London’s predominantly gloomy and unpredictable weather leaves me daydreaming of diving into the blue azures of warm oceans, of sandals, floaty dresses and craving somewhere warm. However, until my next holiday is booked, I know where I can go for that comforting and warm feeling; to Hotpod Yoga with Sarah Lindsay! Unlike the dry and far too brutal heat of Bikram, Hotpod yoga’s temperature of 37 degrees is comfortable and relaxing, whilst you participate in a dynamic flow of postures that warms the muscles, enhances flexibility and relaxes the mind.
I met Sarah at her Hotpod yoga class at the London Fields studio. Her friendly smile welcomed me at the entrance as she invited her students into the trendy warehouse building, where a giant inflatable purple pod stood waiting. After changing into my workout clothes in the column of material that creates a cocoon of privacy, I stepped through the womb-like entrance of the pod and the flow of warm air immediately enveloped me. The mats were already laid out, so I chose my spot, put my towel down, lay down and calmed my mind with deep soothing breathes of warm air, whilst awaiting the start of the class.
“A dynamic flow with conditioning exercises to strengthen the body with key attention to alignment.” Sarah Lindsay
Sarah began her class with a relaxing breathing exercise, allowing you to submerge your mind in the moment and just be there, in the present. Sarah’s voice is soft and calming as she instructs and directs you through the required movements and stretches. The class isn’t just about relaxing though, she works you hard too! A mixture of balance, co-ordination and strength exercises will have your body working and your muscles aching, but with that ‘ahh’ relief when you relax your position. You really feel you are working hard and improving your body. The dim lighting heightens self confidence as the class caters for varying levels of abilities. Options are given for making movements slightly easier or harder and blocks and straps can be used to aid a stretch or movement.
“As we use our yoga practise to uplift the thoughts, words and actions of our own lives- may we begin to uplift the thoughts, words and actions of the lives of the people around us.” Sarah Lindsay
The warm temperature is not overbearing, but rather allows you to practice your yoga without the fear of over-stretching that high temperatures can result in. The pod feels safe and comforting with a wonderful calming affect, despite the workout! The gentle heat allows you to warm your muscles and improve your flexibility safely. Sarah is attentive and observant as she corrects your body position when necessary. I found her to be encouraging as she adjusts your body into a deeper stretch, or will gently position a block to help if you are not as flexible.
Sarah Lindsay’s Top 5 Tips For Beginners to Hotpod Yoga…
- Drink water throughout the day so you stay hydrated during class without busting for the toilet all hour
- Try a nurturing flow. These slower paced classes give you time to adjust to the heat and spend more time in postures before you move into the faster paced classes
- Use props. Sometimes I find beginners reluctant to use props. The props help give us space within postures and help your practise feel comfortable.
- With the above in mind, take child’s pose whenever you want. Don’t compete with your neighbour or yourself – remember yoga is a life long practise – you don’t have to perfect it all this hour.
- Have fun, don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy the detoxifying and rejuvenating benefits of the pod, sweat lots – smile more!
“End your practise with a thanks to you. A thanks to your hardwork, dedication and devotion to improving your body and mind on the mat.” Sarah Lindsay
What Do You Need: Yoga clothes, NO shoes. They can rent towels, but it’s nice to bring your own. Plenty of water. (They have mats)
Who’s It For: All levels and abilities. Whilst there was a high percentage of female attendees, both men and women are welcome to participate.
How Much: From £10 and available on Classpass. If you are new to Hotpod, they currently have an awesome offer – Intro offer for first-timers – One Week Unlimited for £15.
Where: I attend classes at 9-15 Helmsley Place, London, E8 3SB. However, they are in several locations in London and the UK.
Find Out More About Hotpod Yoga: Hotpod Yoga Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Find Out More About Sarah Lindsay: Instagram, Facebook, Personal Website
*Health Advice: Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.