Turn Up the Heat: Hot Power Yoga, Clapham

Hot Power Yoga ClaphamAfter completing the Paris half-marathon I did exactly what every other runner told me not to do. I stopped running.

I’m pretty ashamed to admit that since crossing the finish line the only running I’ve done is if I’ve been late to work and I’m jog/walking to the tube station. Other than that, I haven’t clocked up any miles, my Nike+ app remains unopened and my lovely Asics are gathering dust. I have great ambitions to start up again, but ‘til the urge to get out there takes me again, I have busied myself with a different kind of sweaty workout.

Hot Power Yoga is exactly what it says on the tin – hot and powerful. Expect plenty of downward facing dogs and warrior poses in about 30°C as the class follows typical Vinyasa-flow style of yoga. You’ll be sweaty, red faced and absolutely invigorated by the end of the class.

Each class starts with gentle stretching and warm ups before going into what I call the ‘yoga routine’. Certain elements and positions are repeated throughout the class, like Downward Dog and Cobra so you have plenty of opportunity to get them right. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Half-Pigeon, Tree or Dancer poses before (neither had I) because you’ll be talked through it. Just when the sweat is running down your face and stinging your eyes, relaxation begins. Nice long back and full body stretched finish off every class which manage to work out any knots and aches you get sitting at the computer all day. Needless to say, this was my favourite bit.

The studio itself is tucked behind Clapham High Street in a cosy mews building and there’s only one yoga classroom which is always full to the rafters after work. I found the best classes (for me being a yoga-newbie!) were the late Thursday or Friday classes that were quieter and at a gentler pace. If you’re feeling brave, the non-beginners classes run for up to 90 minutes and are intense, but the instructors are excellent at helping out those who needed it while still guiding the experienced yogis into handstands and pretzel-like positions.

They run an introductory offer for new members that’s 30 days of unlimited yoga classes for £40. A normal drop-in class is £16 so even if you plan on doing one class a week, the intro offer is worth it. I was hooked after my first class with Eva Vajna (she is the most enthusiastic, supportive and fun instructor ever!) and ended up doing three or four classes a week. I was never brave enough for the 6.30am class though…maybe one day I’ll even run to a class!

Image: Hot Power Yoga

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