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Health and beauty


SOME LIKE IT HOT


some much-needed me time. Hot yoga at the new Bath Yoga Studio


L


on James Street West isn’t a bit like this. It’s a hardcore workout after which my body ached for days and, put simply, I can’t wait to go back. After a bit of light form filling, I’m


relieved the studio isn’t a haze of steam or as hot as I’m expecting. It’s light, bright and our lovely yoga instructor Diane Lee explains that it’s a very manageable 28/29˚C, as opposed to the crazy 42˚C some studios (not in Bath) use for Bikram yoga. So why, I hear you ask, does yoga need to be hot in the first place? The addition of heat allows muscles to stretch


“The addition of heat allows muscles to stretch more deeply and more safely”


ast time I did yoga, I seem to remember it was a few gentle stretches in a wonderfully serene room. I saw it as a way of reclaiming


In the hope of rediscovering her long lost bikini body, KATE AUTHERS tries the latest fitness craze to hit the city at Bath Yoga Studio


more deeply and more safely, as well as promoting sweating, stimulating the circulation, boosting levels of the ‘mood’ hormone serotonin, and helping release toxins in the body. You’re asked to bring your own mat, towels and water. The rest of the Sweaty Betty-clad class


– all women, of varying ages – definitely look like they’ve been here before, but I did a beginner’s yoga course a few years back so I’m fairly confident I can keep up. This is certainly true of the lying on my back on the mat, breathing deeply and connecting mind to body bit, reassociating myself with where my core is – it’s been lost for a while – and aligning my body so that it’s in perfect ‘neutral’ position, which is actually much harder that you think.


Let’s get physical It’s what comes next that’s a bit of an eye- opener. There are downward-facing dogs, balances, lunges, planks, twists and folds in myriad repeated sequences. In one of the simpler poses, my legs start to shake, a sure sign that my muscles haven’t been put through their paces in a while. Diane is wonderfully encouraging, making sure you’re doing the right thing when trying to contort your body into some of the trickier balances, offering slightly simpler options, and pushing those who clearly


come often to make the most of the class. I hold difficult balances for longer than I would have thought possible and stretch everything from quads to calves, arms and shoulders, stomach, glutes and even my neck during the course of the hour. Yes, it’s sweaty, but not drip up your


nose so, and I definitely feel that the heat allows you to push yourself more than you otherwise might. For someone who can count the times they’ve stepped inside a regular gym on one hand, it feels surprisingly invigorating to get such a full body – and mind – workout. I left happy and glowing from head to toe and have no doubt that after a few more sessions with Diane, I’d have no qualms at all about hitting the beach. BL


Treatment details


Drop in classes £7-£12; a five-class pass (valid for seven weeks) costs £50; a 10 class pass (valid for 12 weeks) costs £95; and a monthly unlimited pass costs £84.


Bath Yoga Studio, Norfolk Buildings, James Street West; 01225 313153 www.bathyogastudio.com


www.mediaclash.co.uk Bath Life 73


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