I have a confession...

Are you ready?

Okay, here it is...I hate yoga bunnies. There's nothing worse than building up the courage to go to a yoga class when you're about as flexible as a steel spoon and watching the person on the mat in front of you doing ridiculous poses and bending into impossible contortions. So with that in mind, I was never really a huge fan. I dabbled. I got warnings from friends and fitness trainers who told me I couldn't push myself hard and not expect to get injured without stretching out my muscles. And then I got injured. So I realised that if I wanted to do the Hackney half marathon in May, I better start doing some yoga. I'd heard about Hotpod Yoga on the Huffington Post, so I decided to give it a go and now I'm a total convert. That's not to say I don't get annoyed with show-offs in yoga or that I've suddenly become crazy bendy (sadly), but it's definitely worth a pop! 

What is it: Vinyasa flow yoga for all abilities, held in an inflatable pod that's heated to 37 degrees. It sounds testing, but the heat feels like a warm blanket around you during these cold winter mornings and really helps you to relax and unwind.

The promise: A balanced physical workout to restore calmness back into your life. The heat is said to warm your muscles and aid flexibility.

Where: Across London, Milton Keynes, Solihull, Nottingham, Swansea, Cardiff, West Wales and Saffron Walden & Newmarket. 

The reality: Due to my disdain for yoga, I booked into the Nurturing Flow class to start off with. This is a slower tempo class with meditative poses, which focuses on a calmer mind (ie great for people like me, who are terrible at yoga and need to chill the f**k out).
I wandered into the studio and saw this gigantic inflatable staring back at me. It kinda takes you back to being a kid and jumping onto a bouncy castle, which is comforting in a strange way. And as I clambered in, the heat felt like I was getting a big hug!
The instructor guided us through some slow postures to a downbeat, chilled soundtrack. While I felt my muscles were getting a good stretch and I was getting the chance to have some downtime, it wasn't too much. When the class drew to a close, I even found myself wishing I could stay in the cosy pod and have a little sleep! 
I booked into one of their Beginner/Intermediate classes the following week and was greeted by instructor Pennie as I walked in. We had a great chat about the reasons I wasn't a huge yoga fan and she made me feel better about all my concerns. And while the class was, of course, more challenging than Nurturing Flow, it was totally dreamy.

Verdict: If you're not 100% sold on yoga, you should try Hotpod. While most studios tell you their yoga is for all abilities, Hotpod's really are. You won't be lying there feeling hopeless, while everyone else has their legs behind their head. And it's absolutely perfect to calm your mind in this crazy, busy city.

For more information, visit hotpodyoga.com

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Pictures c/o Hotpod Yoga

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