I lay out my towel and relax on my back as instructed. The class starts at 9.30am but it’s advised to arrive 15 minutes early to unwind, relax and clear your mind. It’s nice to do nothing – a rare occasion for most of us these days.
The room is simplistic – just two roof windows look out to nothing but trees and a mirrored wall faces you. I was waiting for the gentle background music to play as an indication that the class was about to start, but this is not how Amy works.
The room remains quiet – but Amy asks us to move to our feet and find our eyes in the mirror. There’s ten of us in the studio – a mix of males and females from 20 years to 60 years. We’re evenly spread on yoga mats wearing loose, comfortable clothes and bare-foot.
As we hold our focus in the mirror, the movement begins. For the first 45 minutes we practice floor work – learning a series of 26 static postures extracted from Patanjali’s 84 postures. Even if you’ve practiced yoga before, you may be surprised at how much more of a challenge it becomes in 40 degrees heat. For the remaining 45 minutes, we practice floor work – still challenging but less so than floor work.
Hot yoga has many health benefits: to burn fat and increase metabolism; increase strength, balance and flexibility; give a clear, focused mind; release anxiety, depression and emotional stress and to give understanding of your own body. “If you practice yoga 3-4 times per week you will see the benefits in less than a month” Amy tells us.
As the class comes to a close, we’re left in silence to reflect and relax before we head out in our own time. Shoes and bags are left securely outside of the studio and the fresh air feels incredible as we go out to collect them. Be sure to bring some warm clothes for the journey home though and drink plenty of fluid – a recommended litre of water half an hour after the class. This half an hour will allow your body to cool down so you won’t lose the water through sweat!
If you have any questions, get in touch with Amy’s Ashram and see what Hot Yoga can do for you.