My Harlow Hot Yoga Challenge

17/4/2013

The last time I wrote about yoga on Pockets of Peace I noted that I hadn’t yet warmed to hot yoga. Previously I’d slip-slided my way through a class and couldn’t take the constant breathing in of hot air, the sweat trickling off me – and I found it hard to concentrate on anything other than the wanting to wrench the door of the studio open.

Well, after reading my post, the guys at Harlow Hot Yoga issued me a challenge. Upon their reckoning, they thought that quite a few of their less intense classes would suit me down to the ground, and that I’d soon become a convert.

Harlow Hot Yoga

Not one to back down from a challenge, I took them up on it.

Interestingly, my hot yoga challenge has also coincided with me discovering (and also becoming a tad obsessed with) Game of Thrones. I’m been marathoning my way through seasons one and two, and when I get in to the zone with a great show or book, you can bet your bottom dollar that a lot of things fall by the wayside. The lure of cosying up with a tea in hand, in bed, catching up with the latest harrowing escapades in Game of Thrones can be very strong.

So, getting to my hot yoga classes these past few weeks has been a challenge for me in more ways than one.

Harlow has a two-track set of classes – 70% of their classes are power yoga, where it gets pretty darn hot and you do loads of sweating, and 30% are more relaxation classes. The Harlow team booked me in to the less intense and more relaxing ones – and they were right on the money.

They started me off with Yin Yoga on a Monday night. This is a deeply restorative class that gives you time to go deep within your body. This yoga practise takes you through the yin postures of yoga, except that you have to hold them for between three and five minutes. This method is said to get in to the finer connective tissues and fascia of your body, and it has a different effect on your body and wellbeing than regular hatha movements, which incorporates both yin and yang postures. Chris at Harlow leads these classes, and he’s an awesome instructor, carefully explaining the benefits of each pose, and taking you in to a complete state of relaxation.

Harlow

I found that it was a gentle heat, more warm than overly hot, and it was in no way distracting to me. I was completely able to get my OM on/ reflect on the latest dastardly actions of the Lannister family in Game of Thrones. And no major drips of sweat pooling on my mat. YES.

Next I tried a Saturday morning class with Phoebe, which was  just gob-smackingly beautiful. Calming, holisitic, and not too hot at all. There was a little bit of a sweat, but it passed the no-drip test. No slip-sliding here. It was a hatha class, but with a magical touch that had me leaving the studio on cloud nine. It’s also a super popular class (not surprised), so make sure you book in and get there early to nab a spot on the studio floor.

The final class in my hot yoga challenge was with lovely Tanya, it was just a tad hotter than the last two, but still with a major relaxation focus. This was a real ‘flow’ class, and I felt myself going much deeper in to my stretches than in other classes, which is undoubtedly due to the warmth in the studio. Interestingly, it also passed the no drip test, but I was also on the far side of the studio near the curtains where there was a rogue cool breeze, which may have had something to do with it!

The Harlow studio has to be the trendiest I’ve seen in Brisbane, and there are lots of gorgeous little touches like fresh baby coconuts available for you to sip on after class (complete with personalised name tag!). Perfect for replenishing the electrolytes you’ve lost through sweating. And also a delicious post-workout snack!

Coconut

So am I a convert? Definitely in so far as the warm and less intense classes are. The Harlow team create a calming and peaceful environment (think candles and heavenly aromatherapy oils), it feels like you’re in a gentle cocoon of bliss while you’re going through your asanas. Each class I’ve been to, I’ve truly come out feeling calm, at peace, and refreshed. Which was honestly a huge surprise, after my previous experience with hot yoga, which had left me with a less than enthusiastic opinion of it.

I haven’t yet ventured in to Harlow’s Power Hot Yoga classes. But a friend of mine who is a hot yoga fiend absolutely loves them, so if you know you want a major sweat and challenge, they would be right up your alley, I’m sure.

But don’t just take my word for it. Thanks to Harlow, you can try a class for FREE! The first 30 people to email enlighten@harlowyoga.com.au and mention the ‘Pockets of Peace’ promotion, will get a free pass to the beautiful Harlow studio. Get in quick, there are only 30 free passes available, on a first come first served basis.

Who knows, you may even see me in one of the power hot yoga classes yet. Game of Thrones can’t last forever.

And winter is coming, after all.

Have you tried Harlow yet? What do you love about hot yoga, or what might be standing in the way of you trying it out? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

6 comments :

  • Mez

    I want to be back in Brisbane where the are so many yoga options!!

    • Carly

      Aw honey, so sorry to hear there aren’t too many different options available to you. I hope you’re still managing to get your Om on somehow xx

  • Paige

    Wow! Such a beautiful post Carly…you have inspired me to try it out…I have wanted to for a while now, but have also had an undesirable experience with hot yoga…however after reading this I am excited about trying out some of Harlow’s classes!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! xx

    • Carly

      Thanks, Paige! I truly think you’ll enjoy the less intense classes that I’ve mentioned. Would love to hear how you go. Hope all is well with you! xx

  • stacey

    Thanks for this post! I have been wanting to try hot yoga for a long time but I had heard similar stories to yours where people just couldn’t handle the heat. I love yoga so much but the hot stuff scares me. I live in Teneriffe and have been wanting to check out Harlow for a few months so you have inspired me to give hot yoga at Harlow a go.

    • Carly

      You’re welcome, Stacey! Definitely best to keep to the less dynamic classes if you’re worried about the heat xx

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