This week we tried: Hotpod yoga

6th December 2017 / Abbie Tanner  

Who knew that getting up early on a Saturday morning, grabbing a coffee and sitting in an enclosed hot pod doing yoga with half-naked strangers would feel so god damn great. Certainly not me. As a revived exercise fan (well, sort of) I am all about trialling the latest work out craze; anything that gets my heart rate rising and my non-existent abs squealing, then I’m in.

Know what I mean? Well, in that case, let me introduce you to Hotpod Yoga.

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Hotpod yoga is exactly that. Yoga, in a hot pod. It was launched in 2013 by strategy consultant, Max Henderson and yoga teacher, Nick Higgins, and is based in a cocoon-like studio environment which reaches up to 37 degrees. It may sound unbearable but trust me, it’s not. It’s actually really, really nice. The pod is dark and intimate with all classes having roots in vinyasa flow. I am not a total ‘yogi’, but the more I do it, the more I love it. And this sweaty yet soothing work out has by far been my favourite.

The one-hour session was based in their Hackney, London location and was taught by Lucy. Lucy also teaches self-development workshops which follow Embodied Yoga Principles, plus she’s had her writings published in top yoga publications such as Om Magazine and Yoga International, don’t you know!

Her knowledge guided me through the class with ease, and I reached a peak level of concentration which enabled me to stay focused on my flexibility, pace, and breathing technique. It’s a pretty hard task to get me to completely switch off, so well done Lucy.

Hotpod Yoga is not to be confused with Bikram, yes, both are heated, but Bikram can reach a hotter temperature of around 41 degrees and you’ll find that classes usually run for 90 minutes instead of 60. Heated Vinyasa and Bikram yoga are both Hatha-based practices which are made up of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), but heated Vinyasa classes will contain a variation of a sun salutation sequence (Surya Namaskar).

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I have never experienced Bikram or heated vinyasa so this was a new and refreshing experience for me. I left incredibly sweaty, incredibly energised and with a clearer mind. This was certainly one yoga class I couldn’t wait to re-book in for.

Who would I recommend it to? This is a great class for all ability levels, it’s super accessible, dynamic and practical so even as a beginner you would settle into it quite easily. There’s no stress if you don’t know each specific yoga term too!

Great for: calming your mind and loosening up your body. Just don’t forget your water.

Hotpod Yoga has their studios nationwide, to find one near you please visit their website HERE.

Abbie
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This week we tried: Vinyasa Flow Yoga at triyoga

28th November 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

When it comes to working out, I know the main aim shouldn’t always be weight loss or toning, but general wellbeing and health. The truth is, if I am going to wake up at 5.30am three times a week and drag myself to the gym in the dark, I want to see visible results. Six-pack and peachy bum, preferably, like now, please!

I always thought that a ‘bikini body’ can only be achieved by HIIT and weight lifting. What about Yoga? Surely you can’t get lean from stretching? It’s too slow. And no music? Looks boring. WRONG. After trying Vinyasa Flow class at triyoga I am totally hooked!

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With fellow YSV editor and co-founder, Abbie, we deliberately chose the 7.30pm class on Friday, (ultimately to make sure we didn’t get tempted and go out for ‘one drink’ after work). triyoga – we went to the one in Camden – has a very ‘zen’ atmosphere, one that almost makes you want to whisper – it was a perfect way to finish off a stressful week.

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Our class was taught by Marcus, who uses his Dj-ing experience and plays some great, Café Del Mar-like tunes in the background. Even though the atmosphere was very relaxed, it took literally 10 minutes and a few positions for us to start sweating and engaging muscles that we didn’t even know existed.

Vinyasa means ‘to place with special awareness and intention’. Flow suggests a movement that is continuous and smooth. Vinyasa Flow is a popular form of modern yoga that draws from traditions including Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga, as well as martial arts and dance (we did feel like we were trying to do some sort of Capoeira/breakdance at some point).

As I am still a beginner when it comes to Yoga, the hardest part for me is to breathe properly and coordinate my inhales and exhales with the movements. Thanks to Marcus, who was constantly reminding everyone to actually breathe, I started to control it more by the end of the class, which is a great success.

I left the class, with a great post-workout feeling: tired, sweaty and happy! Not so happy next day – my core, glutes, hamstrings were on fire, more than they usually are after a HIIT class. It makes sense how Madonna looks the way she does at the fabulous age of 60. It’s mainly thanks to Yoga.

Who would I recommend it to? Those, who’ve done Yoga before as it’s quite a fast pace class and it’s good to know the names of specific positions so you can change smoothly.

Be prepared to work on a deeper (both physical and psychological) level, with more challenging asanas, sun salutation variations, inversions and backbends. Not suitable for beginners!

Great for: toning and de-stressing.

triyoga has their studios nationwide, to find one near you please visit their website HERE.Gabs