All we had heard about "Hot Yoga" was that it is the latest fashion in London and that we should be aware that many people opt to do it naked! We were slightly apprehensive when we got chatting to Roman from Ella & Fleur, a new family and friend run business based in Cheltenham. But we decided to go for it, we registered on Ella & Fleur's website and on a sunny Wednesday evening...off we went.
Suffice to say, it isn't just a fad, it is bloody hot and best of all, we were so wrong about the naked thing... Pheew!!!
We arrived late as Emily was decorating gingerbread men for The Falcon, so arriving with beating hearts and sweaty already wasn't a great start. However, Roman and the instructer for the night (just to makes things confusing also called Emily) were there to greet us, grab us a mat (we are total newbies!) and hey presto... before we knew it we were doing hot yoga!
The class was full to capacity and we were put right at the front by the big ballet class styled mirror. In hindsight this was a good thing as we could view moves and postures around the room.
The class mixture was diverse. There were genuine experts doing moves you never thought possible, beginners like us, people who had clearly been before, men, women and a mix of ages. We felt instantly comfortable.
The room WAS hot... 40 degrees to be precise. This was a Hot Flow lesson but other lessons raise the heat even higher! 40 degrees was enough for now. It wasn't dry heat or steam heat... just hot. You soon get used to it and the sweating which starts immediately gets addictive. It's a feel good thing, you know your body is working hard. It also makes you very in tune with yourself, there is no way your mind can wander. If you find it hard to destress and forget about the problems of the day this is something you should try!
We've been to yoga classes before (I'm talking 3 or 4 and not since we were teens) and never grasped the breathing thing. Emily, the instructor for this particular class, made you effortlessly concentrate on your breathing and any stress in your head, heart and body seemed to melt away within minutes.
For beginners we felt she made the moves achievable but don't get us wrong, there were so many comedy moments with moves we couldn't do. Emily did the classic of getting stuck with her legs behind her head whilst Meg slipped from sweating so much... At this point the Instructure brought us bigger towels!
The class was an hour and 15 minutes long and we loved every second of it. We paid £2 for borrowing 2 mats, bought a coconut water (which we were so pleased to see available) and that was it.
After an hour at home with a hot cup of Tea Pigs Liquorice and Peppermint brew we still felt relaxed and... well, happy.
We'll be back for more hot yoga soon and a fuller insight from some of the team at Ella & Fleur. In the mean time, if you'd like more information about different classes and prices, visit Ella & Fleur's website.
What exercise classes are you loving at the moment?
Millie and Meg x