Let me introduce you to Hotpod Yoga, HPY for friends.
As a former fan of Bikram Yoga (now no classes in my neighbourhood) I was thrilled to try Hot Pod Yoga in Notting Hill.
I was expecting stretch, sweat and shaking muscles, and got plenty of the first two.
Hotpod yoga class takes place in, well, a pod. I believe this is a pretty efficient way of creating a hot yoga athmosphere. ‘Normal’ bikram spaces are heated up completely, which is not very energy efficient (=not environment friendly) or good for the structures (=I could imagine the warm vapour molding buildings). Otherwise Hotpod Yoga is differentiating itself from Bikram mainly by saying that it has ‘real-life approach’ and mentioning hangover. Well, works also without.
Class I, Hotpod Nurturing Flow – the perfect end for the weekend
The first class I attended was pretty much the perfect end for Sunday. I attended the 5.30pm Hotpod Nurturing Flow. The instructor checked in with everyone prior the class started. In addition to the mat, we were encouraged to take a block and trap with us to the pod. I encourage to go to the class well in time – it is such a great feeling to just lie in the warmth and wait the class to start.
Unlike classic yoga classes, hot pod yoga uses music on the background. I approve – nice addition to the relaxing athmosphere. As I can not remember anything more related to the music, it was absolutely not disturbing.
The air is very moist. In addition to that, there is an aroma diffuser, which spices up the otherwise slightly sweaty scent of the pod.
The class flies past. We really utilize the block and strap, and muscles get a niiiice stretch. We stay a good moment in each position, so, that we can actually really work on and deepen the strethces. After the class I don’t feel just relaxed, but two centimeters taller.
Class II, Hotpod Flow – basic yoga in a lovely warmth
I wish I could fit a class to the middle of the week. Despite of the good intentions and Notthing Hill location’s massive offering (37 classes per week), it is not until Saturday I am lying in the pod again. This time I attend the 9am session, Hotpod Flow.
We are instructed to take a block with us, so no strap this time. As the class is the second of the day, the pod feels much more fresh than on the previous Sunday. The class feels fine, and the instructor is good again. We do a lot same as in any basic hatha/astanga class, benefitting from the lovely warmth. The instrcutor is different than on the first class, but good again. She clearly paid attention to the class, and once a vinyasa was not flowing as supposed, she paused everything, led by example and let us continue after that.
The class is singificantly lighter than the bikram classes I had attended previously. That could be also duet to the time, 60 minutes instead of the 90 minutes I got previously used to.
Still – a very pleasant experience. With furthe practice I would for sure learn to challenge myself and push my limits so, that I could get even more out of the classes.
I would sincerely recommend hotpod yoga for anyone, who seeks a bit rehabilation to their weekly schedule. It truly helps to stretch the muscles, and calm the mind.