Bikram Yoga was one of the hottest (sorry…) trends in fitness last year, due largely to it’s claim to boost immunity, detoxify and aid weight loss. Pilates is following in it’s well toned footsteps this year and hoping to see similar success.
I practise Ashtanga Yoga regularly and have a couple of years of Pilates classes under my belt too. However, I was quite daunted as I entered the class. I’m not great with heat and had killer abs DOMS from a new kettlebell workout I’d done the day before. The room was 40C and I was hot as soon as our lovely teacher, Amy Slevin, told us to take a deep breath. The class was reasonably fast paced and I was surprised at how flowing the movement between postures was, just how I like to practise. The strength element was also similar and particularly testing in the heat.
The focus of the session was of course, core strength, as well as back care. I’d put my back out by being slightly too ambitious with the weight on some Romanian Deadlifts a few days before, so welcomed this with open arms. We did a lot of lower back stabilisation and core work to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Hot Pilates opens the body’s connective tissues helping the muscles get in to more strenuous postures and positions and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much in my life! Not even in Insanity!
I felt energised but very worked after class and was shattered by the end of the day. On waking the next day, I was amazed to find my back was no longer tense or strained and I had no muscular pain at all from the class.
At £16 a class, the sessions aren’t cheap; but if you enjoy Pilates or Yoga and can get to a hot studio, I’d recommend interspersing it with your regular classes to intensify your practise and boost your results.
Thank you to Simply Health, Yotopia and Amy Slevin for a fab experience!