Hot Express class at Hot Yoga of New Zealand (6th December 2010)

It has been a long time since I last went to Bikram yoga and with Freyberg Pool and Fitness Centre closed for the next 7 weeks for refurbishment, I needed to look for other ways to get fit during this period and decided to check out the hot yoga express class at Hot Yoga of New Zealand located on Wakefield St during my lunchtime today.

Located conveniently a block away from my office, I headed over about 15 minutes before the midday class to sort out registration and payment. Cost me $6 for the class (usually $18 for casuals but first-timers only pay $6) and $2 for mat hire (they do not provide mats – you bring your own or hire them). The centre itself was much smaller than Bikram Yoga (the other hot yoga centre in town located on Tory St, one I used to frequent when I lived in Mt Victoria) and had 3 different class types to choose from: Hot Yoga (for a total body workout), Yin Yoga (concentrates on floor postures) and Power Vinyasa (‘flow style’ class).

Upon entry into the heated yoga room, I was delighted to find that the room had polished wooden floors AND didn’t stink of sweat! This is just amazing!! The one thing I didn’t like about Bikram Yoga was the fact that every time I entered their yoga room, I felt confined in heat, dampness and worse of all, the stench of sweat. And that was at the start of the class! I’m feeling somewhat nauseas just remembering the smell…yuck. I reckon it is their carpeted floor because it soaks up the dripping sweat from the people in the room and with only a 15-minute window till the next class, it is impossible to rid the smell let alone clean the carpet; wooden floors are way easy to clean and having the fans in the room also helps with ventilation. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed my classes at Bikram Yoga and the instructors are great! It’s just the smell that really gets to me :/

There were about 18-20 of us in the class with still enough room for some personal space (depending on what session you go to at Bikram Yoga, you may get your neighbour dripping sweat onto you while you’re holding your poses…). During the 60-minute class, we followed Theresa through a series of postures which was a mix of sun salutations (e.g. downward-facing dog, raised arm pose, prayer pose etc.) and some poses from Bikram yoga, with the emphasis on deep breathing and engaging our core muscles when carrying out the poses. Meditation music played softly in the background which adds a nice calming and spiritual touch to the class.

I’m not sure if it is because I haven’t learnt the sequence of the poses or the fact that it was an express class but it felt as if we were rushing through the poses and we only did the poses once so there was no opportunity for me to watch what the others were doing to then carry out the move the second time. Hmm, maybe it’ll get better when I’ve attended a few more sessions…The posture series ended with the lights dimmed and everyone lying in the corpse pose, quietly ‘melting’ into the floor with each breathe. After about 3 minutes, we were brought back to reality by Theresa with 3 warm bell tones (Theresa stroke the soft mallet 3 times on a singing bowl). And like at the start of the class, we resumed back sitting cross-legged, hands in prayer position and humming ‘om’ as we exhaled. OMmmmmmmmmmmmm…

Had a quick shower and got dressed (it was a bit weird to share the showers and changing rooms with the guys even though they were all separated by thick curtains), then back to the office to work. All the sweating always makes me feel much lighter and gives me a nice healthy glow :) I’ll definitely be coming back again for their lunchtime classes – such a convenient time and location so no excuses not to attend the class!


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