My new gym buddy, and old friend, Stephanie convinced me to try hot ashtanga vinyasa yoga at Fuel the Soul on Long Island.
Side note: I really need to find an exercise class that lets me keep my blowout (shout-out to Laura, author of werkitinnyc, for making this a regular heading in her blog posts). So far body sculpt is the least sweaty workout I’ve had and only because I didn’t pair it with kickboxing.
So back to yoga – I really liked the studio; apparently their practice differs in that they use “far infrared heat” which is supposedly more sanitary and has all these benefits in the way it heats your body from within like they do with babies in the NICU. Infrared heat transfer heat to your body instead of heating the air, so it’s also good for people with respiratory problems (this coming from a girl who usually gets a bronchitis/upper respiratory infection combo annually). I have never taken hot yoga (I’ve actually only taken 1 yoga class ever and it was for beginners and it was at least 2 years ago), so I can’t say how this method of heating compares to the traditional way, but I liked it because my muscles felt extremely relaxed (since Sunday I’d taken a 6 mile run and gone to spin and sculpt classes, so I was a little toight) and the increased sweat factor made me feel like I was getting a “real” workout in.
As a yoga newbie a lot of the terms are Greek to me, but I followed the crowd and caught on pretty quickly. The focus in Vinyasa is breathing; you’re supposed to sync your movements with your breath. This works great for me because, as silly as it sounds, I often forget to breath when I’m working out. I get so caught up in the combinations and being in sync with everyone else, that I forget to focus on what I’m doing.
The only negative that I could really come up with was that it was slightly maddening to lay there for what felt like 20 minutes in the cool down period (it was probably 5, but I have workout ADD). The studio offering an inversion master class this weekend and of course I’m annoyed because I think inversions are awesome, but it’s only recommended for people who have idea of what they’re doing. Boo.
Bottom line: Apparently it was an intermediate level class and Gary, the owner/instructor, said I did well, since I’m a sucker for a compliment, I bought a one month unlimited pass for $49.
- Come equipped: Bring a towel and a mat (fitness places love to charge for the add on more than restaurants like the up-charge during Restaurant Week.
- There is probably going to be someone less flexible than you. There is probably going to be someone much more flexible than you. Just concentrate on your breathing and MYOB, you’ll be grateful you did when you don’t lose your balance and fall over.
- In hot yoga, the heat is your friend. A wise bootcamp instructor once told me that the best place to stretch is in the shower because the heat relaxes your muscles – the same goes for the heat in these classes, it allows you to get into your deepest poses.
- And on a less serious note… it is inappropriate to laugh at the instructor when he mispronounces “envelope” or says “Yin Yong” instead of Yin Yang, so you’re going to have to hold it in.