*Update May 2018 – prices have changed since this post was written*
Having been to a number of Hotpod Yoga classes with Leah and Chantelle, it was great to be invited – along with some other lovely Derby bloggers – to join Leah for a class to celebrate the launch of their new studio!
Previously moving between village halls in Allestree, the pod now has a permanent home at Perkins Industrial Estate on Mansfield Road in Derby – and a huge new timetable with double the amount of classes! There’s plenty of free on-site parking so you don’t have to worry about faffing with parking meters etc, and you can focus on heading straight inside to enjoy your class
We sat and had a chat with Leah who has been using hot yoga herself for a number of years to help with back pain following a car accident as a child. She ran us through the many benefits which include:
1 – Calmer mind – using controlled breathing you can gradually train your mind to avoid unnecessary or unwanted thoughts. Learning to stay calm on the mat can help you stay calm off it
2 – Better sleep – the physical exertion will leave your body in need of rest, body function is improved and your mind will be calmer, thus leading to better quality sleep
3 – Increased flexibility – muscles are lengthened and the body is opened up towards a full range of motion
4 – Healthy organs – strong movement means fresh oxygenated blood is directed towards the organs to stimulate and nourish them
5 – Increased muscle strength – your body weight is used to build strength, creating a lean figure without bulking up. Holding poses increases muscle stamina, and supple strong muscles help with better posture
6 – Better focus – increased blood flow to the brain and a focus on breath help direct your attention to one point. A calm mind is less distracted and is able to focus better
7 – Improved cardiovascular health – circulation is improved, and the heat makes the heart work harder. Holding certain postures channels blood to typically blood deprived areas
8 – Less stress – yoga helps us to re-train our brain away from the automatic stress response in tough sitautions. It also lowers blood pressure, gives better circulation, respiratory function and helps us sleep better – all reducing stress
9 – Anti-ageing – reducing stress, increasing movement, relieving pain, reducing tissue inflamation that contributes to skin ageing and improving heart & brain health and balance all contribute to anti-ageing
10 – Improved aerobic health – increases lung capacity meaning more oxygen to our body. Yoga can help prevent bronchitis and asthma by opening the bronchial tubes, and feeds the brain with oxygenated blood for better cognitive function
There are two different types of class available – Hotpod Flow which is more intense and Nurturing Flow which is a little gentler. Both types of class are suitable for beginner/intermediate level so anyone can join in, however there are plans to add advanced classes soon if you’re ready for the next level
Classes can easily be booked via the app (just search Hotpod Yoga in the app store) or visit the Hotpod Yoga website. If you’re a newbie, you can book a 3-class introductory offer pass for just £15.00 (valid for 2 weeks) which makes each class half price (!!) and is a great way to try hot pod yoga
All you need to bring is a towel and a bottle of water (grippy hot pod towels are available to purchase at the studio) I tend to wear gym leggings and a sports bra to class – you really don’t want anything too heavy or baggy as you will be getting pretty warm!
There are cages for your belongings – bring your own padlock if you want to lock your stuff away. The main doors are locked during class so no-one can get in
One little touch that I really liked was the jar of hair bands on the table as you walk in – how many times have you been to a class or to the gym and had to battle with your hair all over the place because you’ve forgotten a hair band?! Problem solved!
Now onto the fun part! The pod itself is inflatable and although it doesn’t look it from the outside…
….it’s deceptively large on the inside! The pod is quite dark, lit dimly with a purple glow which I find helps you relax into the class. It also makes you feel less self conscious – especially as a first time participant. Mats are set up ready for you so all you need to do is choose your spot, lay down your towel and get comfy. The style of yoga practiced in the pod is ‘Vinyasa Flow’ which as the name suggests means your movements flow into eachother
Now you need to be prepared to sweat! The pod is heated to a toasty 37 degrees so it’s a good idea to get into position a few minutes before class so your body can acclimatise. The heat really helps your muscles to relax into the postures
A vapouriser scents the pod with a bergamot infusion, which adds to the overall experience
Your instructor will guide you through all the postures, and you’ll gradually incorporate more into the flow as the class progresses. Take everything at your own pace, and if there’s anything you’re unsure of just stick your hand up and your instructor will come and assist you. I enjoy the fact the every class is slightly different, so you’ll soon learn a good range of postures and work every single one of your muscles
Music is played throughout the class – an upbeat soundtrack to keep you going through the hot pod flow and a more chilled one for the nurturing flow
I find hot yoga more intense than any yoga class that I’ve done before, in the best possible way. I really feel like I’ve had a thorough workout, but also like I’ve had some time out for myself. What’s especially great is that the instructors are really supportive and there’s no judgement if you need to take a moment, have a sip of water and join back in when you feel you’re able. They’re also on hand to help if you want to try some of the more difficult postures, making sure that you do them safely – I did my first wheel pose in this class (that’s the crab to you and me) but wouldn’t have felt confident enough to try it if Leah wasn’t there to support me (in all senses of the word!)
Towards the end of your class you’ll have a few minutes of relaxation to wind down, during which your instructor will come round and give you a quick head and shoulder massage which is divine (but completely optional, just say if you’d prefer not to have it)
You’re always guaranteed a friendly welcome – I’ve only ever been to classes by myself and I’ve never felt intimidated or uncomfortable. I personally struggle with comitting to exercise as I find it difficult to gel with a lot of other classes, but I can honestly say that coming to Hotpod Yoga is something that I look forward to each and every time. I’d highly recommend trying it out for yourself!
Another quick thing to mention is that as of July, Célfie the salon will be be joining Hotpod Yoga in the studio, to cater for all your hair and heauty needs! I know I look a little scary after a class so what could be better that popping straight to get your hair done!