A good friend at work convinced me to go to her yoga class with her some time ago - but we've had the Impossible Summer Schedule Sync-Up Disease. This past Tuesday, we committed to going and sweating our little hearts out.
The studio I went to offered drop in classes for $17, with mat/towel rentals for $3. Not bad. We showed up 15 mins early and nabbed a spot a few rows back and against the wall.
Now, I've never done yoga above my MTV Yoga video before. I most definitely have not attempted HOT yoga before. (The room was at 95, instead of 105 like it is in Bikram yoga.) Needless to say, I had done MUCH mental preparation before the class.
SO, the class:
We dove right in. Focusing on breathing helped me deal with the shock of the heat. My heart rate was humming along for at least the first 45 mins of class. I had to take a breather a few times and felt my heart just POUNDING. The 'Flow' part of the yoga (going form one position to another) drove my heart beat up, and definitely helped even out cardio with how much strength we were doing. I was able to keep up with nearly all the positions (somewhat shakily at times). The hardest one for me was actually Pigeon (where you lay over one knee bent to the side). I just have too much 'stuff' going on (i.e. gut, boobies) to comfortably squish for minutes at a time.
INSTRUCTOR / ABILITY
The instructor was very calm and helped me in a few positions without making it obvious I was a n00b. Being flexible really did help a ton - my co-worker (quite possibly the least bendy person ever) was having problems even reaching her block. I was bent in half and had my hands under my feet. :) If you aren't super bendy, I don't think you would have an issue at all. Being bendy just makes it a bit easier.
The flow of the class really challenged me - diving right into the intense flow right after a warmup felt great. Being able to relax & center right after such a brutal workout was also great - I usually do this in the shower after runs. :) I really really like yoga - so much strength! I'd be interested in doing a 'normal' (i.e. not hot) yoga class.
My legs were sweating. I had sweat in my ear. I tried to dry my hand off on my shirt and it didn't help. Holy Crap. I was prepared to sweat but I don't think I've ever sweat that hard. It felt GOOD though. I took a few sips of water during the class and gulped down 14 oz immediately after in the car. I lost about two lbs - quickly regained with the two Nalgenes I drank during the rest of the evening.
Sore Wednesday morning (Mainly my right butt muscle), left calf, and upper inner arms & back right near my armpits. Went running Wednesday night, and the soreness was not debilitating - most of the time when I am sore my legs refuse to cooperate. My legs instead felt loose, not tight, and the twinges were like an 'Oh okay, that is there now', and not 'OMG DEATH'.
I'll probably do this again. I definitely don't think I could do more than 1x a week right now. Also: Cost. The studio offers great deals on 5 and 10 class packs, but I don't know if I can justify right now with Personal Training, race signups, and new summer gear.