaggeration – I was dripping in sweat and when I had to lift an arm or a leg I watched in fascination as it dripped onto the floor. This isn’t because I have never seen my own sweat before (I am very familiar with sweat) but because it looked like I was drowning without water.
Sadly I was only able to take advantage of the 20 day pass three times and in the end I went to two Bikram yoga classes and one Vinyasa flow class. I am amazed at this next sentence: Vinyasa is the one I am most comfortable with so was really excited to try Bikram. Six months ago I didn’t know what Vinyasa was and had only heard of Bikram – I certainly wasn’t familiar with one or looking forward to trying out the other.
Class 1 – Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is a series of 26 postures done twice. That’s it and it sounds easy and achievable so I went into the class optimistic. Three minutes later I thought I was going to die in a puddle of my own vomit. I couldn’t acclimatise to the heat and couldn’t do most of it. The heat was so, so intense, and the postures just seemed beyond me. Every time I moved, everything moved along with me and my stomach recoiled at everything. I was in shorts and a sports bra and wanted to take them both off and my skin just to try and feel cool.
The teacher, Jo was amazing. She understood and was very happy for me to sit through the whole class if I wanted to. At out point she even asked for an ‘emergency sachet’ and I knew it was for me, I just knew it; no one else was struggling as much as I was. And yes, it was for me and she poured a truly disgusting mixture of sugar and salt into my water bottle which I knew helped but really did taste vile.
The excellent thing was that i didn’t leave the room and was able to do some of it.
Class 2 – Bikram Yoga
This time I went with The City Fittie who had been going for a while. She promised she would show me where in the room it was coolest. This to me meant where in the room I would survive. And that’s exactly what happened. I survived and I had a great time. I didn’t have to sit down to recover and I didn’t need an emergency sachet which was a definite win! It was my first proper experience of Bikram yoga and I really enjoyed it. The sweat dripped off me and I was able to do the moves with varying degrees of success and painlessness.
I could feel the difference in temperature with where I was on that day and where I had been during my previous visit. Cool air (even if in this case cool is low 30 degree centigrade rather than 40 degrees) was so, so welcome.
Class 3 – Vinyasa Flow
This is the form of yoga I do every week at Nike town, which is why I am so comfortable with it. However I am used to the wonderful Jessica Skye’s teaching style. Paul, who taught this class was as competent but not as friendly. In fact there were times when I thought he was angry with the fact that people didn’t know what they were doing. I copied the women next to me because I might be familiar with Vinyasa yoga but I know next to nothing and it turned out that I also didn’t know how to properly do a Downward Facing Dog, something I didn’t think you could get wrong.
However thankfully by the end of the class Paul’s mood was so much better which helped me when I started giggling over the fact that I was so sweaty my left leg kept slipping off my right leg. And by the end I appreciated his teaching style – he assumed he knew what we were doing but was happy to help those who didn’t.
Plus now I can do a Downward Facing Dog correctly!
Despite my first class I had such brilliant experiences with Hot Yoga Society. I love trying new things and this was so out of my normal routine and comfort zone that it was in the next county. I definitely want to carry on with hot yoga now that my 20 day introductory pass is over.
If you want to give Hot Yoga Society a go then you don’t have to fight the troll living under a bridge, just hop on over to their website and you can find all the information there.