One of the first studios that I went to was a hot yoga studio. For someone who was very new to yoga, they were super supportive and helpful. I loved going to the studio on those days in January when it was -25 C outside and +38 C inside the hot room. When I was asked if that was okay with that kind of heat and I was like, “Hell yeah!” I love warm weather and I was excited to be able to warm up after such a long cold winter.
I purchased the one month unlimited pass for the studio and proceeded to come every single day that I could make it. I love the challenge of learning the poses and getting help from the teachers to learn to do the more difficult poses and how to adjust them for my injury. In the May of the previous year, I injured my right hamstring really badly, to the point where I was having trouble walking or sitting for long times. I turned to yoga to help me recover from this issue.
After completing my unlimited month, I was given the offer to stay on as an energy exchange student. This meant that for four hours of my time helping to clean the studio, I would continue to get unlimited hot yoga. I signed up for a three month contract and at the end of it, I had made the decision that someday, I wanted to be a yoga teacher.
I love that studio and still do. However, I can see some difficulties with hot yoga. First off, if the ventilation in the studio is poor, it can be hard to breath once the room is full of hot, steamy people. The moisture from all of those bodies sweating can make the room hard to breath in. The whole point of yoga is that you be able to breath calmly while holding the postures. I have been in different heated rooms, ones that use moisture and ones that use dry heat. The ones with dry heat work best but only if there is a way to vent the moisture from the people.
For beginners, I don’t recommend going to hot yoga first. I did a two week intro to yoga with a regular studio first before I tested out the hot yoga studio. I found that the regular studio wasn’t challenging for me and I wanted something a bit more. The hot yoga studio offered that and it became my norm up until I took my yoga teacher training. Now, I have a better understanding as to what makes a good yoga class flow. It really took me practicing my own teaching to understand that.
Recently, I have been trying out a new hot yoga studio and I found that I just don’t jam with it. There’s something about the way the classes flow that I just don’t enjoy. I like a little more time to breath between poses and I don’t like the HITT style of yoga that this studio was offering. It made me realise that finding a yoga studio that I jam with will be harder than I thought. At least I know now what I enjoy and what I don’t. I tend to prefer regular studios without the heat because they don’t have the extra stress of getting over heated. It’s amazing how you can change in just a few years.
As forever yoga students, we have the opportunity to explore and discover new teachers and studios. I recommend that if you are new to yoga, that you test out different classes, teachers, and studios to see which ones you jell with.