Worthing’s first hot yoga studio has sought to make the practice more accessible and give busy people an hour-long dose of tranquility in their day.
The Stoke Abbott Road centre has attracted a loyal following since it opened a year-and-a-half ago. Our reporter decided to give it a try.
Stepping inside the inflatable pod at Worthing’s Hotpod Yoga is like climbing inside a cocoon.
Everything glows purple in the warm, dimly-lit interior. The soft walls arching overhead move gently from the hot air blowing out of the heaters dotted around the pod, as if they’re breathing.
I settle myself down on one of the mats – there is space for 20 people in total – letting the soothing music relax me until a whooshing sound signals that the pod has been zipped closed and Katie, our teacher, is ready to start.
Hotpod Yoga consists of a style of yoga known as Vinyasa Flow, a style that synchronises movement and breath.
As someone who has done yoga sporadically before, I find many of the movements familiar.
But going from pose to pose in 37 degree heat is something I haven’t experienced and, not surprisingly, it makes everything that bit more of a challenge.
At first I find myself getting slightly irritated by the heavy air sticking to my body and prickling my skin – it’s very, well, hot.
The pace is brisk, though Katie encourages us to take it as easy we want.
I huff and puff my way through the first few combinations and, as I begin to get into the flow of it, start to sweat.
“Let the sweat drip”
Soon, I am sweating more than I’ve ever sweated in my life.
It’s running off my face and plopping onto the mat like teardrops even as I mop my forehead again and again.
It’s as though every toxin I’ve ever crammed inside my body is flowing out of my pores and I feel a liberating sensation of being cleansed.
Thank god a pleasant mixture of essential oils is being pumped into the air, masking any whiff of perspiration.
“Let the sweat drip,” Katie commands from the front of the pod, as she leads us through the next contortion.
She knows the name of almost everyone in the pod and floats around offering gentle advice and encouragement.
Listening to Katie’s voice and concentrating on the poses, I start to find myself so entirely absorbed that my mind goes blank.
I feel totally present, anchored into the moment and rooted into my body.
By the end of the hour-long session I feel serene and focused – and start to understand why some people find this intense experience so addictive.
Emerging from the pod and into the cold air, my skin feels brand new and purified, my mind energised and content, as I glide into the rest of the day.
For anyone else tempted to give the classes a go, here’s some advice for your first session:
– Be prepared to sweat. A lot. Bring a towel and a bottle of water to stay hydrated
– Arrive 15 minutes early so that you can just lie back and relax ahead of the session
– Bring something warm and loose to change into, there’s no shower and you wouldn’t want to leave in sweaty, soggy clothes
Find out more at hotpodyoga.com/studios/worthing/