The next week when I got back, I focused primarily on the breath. Given it’s harder to breath because of the heat, it kind of forces you to breath deeply and make it your priority. Your moves come second and follow the breath (and not the other way round), which is what should always happen anyway. I also let go of the self-consciousness related to sweat. We’re moving in a room heated up to 37 degrees. Everybody was sweaty anyway. And the dimmed light in the pod made it difficult to observe what the other students looked like if by any chance we were tempted to compare ourselves…
Hotpod yoga has studios in many countries. UK, South Africa, Portugal, Netherland, Germany, Romania, Ireland and Austria. Unfortunately not in France but the pods system allows hotpod yoga to be very flexible and open quickly franchises pretty much anywhere so who knows, maybe someone will open a franchise in Paris one day… ;) Most of the studios are in the UK though, with a few in London. I usually go to the one near London Field in East London as it’s the closest to my place, but I’ve also been once to the one near Notting Hill.
As I mentioned above, the pods are really easy to put in place as they are inflatable structures. Their size varies (depending on the space available) but their shape remains the same. It’s like a cocoon: rounded shape, dark purple, dimmed light and heated up to 37 degrees. There’s only one pod per studio which means that there’s only one class per time slot. In each location there are changing rooms and showers. As you can imagine, showering is mandatory after sweating for an hour.
Mats, straps and blocs are available at the studio. You can also rent a towel for your mat (that’s pretty much mandatory to have one) and buy bottles of water, coconut water or juices. There aren’t any lockers but the studio closes when the class begins (as the teacher handles check in) so nobody can enter during the class.
Hotpod yoga offers 2 different types of classes: hotpod flow and nurturing flow. I usually do hotpod flows as they are the most dynamic ones. Nurturing flows usually happen at the end of the day and are slower, calmer more restorative type of flows. There’s music - steady electronic ambient type of music - that goes perfectly with the pace of the class. Unlike other types of hot yoga such as Bikram yoga, hotpod yoga isn’t a set sequence. It’s a typical vinyasa class, but in a hot room. The sequence varies depending on the teacher and what they want to work on, on that specific day.
I’ve had classes with a few different teachers and they all were very good, attentive, respectful and kind. I tend to go to Catherine Weston’s classes as I love her way of teaching. Her flows and her cues really resonate with me and challenge me nicely. Catherine is such a lovely person - I always recommend her classes to beginners who would like to try hot yoga, as well as more advanced practitionners because she can both make you feel comfortable and provide guidance if you’re new, and challenge you to focus on specific things if your practice is more advanced.
Hotpod yoga offers 7 days of unlimited hot yoga for £15 valid in any of their London studios. Single classes cost £14 or £12 during off peak times (9am to 6:30pm then after 8pm on weekdays, afternoon classes during the weekend). You can also buy 5 classes pass or 10 classes pass, which makes the price of an individual peak class cheaper (respectively £12 and £11). Last year they introduced memberships that go from £40 to £100, whether you want to go once a week or have an unlimited access to every London studios.To enjoy a free taster class, be the first person to leave a comment under this article and I'll send you a code