Sunday morning I had the extreme pleasure of taking my first power vinyasa class at HotBox Yoga in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.
Even though the weather was still hot and humid, I knew I needed this workout. Sundays are cross-training days for me, and I bought their awesome introductory 2 weeks for $20 unlimited pass. When you walk in the studio, you’re immediately greeted by the friendly staff. I checked in (you can register for the classes online, which is recommended) and went to the right to hang up my stuff. You walk to the back of the building, head up the stairs, and through the door is the studio.
The studio has a large open window in the front of the room which lets in all this natural sunlight and makes the room feel light and open. Now, this is hot yoga so a few minutes into putting my mat on the floor I was glistening already. They’ve taken the time to tape out sections for where you can place your mat. I liked this because when classes get cramped, people will practically place their mat on top of you, and you can’t fully extend in some poses. Well, this may just be a problem for the long-limbed, but you get the point. Luckily, Sunday’s 10am class was maybe 8 or 9 people so I had plenty of room. You can check out the studio pictures for yourself here.
Brad began the class with a chant of om, and we were off into a series of sun salutations. He flowed a bit faster as we progressed and I could feel the sweat just pouring off of me and my heart rate increasing. I love this aspect of hot yoga. Nothing cleanses my mind and soul like a good sweat session, and this place will make you sweat like crazy. Brad was an excellent teacher. He gave us mini-breaks to check back in with our breath, and then we were off again. The poses were challenging and enjoyable. We did a lot of hip openers and twists. The 75 minute class flew by, and at the end when we were in half-pigeon, I am sure I had a smile on my face.
There are no mirrors which forced me to focus completely on how I felt in the poses, instead of how I looked. I think too much we can get caught up in making sure we have perfect form, instead of how the pose itself is testing our body’s physical limits. I might be getting a little too deep here, but I enjoy this sort of thing. Power yoga is really the only time I can fully disengage from the daily chatter in my head. HotBox Yoga provided that perfect detachment for me. :)
In conclusion, I definitely recommend checking them out, and possibly getting the 2 week unlimited pass. You will not be disappointed! Parking in Manayunk can be a pain, but don’t let that stop you from checking out a great yoga studio. I am looking forward to taking another class and learning from each of the different instructors. Namaste!