November hosts the annual Girls Weekend with my college girlfriends. These are a group of women who work hard and constantly give, give, give. They are all Moms (one of them is a mom of 4!) and they are all hardworking professionals. I love this group of women more than I can express and a weekend with them always means lots of good wine, relaxation and LOTS of laughter. Fortunately, they are also all troopers and know how much I love to workout. So our weekends always include a morning working.
On Saturday, the girls and I were excited to try a new gym/workout together. We cover the gamet of workout phanatics who like to workout every day to some who workout when they can. A few of my friends have been dying to try pilates so I was excited to find a studio called Body Lab where the first class is free. We signed up online and headed over to the location. Unfortunately, they had moved and had not updated their address on the website. We tried calling a few times but could not get anyone to answer. I was starting to feel frustrated that I might lose an opportunity to workout when the yoga studio next door asked us to come in and check out a class for free.
They were very friendly and welcoming. It was a 75 minute hot yoga class so I was hesitant but figured it was a sign since we all know I do need to incorporate more yoga into my routine. I finally caved in and walked into the studio. Now, remember, we were in Arizona where it was about 75 degrees that morning, so walking into the HOT (102 degree) studio was NOT fun. It took me a few minutes to adjust to the temperature and I could tell right away that there was additional humidity on top of the high temperatures.
The class itself was a standard yoga class with poses that I was familiar with and opportunities to make them more challenging. The teacher, Michelle, was very sweet but if you take one of her classes, ask around to see who is a regular and stand where you can see them. Michelle walked around the room providing tips and adjusting form but she did not do any of the poses. So if you are new to yoga and not familiar with the names of the poses, you will need someone close by who you can watch when you get lost.
Also, the acoustics in the studio are not good so it was hard to hear Michelle unless she was standing within 5-8 feet of me. I would recommend trying to find an area away from the speakers or once again, find a friend and just follow them. The first half of the class was without music and even then, it was hard to hear Michelle if she was on the other side of the studio.
What was interesting about the class was there were official 'breaks' or intermissions. There were 2 of them in the 75 minute class where you're encouraged to catch your breath, get up and get some weather or just lay on your back for awhile. I used both breaks to hydrate. I cannot remember the last time I sweat that much.
I have taken three other hot yoga classes before and only one other with added humidity. This was definitely the most uncomfortable I had been. Fortunately, the room it set up with double doors on each side of the studio to allow for the cross breeze. Michelle frequently opened and closed the doors to help us cool down. This was actually my favorite part of class, feeling the cool breeze come in. However, if you are trying to use the class to quiet your mind and relax, the opening and closing of the doors can be a bit distracting. I would recommend trying to find a space away from the doors as not to let it impact your workout.
All in all, it was a good class considering I am not a yoga lover and I consider hot yoga a form of torture. My body needed to sweat out all the toxins (and tequila from the night before) and it was a good opportunity to stretch out the muscles.
One important note, the floor in the studio has a finish on it that makes it incredible slippery when it is wet. Given it was a hot and humid class, the floors were covered in sweat. I saw three different people slip as they got up to clean their mats or exit the studio. So be extra careful as you wrap up class and head out of the studio.
The lobby also hosts a small selection of adorable leggings, tank tops and sports bra. They had some pretty amazing leggings including a pink pair with 'Love' printed all over them. I am still upset that they did not have my size!!