Fitness Review: Hot8Yoga

Hello my wonderful readers! I have recently had a new obsession with Groupon and Living Social lately with all of their fitness deals, which came at a good timing as I have been getting bored with my gym routine — I LOVE lifting, but I’ve noticed that I need to compliment it with other forms of exercise.

I am a believer in the multifaceted benefits of yoga; however, the thought of hot yoga has always intimidated me. Flowing into stretches in an incredibly hot room is just asking me to pass out! Alas, I found a deal on Groupon for Hot8Yoga, which I’ve heard many great reviews on through word of mouth. Just as I was about to purchase the Groupon deal, I checked out their website and discovered a better deal: New students can pay $45 for a set of any 5 classes – BUT they must be used within 30 days. Hmmm not too shabby 🙂
I could definitely use more discipline in the stretching department, and I figured I could get more beneficial stretches with the heated room. I grabbed my overly-used debit card and said,  “Alright, let’s give this a go!”

Hot8Yoga Studios have two different locations: one in Beverly Hills, and one in Santa Monica – both in incredibly inconvenient locations as they are high volume traffic areas. This just requires some additional time planning, especially avoiding peak hours (unless you enjoy sitting in stand-still traffic).
Aside from their locations, both studios are absolutely clean and pristine – very zen and “spa-like.”

I came in with my yoga mat, pumped and ready for a great stretch sesh. The lady at the front desk asked me if I needed a towel, and I declined – it takes A LOT for me to really break a sweat, and I have never found yoga to be all that challenging, so I figured I wouldn’t waste one of their towels (this was the biggest mistake I made…)

I entered the Power Yoga class, which takes you through a series of flows for a solid hour. The first 20 minutes or so I was doing really well and loving the new poses that I haven’t done before. Then, my skin seemed to just suddenly poured out a gallon of sweat! Droplets began to drip off my nose, while trying to hold my planks. I was almost a little paranoid about the amount of sweat coming from my body; although, when I witnessed everyone else completely drenched, I figured I was okay. Then the moment where it became the biggest threat to me: When we had to shift the majority of our weight onto our upper body, my hand slid (yes, my mat was very very wet) causing my arm to clench t prevent myself from falling flat on my face. This awkward shift put a VERY unpleasant weighted force onto my shoulder, which if I did not correct my position as soon as I did, I probably would have torn something.
For the remainder of the class I was VERY cautious and conscious of every pose switch in order to not slip and/or hurt myself.

This class definitely whooped my butt, and left me drenched in my own lovely sweat (HELLO frizzy hair!!). My body felt fairly rejuvenated (aside from my sore shoulder), stretched, and relaxed – definitely something I have been needing for a while now!

Now let’s look at some of my take-aways from this form of exercise:

PROS:

  • If you’re looking for a sweat sesh, this will do the trick – no matter what level class you take
  • The instructors do a excellent job at physically correcting your form in a very noninvasive way
  • There are mirrors everywhere so you can glance at your form
  • VERY clean studio
  • They offer a variety of classes from Hot Yoga, Fusion, Yoga Barre, Yoga Sculpt, Power, etc. all in a heated room to provide that deep stretch effect.
  • Their method is very unique and dependant upon the instructor’s unique style – this is unlike the classic Bikram Yoga, which carries you through the same flow of poses each class.

CONS:

  • The sweat for me was VERY unnatural. I was even a weirdo and licked my arm afterwards to see how salty  it was. In comparison to when I do heavy cardio, and even weight lifting, it really wasn’t that salty. So it leads me to think that this was an effortless/forced sweat (if that makes any sense).
  • This is not a form of detox – the idea of sweating prefusively to detox your body if more of a myth. Sweat does rid your body of some toxins, but it does not have to be very intense.
  • It is SO dangerous if you do not cover your mat with a towel. You do not have to be “yogi chic” and have a special towel – a bath or beach towel will do just fine.
  • This is something you really need to dedicate extra time afterwards to wash up. This is not a workout that you can just fit in and go about your day – I felt like a fool because I didn’t have the time to go home shower and fix myself up to do my errands…instead I went about my day looking like a very hot mess.
  • It can dehydrate you if you are not careful. Be sure to drink a fair amount of water prior – not too much or else you will be excusing yourself to the restroom several times. Then after class, be sure to send the remainder of your day drinking up that H2O to replenish your body!
  • Be sure to some with extra clothes! Your clothes will be soaked, and unless you enjoy walking around as if you just jumped in a pool, then you may want to consider bringing something to change into.
  • If you struggle with a pose, do the minimal or do not do it at all. One guy slipped out of a very challenging pose and nearly landed on a girl in front of him — you may not only hurt yourself, but possibly others near you!

Overall, I found Hot8Yoga to be pretty awesome – definitely something I will do again (Heck, I paid for 5 classes, so I kind-of have to!) — But if I knew then what I know now, I would have been far more prepared!! It is worth trying out, but be sure to look over the cautions, as it is definitely not for everyone!
There are several forms of yoga, there is bound to be one that fits your needs — it is all about trial and error and exploring how your body responds 🙂

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