We’re on a bit of a yoga roll right now. Off the back of our recent trip to Yoga Hive, Everyone Active invited us to try out the latest addition to their Leisure Centre offering – Hot Yoga!
Tucked away in a little side road just off Carnaby Street, away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, aka my least favourite place, Marshall Street Leisure Centre offers a welcome calmness in a stunning art deco building. I am still fairly bad at being blasé when it comes to taking “blogger photos”, so there are fewer pictures than usual. Plus, I was a bit busy actually doing stuff like sweating my butt off in yoga to take too many photos of it and I thought it would have been a bit rude to everyone else there. But that’s for another day…
So, enough about the building and the beautiful swimming pool, and back to the reason why we were there – to get our sweat on with some hot yoga, the perfect way to ease into a Wednesday morning.
I’ve done a fair amount of Bikram before (you can read about my experiences here) but it’s been a while since I’ve been back on the mat. So, I duly plaited the front of my hair, found my really, really small shorts and made sure that my sports bra was a somewhat presentable one, should I get so hot that it would need to be “taps-aff”
Which, obviously was the case.
I did the usual thing of walk in and feel like I was on the surface of the sun, cursing myself for picking a spot RIGHT underneath the heater, and really glad that I hadn’t used any moisturiser the night before because it has a tendency to get right into your eyes.
Things I had forgotten since the last time I did hot yoga:
- Your SHINS can sweat
- Your KNEECAPS can sweat
- Sweat makes it hard to hold tree pose because your foot just slides straight off your leg
- I sweat more than other people
- HOW do other people still look like they are not sweating?
- Hot yoga is rather enjoyable
- I much prefer yoga where I sweat, even if it is fake-induced by heaters
- I should have worn a headband
- I really, really, really need to do more stretching
- It makes you not want to put make up on and clog up your skin, however when you have a VERY important client event that day, you can’t really do this as your face stays red for a while
- However, you can get away without washing your hair if you plait it, and no-one will ever know (until they read it on the internet)
Marshall Street Leisure Centre is one of those amazing jewels which make Central London totally brilliant. With its art deco architecture and stunning mosaic tiling, I can’t help but imagine the women of the 1930s clad in their demure, hot-panted swimsuits and elaborate, flowery swimcaps strutting about the marble-lined pool. But when we visited a few days ago, we certainly didn’t look as chic as all that. Because we were there for hot yoga. And chic is not how I’d describe it.
Having been sold on the idea of getting a bit more strength and stretching into my routine by Yoga Hive, I was excited to get down to a bit more yoga, albeit this time in a less artistic, more sweaty environment. I’ve done Hot Yoga before, but not for a couple of years. The lasting memory I had of my previous experience is that the studio smelled stale and that the class was the same every time, which lead me to question how valuable it could be. After all, no matter how warm you are, muscle memory is still a thing, right? After a certain duration, surely the law of diminishing returns kicks in?
Anyway, I was delighted when we arrived at Marshall Street to find that their Hot Yoga studio is brand spanking new and squeaky clean. No whiffy, stale sweat to be found here, thank you very much. The room is painted in a dark grey and along with the low lighting and the wall of vaguely humid heat makes for a moody but peaceful environment to get down and sweaty in (not in that way, you filth-bag).
Our lovely instructor was softly spoken but relentlessly encouraging and attentive. I was especially impressed when, despite my being quite literally shiny with a hefty film of sweat, she came over and corrected my posture for me in Triangle pose without batting an eyelid. I must have been slippery. Gross.
I can also vouch for all of Katie’s points above – you really do sweat from the weirdest places. I’d not previously realised that I have an incredibly sweaty neck! (The dripping was mildly distressing…)
Despite this, I enjoyed the session – I really did feel like I’d worked out by the end. My Fitbit tells me my heart rate was elevated to a cardio state at times, so not only did I work on strength through some challenging poses (I find inverted postures particularly tough), my flexibility (this is what the heat is for – it supposedly loosens up those tight muscles and lets you stretch a little further), but also my cardio fitness! Three aspects of fitness for the price of one – what’s not to love? I also get the impression that the classes here don’t stay the same time after time, so my worries about getting bored / reduced effectiveness were put to rest. I definitely felt energised to start my working day, but I didn’t have the foresight to french plait my hair like Katie did, so a shower was definitely in order before heading into the office…
Everyone Active at Marshall Street are currently running a special offer for newbies, where you can try 20 days of Hot Yoga for £20
(Disclaimer: we were offered the opportunity to try Hot Yoga at Marshall Street in return for a review post. However, as always, our opinions are our own and honest!)