I first tried hot yoga a few months ago after buying a thrifty deal for five hot yoga classes on Dealicious, one of those group buying voucher sites that are becoming prolific lately.
The classes were for redemption at Zen Hot Yoga in Sherwood. I had done plenty of yoga before, although not on a strict regular basis. I preferred to practice yoga by myself in private rather than go to the effort of finding a class. Finding a studio nearby; a teacher that I liked; a group dynamic that fit; and a convenient timetable just felt like too much effort - or maybe I'm just fussy! For this reason, I had yet to be swayed to try out the relatively new 'hot' varieties being offered in Brisbane.
However, I was tempted by the deal, which offered a short trial at an extremely discounted price. After some quick research, I decided that Zen Hot Yoga studios ticked enough boxes to warrant a try. I found other similar hot yoga studios nearby, such as Bonfire Hot Yoga in Jindalee, however Zen Hot Yoga spruiked it's distinction as being 'the first Far Infra-Red (FIR) studio in Australia'. Apparently, FIR heating promotes fast detoxification and reduces the body's acidity.
The traditional 'Bikram' yoga is a form of exercise refined from 'Hatha yoga', consisting of a set series of yoga poses and breathing in a heated room. The Bikram form has given birth to a myriad of different yoga styles practised in heat. In a nutshell the benefits include a higher calorie burn, the elimination of toxins, and better flexibility to perform exercises.
When I called up for my fist class I was pleased to hear there was no need to book in. Zen Hot Yoga offers up to three class times per morning and three per evening, Monday to Sunday. Arriving at the studio for an evening class I was excited to see a beautiful, modern looking exterior that flowed into the interior foyer or reception area.
I had a paranoia that the studio would smell like sweat and hard exercise, but as I walked in I was greeted by the pleasant smell of aromatherapy oils. The studio also incorporates spa therapies in the same building, including a range of massage, detox, hair, skin and beauty treatments.
My first class was great and provided a sweat-inducing workout in a calming atmosphere. It wasn't as hot I was expecting it be even though the class was packed, being a popular evening one as I learnt. The teacher was fantastic and had a calming and authoritative voice, and demonstrated different variations of each pose to cater for varied levels of experience.
After the class, I walked out realising I was covered in sweat, which surprised me, as I hadn't felt like I was sweating uncomfortably during the class.
In the first week after my introduction, I was hooked and went everyday until I had used up all my sessions on the Dealicious voucher. Since then, my enthusiasm has calmed but not waned, and I go regularly to at least two classes a week and have found buying regular classes affordable and flexible.
Zen Hot Yoga has been the first studio to ever tempt and successfully retain my attendance. Slowly, I have experienced the differing styles that each unique teacher brings to a class. I have not been able to fault any of the classes, although everyone has a favourite teacher!
I am by no means a fitness fanatic, and that's why I enjoy trying new things to keep my interest up in exercising. I find doing a class at the studios far more enjoyable and challenging than doing it myself. Recently, Zen Hot Yoga has opened a new wall pilates studio, Zen Pilates, next door their yoga studio. I have yet to try it but I am looking forward to experiencing it soon and sharing my thoughts on the class.