There used to be a time when I laughed at people that were obsessed with yoga. I couldn’t fathom doing a “work out” that didn’t include challenging myself to get from point A to Point B in the fastest way possible. However, while training for the 2008 ING NYC Marathon I incorporated yoga into my training to help with injury prevention at the recommendation of some very seasoned marathoners. I found great results with this and avoided injuring myself during the four months of training. In addition, I found it to be a great stress release, and it also provided a great counter balance to the impact on my muscles and joints from running.
When I would tell people I went to yoga class once a week, they would instantly ask “Oh, do you do Hot Yoga?” I would said “Hmm, no…I tend to sweat a lot as is, so I think I will stick to normal yoga…” they would usually go on and on about how much they loved their hot yoga studio and how great it was. I would usually hear this resounding endorsement for a number of studios throughout the Boston area a few times a week. However, even the most enthusiastic story had me shaking in my boots. I still feared that I would pass out, throw up, or just disgust my fellow yogis by my intense sweating.
Fast forward a few years and multiple nagging injuries, and I was ready to tip a toe into the hot yoga pool. What really tipped the scale and made me try it was my friend Katy telling me that she went 1-2 times per week and absolutely loved it. The thought of having a buddy with me that wouldn’t judge me, eased my anxiety. When she asked me about it a couple times, I caved. I’ve done some BRUTAL workouts before, being extremely hot and holding yoga poses can’t be that bad…right?!
Katy and I made plans to meet at Prana Power Yoga at their Newton Corner location, which was located directly off the Mass Pike making for a very convenient drive from the city. There was also a street parking lot located across from the studio which is available for non residents anytime after 6pm, phew!
I walked into the studio and saw Katy waiting for me in their small waiting area and instantly greeted her at max volume, where she quickly quieted me down since their were yoga studios on either side of the waiting area, whoops! We chatted quickly and while I was putting my massive sleeping bag coat away, I realized that in my haste I forgot my water bottle. That’s when I entered freak out mode. Quickly my nightmares of hot yoga sickness came over me. Luckily, Katy is a kick butt friend and brought two bottles of water and gave me her extra one. Katy, THANK YOU! Since the studio is so dedicated to being eco friendly they do not sell bottled water in favor of reducing waste. This is a noble endeavor, but that is a tough place to put your students when doing yoga in a 95 degree room.
I paid the $15 class fee and then entered the studio and put my yoga mat down. The class started out slowly and I said to myself “now this isn’t too bad”, and then that was when I jinxed myself. We started into an intense series of Sun Salutations and the sweat started flowing at an embarrassingly fast rate. Despite my sweating, I did love the way the heat gave me ability to get into a very deep stretch, it’s something my body has needed for weeks! I also felt that the heat made the class more challenging, so I felt like I did a tougher work out than regular yoga.
- Knowledgeable Instructors, they kept a great pace and flow to the class
- Assistant Instructors to help assist and improve form
- Great class size, I never felt like I was on top of anyone
- Ample street parking
- It was fun going to class with a friend
- The Lead instructor didn’t help correct anyone’s form, or as much yoga as I would have enjoyed
- Once in Down Dog pose the majority of the class let out and extremely awkward moan/exhale noise…I found it hard not to laugh!
- The lack of bottled water for sale is something I respect, but almost a hazard given the high temperatures
- The location wasn’t terribly convenient for me, however, if you live in the metro west area of the city, I’m sure it’s very convenient
- The 7:30pm class ended close to 9pm, which meant I didn’t get home until nearly 9:30, and then I couldn’t fall asleep until midnight, yikes! Next time I will be attending class on the weekend
For the most part, I really enjoyed my first experience at Prana and I am looking forward to trying this class again and advancing my practice. I definitely feel that incorporating hot yoga into my training schedule will be the magic solution to avoid running related injuries.
Have you tried hot yoga before? What was your experience?
Prana Power Yoga has three locations in the Boston area: Newton Corner, Cambridge and Woburn. Check out their site for more details. For those of you on Rue la la, Prana Power Yoga will be featured on the Rue Boston Deal section this coming Friday February 4th!