9:30 AM last Thursday Morning, Yogalife Studio South Edmonton….. I debated going to class at all that morning. I am laying on my mat thinking of the bills I need to pay and what I am going to make for lunch. The instructor comes in, my daydreaming lessens and I listen to her instruction to set an “intention” for the class, Ok, “calm.” We start to breathe and suddenly I am crying. Not audible sobbing but tears rolling down my cheeks. “Oh no! wipe them away, what is someone sees?, divert my thoughts, divert my thoughts!!!” I re-group and continue the class somehow drawn every time the instructor says to “go back to your breath”. Nobody is watching each other in the mirror and as we are told “great job” after our poses I am calm. As we begin closing meditation I am crying again but this time I focus on my breathing and don’t care (as much) if anyone is watching. I must have needed that class after all.
I have done many yoga classes and even taught Hatha Yoga for nearly 10 years. But there is something about hot yoga that I love. For my mind I love the escape from the cold winter into a hot room. As a triathlete and mother I love the relaxation and stretching. I am sure there are toxins built up in my body and hot yoga lets it all go. Everyone has a different expectation about yoga, what they want on an certain day, and what type of class they like or don’t like. One day you may take a class and hate it and the next week take the same class and it be the best experience ever. There is hot yoga and then there is just “stretching in a warm room”. Here are a few of my favorite true hot yoga studios in Edmonton:
P.S- At the end of your read, tell me why you do/want to practice yoga (by leaving a comment) and you will be entered to win a complementary consultation and 5 drop in passes from Yogalife!!!
Bikram Yoga Edmonton– 10427-80ave and 10619-124street. bikramyogaedmonton.com
Edmonton’s original hot yoga studio. In this class you do 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in sequence at 40.5 degrees C. Instructors are specifically trained in Bikram. You will sweat! The postures are one thing but the mental component is huge here. Many say it is a challenge just to stay in the room. Because you do the same postures in the same order every time, if you are looking for variety this may not be the class for you. With continued practice however, you will become stronger, more flexible and gain a huge sense of dedication. Starting February 14 the studio is starting a 4 week challenge in which you do one class every day for 4 weeks. Definitely something to try in 2013!
Yogalife Studios- 2065-98st (South Edmonton Common) and #208, 15823-97 street. yogalifestudios.ca
I love this studio! From a practice perspective it has a sweat factor of 7/10. Definitely hot but not dripping. Every class is different. Each time I go I feel challenged and leave having learned something new. The classes can be small (8ppl) or large (up to 30) but each time I have gone nobody is judging and looking at each other in the mirrors as you would get in a gym atmosphere. Somehow those 30 people all feel like 1. The instructors are committed. They have trained and traveled, but in talking to them, just love to teach. They have a full locker room with shower gel, shampoo and conditioner in each stall, as well as cotton, face wipes, and hair elastics. They have 13 classes EVERY DAY anything from flexibility, pre-natal, and family yoga. They also offer workshops and retreats- how does “Rock-Om” sound?!
Bliss Yoga Spa- 5954 Mullen Way. Blissyogaspa.com
This studio opened in late 2012 and after driving by it on my way home every day, finally got to take a class. Bliss is a yoga studio on one side and a full service spa on the other! The sweat factor here is more of a 3 (granted I took a “warm” not “hot” class). Bliss is definitely more of a spa yoga experience. From the individual key pad lockers, stone floors and Davines hair products in the showers, to the yoga spa with hot tea and a “moodspace wall” in the studio you have to see; I am immediately taken away from the blizzard of snow outside. If you are looking for an escape and want a more pampering experience in yoga then this is for you. They offer 10 + classes each day and will host a “40 days to personal transformation.”
Hot Yoga 101:
Bring a towel (obviously!)
Come 15 min early to class- you want to set up and many studios lock once class starts
Drink enough water- before, during, and after! When you sweat you lose water- got a headache after class? Probably dehydration (been there!!)
Try coconut water- you lose electrolytes in sweat as well and coconut water is super refreshing after class!
Focus on you- one of the hardest things in yoga but probably the most important.
*Opinions in this article are based on my personal experiences. Each individual may have a different opinion.
*Drop in passes and consultation graciously donated by Yogalife South Edmonton. Thank You!
*Comment contest closes January 31, 2013 and winner will be contacted by email.