Exercise, Health, Mind and Body, Weightloss

My heart is smiling

Okay, so I’ve been busy. Busy working. Busy working out. Busy with life.

Between work, errands, chores, and a social life, it can be a struggle to squeeze in a fitness class that you’re not familiar with. But despite life’s many complications, I would like for everyone to make a solid effort at taking a hot yoga class. I did, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.

Call it what you want: hot yoga, Bikram yoga, heated yoga — whatever. Try a yoga class that takes place in a heated environment.

I actually can’t believe it has taken me this long to tell you about hot yoga because it’s been quite a while since I fell head over heels in love with the practice.ย  I have to admit that I never saw myself being one of those “yoga people.” You know the type; they’re typically earthy, very lean,ย  and say things like “my heart is smiling”. That being said, I have sometimes felt like uttering something along those lines after leaving a session.

My friend Kenzie and I decided to try a free week at Core Power so we could try this ever-so-popular Hot Yoga. I had heard that the workout would be exhilarating, exhausting, and that I would “sweat balls” doing it. But such articulations could not describe what I experienced in my first week at Core Power. That place is simply heaven.

Upon entering, your instructor checks you in at the counter with the most genuine welcome greeting you have ever received. The lobby area caters to your every need, with check-out mats and towels, comfy sofas, and a small shop with yoga attire. Then, proceed to the locker room–which is really is more like a spa–that is stocked with toiletries, beauty appliances, several mirrors and showers, and heated floors. I would be more than happy to do my get-ready-for-work routine in this place.

But the magic really kicks in when you enter the studio. I’m not gonna lie, the temperature catches you off guard at first. My first class was a heated yoga for beginners, and the moment I set foot in there I thought…And I’m going to be working out in here? But before you go getting all concerned about your safety, let me list the benefits of doing yoga in a heated environment:

  • Helps strengthen muscle fibers and tendons.
  • Helps prevent injuries while stretching.
  • Heat helps to increase circulation to tissues and organs, which makes your immune system function better.
  • Heat allows for greater range of movement in the joints and ligaments.
  • The body burns fat more effectively.
  • Improved metabolism.

And so on, and so forth. All I’m saying is, you should give it a try. It can be addicting. After each and every class, I felt relaxed, motivated, and yes, like my heart was smiling.

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4 thoughts on “My heart is smiling

  1. Niki Gorman says:

    Jen! Totally agree… have been doing it for about a month now, and it has changed my life! LOVE love love hot yoga, glad you wrote this and feel the same way!

    • I know! I was apprehensive at first because I didn’t know if I would like working out in such a heated environment. Now I’ve been trying to get everyone I know to try it!

  2. Becky Brown says:

    Ok – I have never been a yoga person either and I gave Bikram yoga a try because it is increasingly popular these days. I had a HORRIBLE experience. I managed to survive the whole 90 minute class with all the “professional” yoga-ers, but the studio I went to was TOO hot (110 degrees when it is suppose to be only 103), small, unclean and very smelly. Naturally, after that experience I quickly put a wall up and decided hot yoga was not for me. However, your post made me believe that there are nice spa-like studios out there and I think I just might be willing to try it again now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Becky, I think that your experience is what most people have a fear of. I would highly suggest going to a Core Power studio. Kenz and I are obsessed with it. They are very clean, and they have many classes with varying levels of heat. For instance, I tried one that was Core Power 1.5, and that was only about 95 degrees. And they have studios them all over! There’s one in Berkeley that you could probably commute to easily. I have to drive either to SE or NW Portland to go to mine, but it is well-worth the 35-minute drive. Especially during the free week ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a link to the class schedule near you: http://www.corepoweryoga.com/classschedules/california.aspx?location=644#Tue

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