If you’re a hot yoga fan, then you’ll know how addictive it is. Sweating out bucket-loads of toxins, whilst finally mastering that eagle pose – feels good doesn’t it?
So what if I were to tell you that there is a new exercise class built on the principals of hot yoga, designed to take the place of your regular, boring gym session. Interested?
Fierce Grace, one of London’s top hot yoga studios has designed the ultimate body workout: WILD – a multi-system, cardio workout based slightly on yoga movements and practiced in the customary hot room. It’s described by Fierce Grace founder Michelle Pernetta as a ‘weightless gym, firing up the body with strengthening benefits of weight training, non-stop movement of cardio and the muscle lengthening and alignment of yoga.’
As an avid Vinyassa flow and sometime hot yoga enthusiast I took myself off to try this new form of oven-baked torture. And this is what happened…
(photo credit: Erin Wolson)
Walking into the dimly lit studio, I was feeling fairly spritely. I practice regular yoga and am fairly fit – how hard could it be? The answer: very.
Although the class is heated, the temperature is supposed to be a more gentle degree of heat and so I wore my longer leggings and t-shirt. That was my first mistake. This class will make you sweat as much if not more than regular hot yoga. I definitely recommend minimal (but decent, no one likes a naked yogi) workout gear…
The class started with some gentle bouncing to warm up, and then quickly progressed into standing stretches, squats and a vigorous arm workout. 10 minutes in and I’m already pretty hot and bothered! The movements are vaguely reminiscent of some of the basic positions you get into in hatha or vinyassa (chair pose, eagle arms, navasana, that sort of thing) but do not be fooled into thinking that this is yoga. This is an exercise class and I did not feel zen whilst doing it.
By the time we moved from standing exercises to the floor, I was drenched in sweat and our instructor lead us through a grueling core session rounded off by an exercise called ‘the camel of death’, which nearly finished me off. There were planks, there were press-ups and there were nearly tears on my part.
Did I enjoy it? If I’m honest, not much. It was quite hard to "enjoy" that kind of exercise. I was too hot (I’m quite a hot person anyway) and I do not have a strong enough core to come out of a battering like that with a smile on my face. At the end I dashed out of the door, without lingering for a minute longer in my shavasana than necessary.
But like it or no, I slept like a log that night and woke up feeling fresher and bouncier than I had felt in weeks. My limbs felt supple rather than aching, which must have been the help of the heat and I can see that the more you did this class the more you would build on your endurance and your tolerance to the heat.
So, why should YOU try WILD?
- It was a 360 degree workout – your whole body will feel the burn.
- The amount that you sweat is intensely satisfying – just make sure you bring a bottle of water with you to rehydrate.
- It’s great for people who find yoga a bit too slow or don’t enjoy the headspace that it brings you. There is not much time to think in WILD – everything is at a fast pace.
- You undoubtedly would have a body like a Emily Ratajkowski if you took this class once or twice a week.
Fierce Grace are launching a new cardio yoga work out class on 2nd November across their studios.