It’s getting hot in here ….
Peter Williams, Managing Director, tells us why he feels so passionately about the launch of The Hot Yoga Club
When and how were you first introduced to Hot Yoga?
I have always tried to keep fit and healthy both in body and mind. Being physically active through regular gym visits and practising martial arts has always been very important to me.
About 5 years ago, my partner suggested we should try Hot Yoga. It would be something we could enjoy together and it would also complement my other activities. Always up for new experiences, I decided to give it a go and we visited Amanda Free’s Hot Yoga studio in Surbiton. We joined on trial month which enabled us unlimited access for four-weeks. At the end of the period I was hooked and so was my partner.
Over the next five years, we continued to practice Hot Yoga, generally in 10 session blocks. It is during this period that I really got to know Amanda and began to understand what an incredibly talented and inspirational character she is.
Why are you such a hot yoga fan?
The feeling of euphoria and the intense mental and physical work out the classes deliver is unlike anything I experience anywhere else. The heat intensifies the physicality and I get a real buzz from the elevation in my heart rate and the satisfaction of being able to push a stretch beyond my usual capabilities.
The sessions also promote a state of active meditation. I find I am able to completely immerse myself in the breathing techniques and focus on achieving the optimum body positions in the 12, traditional hot yoga poses. This means any stresses and strains of life outside of the class melt away for the duration of the class and I feel a total inner calm.
I have also found that attending regular hot yoga sessions has improved my performance in both the gym and Karate. My general strength has increased across all muscle groups, my flexibility, posture cardiovascular fitness have all improved and my mental ability to push myself to achieve more physically has got better.
Why do you think it will be a great addition to The Thames Club?
The Club already offers a wide selection of fitness and wellbeing facilities and services but for me, hot yoga was the missing link. I know, from personal experience, how much the discipline has to offer in terms of promoting a healthy mental and physical state.
Almost everyone can draw benefits from Hot Yoga, young or old, male or female, competing athlete or casual gym user. Creating a home for this unique discipline in an established club adds a new layer of experience few other clubs are able to offer.
What are your future plans for The Hot Yoga Club?
The introductory programme offers 28 Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates classes a week. The plan will be to extend this both in terms of the number and type of classes.
Currently, our classes are either 60-minute sessions based on the 12 classic poses and two breathing techniques or they are 75-minute sessions, branded ‘B Free’. These sessions are based on the core principles of traditional Hot Yoga but allow the instructor a little more freedom to inject some individuality.
Later in the year, we plan to add Hot Barre. Barre is a fixed handrail traditionally used by ballet dancers to practice postural movements and balance. The discipline lends itself perfectly to the ‘hot’ environment and I am excited about adding it to our timetable.
What has the initial feedback been like from those who have tried the classes?
Really amazing, both from members and non-members. In our first week, The Hot Yoga Studio hosted more than 600 visits, with all classes achieving at least 80 percent capacity.
What advice would you give to somebody thinking of giving Hot Yoga a Go?
Do it, but don’t expect it to be easy. Hot Yoga is not for the faint-hearted. It is a tough work out. Most first-timers are shocked by how mentally and physically demanding it is and it takes time to get used to the heat and humidity but, after a couple more sessions, they are hooked. It is amazing but don’t take my word for it – give it a go!
For more information on classes, click here.