As mentioned previously I have challenged myself to do one positive thing a week in the hope it becomes a habit. This week I challenged myself to do more exercise, with my Mum being a trained Bikram yoga instructor with a retreat up north and a hot yoga studio two seconds from my door in Brixton – this seemed like the obvious option.
How much do I exercise right now?
I go to a spinning class, 1Rebel, once a week (if that), because that’s all I can afford, London prices for ‘good’ classes are ridiculously expensive (1Rebel is £150 a month for unlimited spin) and I am not going to join a gym because I simply wont go, I need a class where I’ll get charged if I don’t turn up and where someone will shout at me to push harder.
Which is where HotPod Yoga comes in, they describe themselves as:
An otherworldly cocoon of glowing lights, heady aromas and enveloping soundscapes, taking you a million miles from the everyday.
Now, I’m not going to beat around the bush here, you enter a bouncy castle with a hard floor, dimmed purple lights and a zip up door like a tent, the heat is precisely 37 degrees and the music is what you hear at the spa except there’s an occasional funky beat and it’s a few octaves louder.
I booked myself into the ‘Introductory’ offer which is £15 for unlimited classes for one week and off we went.
I booked the 7pm class for after work, I then got held back at work, panicked that I was going to miss my first bloody class and called them in a stress while about to get on the Central line in the hope to change it to the next one, the lady on the phone realised it was my first class and allowed it.
I then had to wait, forever, until 8.30pm before I could experience it for the first time.
Off I went nervous and hyper, the teacher told me to pick up a block, mat and belt. So of course I didn’t listen due to excitement and had to ask her where all of these were – three times.
Thankfully, due to Mum being a teacher I did know what to wear and what to expect heat-wise. This did not prepare me for the actual class.
I put myself at the back so as not to embarrass myself which in turn meant I couldn’t hear a word of what the teacher was saying as the spa music was so loud, so I ended up copying my peers.
Turns out this isn’t just an hour of yoga, they also throw in some Pilates. I left refreshed, energised, sweaty and sore.
Day Two and Three
We ended up inviting a friend round for dinner which involved drinks and therefore no yoga, I then got roped in to work drinks the next day (I say roped in I basically begged people to go to the pub).
My first morning class! I woke up dehydrated from the pub, nervous about going to the class again and ready for the day ahead of me. This one was A LOT busier, aka a full class. I made sure to not go to the back this time so I could actually hear what was going on.
I headed to the right next to the bouncy castle wall, and to my sheer joy there was a gap in the bouncy castle where a lovely breeze was coming through, causing breaks in the 37 degrees that I was very pleased about. I think I may have found where I will be placing my mat in the future.
This one was tough and I pushed myself a little harder due to there being more people and not wanting to embarrass myself.
The best part? When we had our eyes closed lying down the teacher came and sprayed us all with some mist that smelt fantastic.
10/10 for mist bliss and breeze breaks
Again, dehydrated from drinks from the day before AND not being able to eat before class due to sleeping in, this one was a bit of a struggle (as you can imagine).
Some dude took my breezy space (he obviously knew this top tip as well), so I gained some confidence and went in front of him, meaning I was in eye view of EVERYONE, which if you are like me, causes so much anxiety due to the thought of people judging you. I quickly forgot about this after watching magnificent people around me doing hand stands, I rolled back and held my bum and legs up in the air with my hands as I didn’t feel like breaking my neck on this day.
My energy was low, my muscles were aching from the previous day and due to the heat I just wanted to lie down, close my eyes and not open them for 24 hours, I also found myself to be a lot more sweaty than the previous two classes.
This teacher also ‘misted’ but she obviously forgot to put the nice smelling mist in as it was just water, and instead of spraying over our faces when our eyes were closed she did it on our wide open legs. This was weird, and kind of made you need to pee.
3/10 for mist bliss 11/10 handstand watching
As I left the class I stopped to tie my shoe laces, about four people commented on how it felt a lot hotter compared to other classes and the teacher responded
‘Yes, sorry about that I think I’m just used to it so didn’t notice that the temperature was too high.’
Now I know why A. I was sweating profusely and B. Felt like I was back in the womb.
Called my Mum to boast about the fact that I have been doing a lot of yoga and wanted praise for it.
Booked the wrong class, I thought I was in the later one when I was actually in the early one so fully f*cked up my last mist experience.
-10/10 for ruining mist bliss
I couldn’t go to a class today for unforeseen circumstances (thought I’d add a bit of mystery to this blog post, purely because, I can) but now I am feeling that flump that people who actually exercise feel. I have all this pent up energy and I feel gross that I haven’t sweated it out in two days.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME.
My week of unlimited yoga pass has ran out, but I feel I need to do some form of exercise so I have booked myself into a spin class, my fave.
I like spinning at 1Rebel because it literally attacks every sense and therefore takes your mind off of everything apart from the searing pain in your legs and arms.
The music is loud and blaring (and really good depending on the instructor), there’s smoke coming at you from all angles, it’s dark and there are laser beams and spotlights flying around the place – brilliant, why? Because it doesn’t feel like exercise.
My favourite past classes: when the instructor forgot he was instructing and screamed F*CK YEAH through his Britney-esque head microphone because his favourite song came on and the time when an instructor decided to play Paramore followed by Linkin Park, the rest of the class was unhappy – I was screaming along to the music.
Don’t worry guys, I’m still me, I had a Domino’s for dinner to even the world out again.
So, how was my seven *cough* four *cough* days of exercise?
Okay, I didn’t manage EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I did pretty good for someone who only exercises once a week.
My muscles are aching but in a good way, as if I have actually achieved something, and I did find on the days that I missed a class I was pretty gutted and felt like a big fat blob, which is also another reason why I booked the spin class as I’m going home this weekend and don’t know when I’ll next be able to do exercise (I’m actually scaring myself writing that).
I definitely will be taking up HotPod yoga because I really enjoyed it, originally I thought the memberships were a bit out of my price range but I asked if they do student discount and they offer 20% off, so now there is literally zero excuse not to join.
Wish me luck on my exercise journey, I’ll need it – maybe I’ll even do a before and after picture – whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.
What’s your favourite form of exercise?
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