By Sarah Jackson
Dynamic Hot Yoga is exactly what it says it is. That is, it’s a yoga class in a hot room, specifically a room heated to around about 30-36°C (not as hot as Bikram yoga, which whacks the thermostat up to 40°C). The idea is to replicate the internal temperature of the body, making it easier to stretch and encourage the body to sweat.
I’ve heard arguments both for and against these apparent health benefits, but I was personally keen to try Dynamic Hot Yoga for two reasons:
1) As a runner, I find that if I go for longer than a couple of months without doing any yoga, my muscles get so tight, I feel like I might start to roll up like a tape measure;
2) I’m not sure if you’ve been outside lately, but it’s really really cold. I have this idea that my body is like a storage heater, and that if I spend enough time in the warm, my bones will release the heat later when I’m colder (biology isn’t my strong point).
My instructor for the Saturday morning class was Sachia who, knowing that this was my first session, found me in the corridor before the class to go over some things. The main point was to take it easy and to try to stay in the yoga studio and not go out into the corridor, even if I felt a bit faint. “The floor out here is concrete,” she explained. Good point.
These instructions seem a little dramatic, but once you enter the studio they make sense. The heat hits you the way hot air rolls over you when you get off a plane in a tropical country. Getting your mat and towel laid out seems to sap your energy; soon you’re panting.
It can be incredibly intimidating to walk into a class like that. After all, when faced with temperatures of 30°C-plus, most of us are lying on a beach, not trying to do a back bend. But don’t panic! It is tough, but I honestly don’t understand the point of an exercise class if it’s not tough or fun, and Dynamic Hot Yoga was both those things.
Sacha was fantastic at explaining all the poses, demonstrating both beginners and advanced and walking around the class to ensure everyone was moving correctly. One of the things I love about yoga is that you’re not in competition with anyone else. I am supremely inflexible, but that doesn’t matter. Everyone is working to different levels. If your level is to simply sit in a hot room and watch, then go for it. Nobody else will care; they’re too busy trying to keep their own balance.
The studio has showers and changing rooms which are sorely needed after class – you will sweat in places you didn’t even know you had sweat glands. As well as drinking water throughout the class, I would recommend that you eat something after the class – a banana is perfect. The reception area also sells these, along with water and coconut water, as well as hiring yoga mats and towels if you don’t bring your own.
If you’re already practicing and fancy trying something new, or are entirely new to yoga altogether, Dynamic Hot Yoga is definitely something to consider. However, if you hate to sweat, I would stay away.
I left the class feeling energised, looser and a whole lot warmer. In fact, I stayed warm the entire way home, even though I had been freezing on my way to class. Maybe I am a storage heater, and I just needed hot yoga to warm me up.
Dynamic Hot Yoga is located in the Hove Business Centre, just behind Hove railway station. Information on classes and prices can be found here.