Coming in Hot: Our Time at Richmond’s Hot Yoga Barre

Guess what I, along with the rest of the Sweet Sauce team did last week..?

Exactly that.

Upon first observation, I notice that my fellow hot yoga attendees are in phenomenal shape. I am immediately taken aback by how fit everyone appears to be, and prepare for the worst. Much like other yoga classes, we begin with some deep breathing exercises and basic stretches. The biggest and most obvious difference, is that the temperature of the room has been cranked up to 90 degrees.

After the class intro and deep breathing portion began, the integration of a faster, more intense flow. The Sweet Sauce team attended a Yugala Yoga class, which joins together 25 pairs of yoga poses in an invigorating sequence, working the entire body for intense detoxification. My seemingly fit peers were suddenly drenched in pools of their own sweat. I didn’t feel like such an underdog anymore.

Swiftly moving through the poses in the intensified heat proved quite the challenge, and I took a 10-minute break halfway through the class. However, much to my surprise, I pushed myself and managed to make it through to the last portion of the class, and we collectively entered into the final pose–also referred to as Shavasana or “corpse pose.” Lying on my mat with my eyes closed, the room entered into a calmer, deeper state of relaxation. I felt my stress and worries quite literally melt away. The work had been done, and this was our opportunity to rest. I opened my eyes to find that I felt the least stressed I’d felt in a very long time. What I’d anticipated being the actual 8th layer of hell, actually turned out to be pretty great and invigorating.

A Few Tips

This was my first hot yoga experience and although the SS team really enjoyed it, I could’ve benefitted from a few helpful hints beforehand. If you’re a hot yoga newbie, be sure to:

Arrive well hydrated. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy neglect drinking enough water throughout the day. Avoid eating two hours before the class and/or eating anything heavy throughout the day. You’ll regret that huge bowl of pasta slathered in alfredo sauce when you’re trying to “compress the abdominal wall, contract the abdominal muscles” Make sure you have a yoga mat, towel, and water bottle. Wear pants, otherwise your legs may slip on each other during tree pose and other balances. Mentally prepare yourself to receive hands-on adjustments. Our instructor, Gillian, was compassionate and took the time to ensure we aligned ourselves in the proper form and poses. Bring a towel and toiletries to shower, or prepare to head straight home afterwards. You’ll be covered in sweat by the end of the class, so don’t plan on going out afterwards unless you have time to shower, or don’t mind being a sweat monster. Most importantly remember that yoga, as is the same with any other fitness class, is your own personal journey and practice. It’s normal to feel a little out of place or unprepared, but you won’t regret taking this class, even if you’re a newbie as well. Win a Month of UNLIMITED Yoga!

We’re teaming up with the Hot Yoga Barre to give away one month of UNLIMITED classes as well as manduka towel, which you’ll definitely need if you win. To enter, please submit your email address on the sidebar or in the pop-up (you probably saw it already!) between July 20 and July 24. We’ll announce a winner on July 25! We can’t wait to introduce you to this special spot in RVA.

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