For anyone who thinks yoga sounds easy, try planking for 2 minutes, 17 seconds in 102 degrees and then call me. Not to be like hot yoga is a big deal, but it’s kind of a big deal. I’ve always been afraid to try it. I feel like I’m choking in a sauna, so how could I manage 102 degrees? Well I gave it a try at Body Alive, located here in Kenwood, and I'm hooked.
Let’s start with the basics. What is hot power yoga? Body Alive’s Hot Power Yoga classes are a fitness-based yoga class that will help you increase your stamina, strength, flexibility, as well as stress reduction. This class is great for all levels, beginners to advanced, and promised to get a great sweat and feel energized afterwards. I can confirm both the sweat and energy.
Here’s what you need: A mat and a towel cover thingy (??) because let’s face it, you get sweaty. You need blocks, straps, DON’T FORGET your bottle of water and a small towel for sweat management (#sweatmanagement). The good news at Body Alive, all you have to show up with is your water bottle. They literally supply you with everything else.
This 12:00 Thursday gem is like no other yoga class I've ever been to before. If you wanted to go and meditate to clear your mind, this really isn’t the class for you. This class is full of contemporary music like Pink, Katy Perry, The song from Pitch Perfect that I love but can never remember the name (please someone tell me so I can download it) and more. Never once was I told to clear my mind, which I personally found incredibly liberating because I struggle through the mental part of yoga. My thoughts don't turn off and I spend the entire class thinking about not thinking. That part never goes well for me, so as soon as I figured out that that wasn’t required in this class, I could just be myself. My hot mess self at Hot Mess Yoga.
I’m not even kidding about Hot Mess Yoga. The mantra wasn’t Peace and Love (although a good one). It was "Be Your Hot Mess Self. This is Hot Mess Yoga." Say, whaaaaat? These are my people. I can be my hot mess self. It’s not about being perfect. it’s about being in the moment.
Despite the low key concept of Hot Mess Yoga and contemporary music, you can still count on this yoga class for some really powerful reflections. We were challenged to hold a plank for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. The instructor talked to us about how life is hard and it’s ok to not be ok. She asked when was the last time you let yourself be not ok. As someone who toggles between being a perfectionist and a hot mess, this felt profound to just own the struggle and live it.
The other really great reflective moment I had was getting out of poses and returning to the back of the mat. There was no set vinyasa to get back to down dog. She kept encouraging you to "find your way back in your own style." What a metaphor. How do you get out of the situation? How do you return to center? No one can tell what to do. What works for others may not work for you. Find your own way in life. I was super into that.
The best part was the killer results. Does anyone else start their activity tracker and forgot to press stop? I do that every. single. workout. So yes my activity tracker ran for 2 hours and 59 minutes, but 2 hours of that time was sitting at Starbucks working, aka not moving, and I still burned 871 total calories and 628 active calories. Holy smokes. That's amazing.
I also felt like class went fast. My hips felt like j-e-l-l-o. I was drop it like it’s hot, hot. And my strongest pose is savasana where you lie flat on the floor. I’m the highest level of yoga at that one. I continue to practice this pose outside of yoga class.
So what else do you need to know about Body Alive? 1. You should definitely give Open Hot Power Yoga a try. What an awesome way to spend your lunch hour. 2. You should also know that they are opening a new studio in Oakley in late fall/early winter!! 3. They've also added two new classes to their schedule. Body Sculpt which is a high energy yoga based class with hand weights designed to tone, sculpt, and strengthen the entire body. They also have their Bounce Class (coming to the schedule soon) which is a cardio strength class on the trampoline. Guess who got to give the trampolines a try? THIS GIRL!!
I can't wait to go back to Hot Power Yoga and am personally counting down the minutes until the Bounce Class gets added to the schedule. I'll sign off with a few fun images from around the studio, but you really should go check the place out for yourself.