Josh Enjoys Hotpod Yoga For The First Time
I first found out about Hotpod through a friend and colleague. I am by no means a hot yoga specialist, but it's true, I had been lured in by the hype and now it was time for my first Hotpod experience. As there are a couple of Hotpod locations in Cardiff, I opted for the Canton location as it is closest to my home. The banner on the outside says 'The Compound Gym' and inside, there is a reception area, changing rooms and storage room next to the large main room with the 'pod'. The pod inflated with built-in fans creating a large, enclosed area for the yoga session. Once inside the pod, it was a nice feeling to have this space to perform yoga, whilst cutting off the commotion of the outside world. So, with the surface padded, heaters on and water & towel (essential!) at my side, it was go time!
There was a good number of fellow attendees in the 'pod', perhaps 10 of us, with plenty of space and room for more. As the class went on, it was consolidating to see a variety of abilities, which personally makes me feel more comfortable. There was movement and poses performed at different paces, encouraging a blend of motion and energy. The teacher gave us several periods of rest to take some water and use our towels, then back into action.
In comparison to other yoga sessions I have attended, the HotPod atmosphere allowed me to focus my attention fully on my body and breath. Whereas, practising yoga with open surroundings can sometimes be distracting. As the pace of the session increased, and the repetition of the downward dog became more regular, I realised I was able to touch my heels to the ground- this was the first time I had done this in downward dog- usually my hamstrings are too tight, but in the heat, they loosened. Once we had settled into the class, we were encouraged to try some headstands and crows of which, the teacher made more accessible by offering support. These poses were optional, but it was great to see a number of students getting involved and not afraid to try. I enjoyed this part the most, as it challenged my balance and added something different to the class.
For the final stage of the class, we laid on our backs and settled into a relaxed state. I found this was a good opportunity to focus on my breath and to observe how my body was feeling. My Hot yoga experience had come to an end but because of the endorphin's, I felt alive more than when I started! I thoroughly enjoyed the session and would recommend to anybody wanting to be part of a unique yoga experience.
More About My Experience
Being in the pod allowed me to focus primarily on the yoga without outside distractions. The heat got me into positions I didn't even realise I could do! The Variety of the session kept me alert and engaged. From personal experience and research, hot yoga (Hotpod included) has an array of benefits; it increases your pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible; burns a lot of calories; detoxifies the body; makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs.
Situated in a large industrial park, it was a little tricky to find, but Hotpod provides detailed directions for customers on their website. The booking process requires you to 'book a class' AND to 'buy pass', so don't forget to do both steps.
If you are interested in booking a Hotpod class, here is a discount code for a free class: HPYJAY