I Tried Hot Yoga and Died

Yoga in creative, innovative forms has become a new fitness trend across the country. From Ashtanga (spiritual, chanting) to Bikram (heated room) to dog yoga (yoga for you and your pup), the options are endless. I’m not a big fan of yoga, but I’m always willing to try new things.

My go-to workout switches between boxing, kickboxing or running — cardio, strength-focused activities. I tried yoga classes back in highschool, but never really got the hang of it and couldn’t commit to a regular practice. After I picked up running, I tried to do yoga once a week via an app to stretch and prevent running injuries. However, it was hard to understand the positions looking at the small photos on my phone.

After doing a little research, I found that the CorePower Yoga studio near me was offering a free first class to nonmembers. I decided to give Yoga Sculpt a try—mostly because it was the class available after working hours for me. The description stated it was a combination of yoga and cardio, which I thought would be a good transition for me. Not one to try an exercise class without a buddy, I recruited my friend, Megan, to join me.

There was no equipment needed beyond yoga attire and a water bottle. Upon arrival, we had to fill out a few forms and then hopped right into the class.

Our first mistake:getting there too early. We were about 15 minutes early to the class and didn’t realize that the Yoga Sculpt class meant it would be in a heated room. It was easily 100 degrees and I was sweating before the class started.

After stretching, the instructor told us to get weights and place them at the sides of our mats. It all went downhill for me after that.

My knowledge of yoga was rudimentary at best. I had practiced via a Youtube video the day before to refresh my memory, which helped…slightly. However, while I recognized the yoga positions by name, the integration of cardio movements slowed me. Lunges, planks and squats were worked into the hour-long session.

15 minutes into the class, I was dripping sweat and had drained my water bottle. We noticed that in our haste to put our borrowed mats in the back of the class, we had positioned ourselves underneath the heater, making our section just slightly warmer than the rest of the room.

The yoga positions, at least, centered around a few basic movements:child’s pose, warrior, tree, i.e. the ones I actually knew. I was familiar with all of the cardio exercises as well, since they were basic cardio exercise most people encounter throughout  years of gym class. I do think that my exercise base of a strong core and cardio capability helped me with the class.

When the hour was finally, finally over, I wiped down my borrowed mat thoroughly so that the next person wouldn’t be entirely grossed out by the amount of sweat I dripped and left, refilling my water bottle. I concluded that hot yoga was not my cup of tea, thanks to the heat. However, for more experienced yogis or people who can withstand the heat more than myself, it’s a great fitness route for those looking to improve strength, flexibility through both slow, controlled movements and cardio exercise. I was also unprepared and didn’t drink enough water ahead of time. I think that if I gained more familiarity with the yoga positions, a combination class of yoga and cardio could be really interesting! For now, however, I’m going to enjoy the fans in my boxing class.

When’s the last time you gave a new exercise routine a try? Let us know by tweeting @LitDarling!

Kelly Morrison Menk

Kelly Morrison Menk

When not writing, Kelly works as a communications associate at a nonprofit in Washington, DC. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Mary Washington and Master's in Communication from George Mason University. She firmly believes that running daily allows her to continue her serious Coca-Cola addiction without repercussions (no, Pepsi is not the same). When she's not working or fighting horrible DC traffic, you can find her sleeping, eating or attempting to train her two pups.
Kelly Morrison Menk
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