One year ago in the hectic city named Ho Chi Minh City in Southern Vietnam I discovered Yoga and what a difference it makes to your life. Both Vietnam and Yoga are now very important parts of my life. Click here if you want to read about how I started my path with Yoga in Vietnam. It has now been 3 months since I left Vietnam and I miss it quite terribly. Actually, 3 months right on the day. Wow.
I am now in Calgary, Canada. For my comeback to Yoga I chose to go with ‘Soul Hot Yoga’ right by Deerfoot Trail on 126th Ave, Calgary. I did a few regular Yoga classes in Vancouver but I was definitely missing the heat. I was more than happy to discover that I am surrounded by Hot Yoga studios in South Calgary and that they offer a 40$ unlimited trial for a month. So… why not make the most out of it, make it a challenge, go 30 times, every day for a month? See what it actually does to my body and mind.
As Hot Yoga is super popular in North America I thought this would be something interesting for a lot of people to follow. How will she feel after the classes? Which class has which effect? Which muscles will hurt afterwards? Will she make it? Does the heat actually make you loose more weight than regular Yoga classes? Are you able to burn up to a thousand calories per class, as the rumors say? Does the heat make it easier for you to stretch? If you google those questions you will get all kinds of results. So I want to give you the chance to actually follow me through my challenge, I will even weigh in and share it with you because well, I don’t give a shit ;). I’ve always weighed about the same, 55kg +/-. As right now, 1 day before I start my challenge, I am in the + section, 57,5kg (127 creepy pounds), I wouldn’t mind loosing some of that during the challenge. But it is not the point. I’m curious. I wanna test the rumors and really get to the bottom of that blazing topic of ‘Hot Hot Yoga’ . If you are too, well here we go! Day 1 will start with a class that is called ‘Power Vinyasa Flow’ at around 30°C. I want to take it easy for at least the first two classes before I actually enter the hot room and ‘Soul Hot Yoga’ offers a couple of warm classes for explorers.
UPDATE: I am down a pound, almost two, after the first week. That is not much could as well just be a good day to jump on the scale ;-). But we will see how it continues!
UPDATE DAY 15: Those hamstrings are slowly loosening up. I can’t believe it. Generally, I feel the strength building up in my body! The strength to focus on my breath, controling it, keeping my legs and core strong to work with the poses. And..slowly but surely, I am able to get out of my head and thoughts. This is just wonderful.
Day 15: Hot Hatha
7.30 – 8.45 PM
I think the first thing I said out loud when I closed the door of my car behind me and started driving out of the parking lot was: ‘Fuck…Awesome’!
Day 15. I’m halfway through the challenge and I don’t really feel like it should stop. I could live at that place. And I felt like this day was kind of a breakthrough. Yes. Listen to that. I think my hamstrings are finally loosing up a little. Yaay. I got really tight and stubborn hamstrings, but tonight it felt changed. The forward fold was a relieve. Not only there I felt stronger tonight, lots of postures that we did I remembered from my “Heated Yoga Class” in Vietnam, and I also remembered how I struggled doing them. Side Plank was one of my big enemies. Today, it went pretty well :)
This is how ‘Hot Hatha’ is announced on the website:
“All levels – A slower paced class where the poses are held for longer allowing time to establish body position and proper alignment. This static style class builds strength, flexibility and balance. Variations and modifications are provided so that every student is challenged at their own level.” [Source http://www.soulhotyoga.com]
And all of it is absolutely true. Just that, somehow, I thought it would be closer to the Yin or Restorative classes, more about stretching, balance, relaxing. To make it short, I was excited but I didn’t think I will be needing a towel. Oops! I definitely could have used a towel. I was soaking wet, probably 15 mins in. Haha.
This was just fantastic Yoga. It was challenging, there were new poses that I haven’t tried before (for example ‘Half Moon Pose’), there was movement from the very beginning of the class till the final Savasana, and there was also holding of postures. It was a lot of stretching, challenging and getting to know our flexibility more and there were also great core workouts embedded in the practice. I think this might be my new favorite class. Teacher Alexa is great, I would do any kind of class with her. She brings a lightness to class with her smile and positive energy, but she also knows how to make you want more, learn more, stay focused on your body and release the mind.
I will be back for her ‘Glow & Flow’ class next evening which I am very excited about. Practicing Yoga with Glow Sticks and Dancemoves? Let’s see how that goes!