Taking place at theNorthumberland Club I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I walked into the pavilion where the class takes place and was greeted by the instructor Alex Hurley. A friendly guy who had a very chilled and relaxed vibe from the outset. I took my shoes and socks off, put all my belongings into one of the lockers they have for you and headed into the pod. For someone who hates small spaces I was delighted that the pod seemed spacious and was actually really open. I set down my towel onto the yoga mat provided (bringing a towel is a must for hygiene reasons but if you forget it’s a mere £2 charge) and lay down. For the first few minutes, before the class started, a few of the others and I just lay down listened to the music, taking in the peppermint aroma and concentrated on our breathing. Very zen!
The pod was zipped, Alex the instructor headed to the front of the pod and the yoga began. My session was aimed at beginners and intermediates (Hotpod Flow) where we were eased into the poses, gradually warming up the muscles and getting into relaxation mode. From the little yoga I have done in the past I could identify certain poses such as the downward dog, child’s pose and warrior 2. The great thing about the class is that the instructor gives you extensions to the moves so if you are grasping the poses pretty well you can challenge yourself. If you just want to keep at the level you’re at that is also totally fine too.
However, I must warn you I was sweating from just lying down at the start so be prepared to drip when you start moving. I’m not quite sure how hot inside the pod was today but I was literally melting! Although I was told that it’s not normally as hot but the sunny weather added to such heat. Typically the temperature is about 37 degrees in order to aid flexibility and help the heart work harder. The thing I loved about the class was that there was no pressure to push yourself or do anything you didn’t feel comfortable doing. Throughout we were all reminded ‘just do you’. If we wanted to just lie there that was cool, if we wanted a water break we could just sit on our mats and take one.
The popularity of Hotpod Yoga has shot up with classes being booked in advance now a necessity. Local celeb Vicky Patterson (getting proper zen here)seems to be hooked on the fitness trend as she is a regular customer to the Jesmond pod. And to be honest, I completely understand why. In a weird way I came out of the class feeling really refreshed and calm (whilst also dripping in sweat). Classes are now pretty much all day everyday ranging from early doors 6.30am with instructor Orly Ashkenazi to late evening ‘Nurturing Flow’ with Alex.
So what’s the cost? If you have a friend that has been before they can refer you to a free class. If not you can have an introductory pass for £15.00 which gets you 3 classes to be taken within 2 weeks (I am defiantly signing up for this one). After that it’s £12 a session but the more you book the cheaper it costs.
So, after today’s sweaty relaxing yoga class I have a couple of tips for the newbies wanting to give it ago (because one class makes me an expert right?).
- Make sure you are well hydrated before you go to the class because I guarantee you will sweat every last drop out.
- Take a bottle of water in with you. You will be surprised at how much you will need those quick sips throughout the session.
- Minimal clothing but obviously appropriate. Men, for you guys it’s got to be shorts and a cool tee and women, shorts or leggings and a vest I would recommend.
- For hygiene bringing or hiring a towel is a must, so maybe go and buy one of those microfibre towels that keep a little bit more dry than a normal bath towel (if you’re planning on becoming a regular). And make sure its a large one so it covers the mat.
- Finally, if you know you could get extra hot maybe bring a hand towel too. Give a quick sweep of the forehead before settling into that downward dog.