Tuesday, May 3

The Yoga Center | Indianapolis, IN

LOCATION: There are two Yoga Centers in Indianapolis, and this one is in Broad Ripple (an awesome area of Indy). Easy to find, easy to park, and this was all during a bicycle race going on one block away. We parked up front, but the sign on the door asked that we enter through the back door... where we discovered a huge parking lot. Both parking locations were free, so that's nice.
COST: Drop-in fee was $17

STUDIO: Quite small, but well designed. You walk in to the front section which is for dropping off your things in cubbies and to check in. If I remember correctly, the color scheme was mostly black with a gray-blue accent. Very clean. Very warm (see next description).
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Hot Vinyasa—Rock your body! Vinyasa yoga unites breath with movement to build internal heat, increase strength, and improve flexibility. A vigorous and challenging yoga experience infused with core conditioning and rockin' tunes. Energizes the mind, body, and soul."
INSTRUCTOR: Tiffany—very kind and appreciative of us trying out the studio. There was no bio about her on the website or her facebook page, so I'm sorry I can't share her background with you.

For starters, I've never been to a hot yoga class (which according to the interweb is the same as Bikram yoga or just similar too, depending on what google search option you're reading), so I wasn't too sure what I signed myself up for. We (I had a cohort this time, as I was visiting my fantastic gal pal in Indy) walked into the studio, and it was like walking into a sauna. A little hard to breathe, I already had visions of myself passing out before we finished our first sun salutation. Uh oh.

The person checking us in was very nice... first-time visits they set you up with a yoga mat and a towel for free (awesome!). He introduced us to our instructor, Tiffany, right away. Tiffany asked our yoga experience levels and whether or not we'd done hot yoga. She mentioned, "If you get lost, there are a lot of beautiful examples around the room, so just be easy on yourselves and follow one of them." She set up our spots for us while we filled out the normal waiver forms.

Entering the studio, the room was packed. The mats weren't staggered, so I was a little concerned about how we did yoga without bumping into one another. The lights were completely off, the wall of windows were curtained shut, and most everyone was laying in savasana. When in Rome... once everyone was settled in Tiffany spoke with an inspiring tone about our inner flame and asked that we have no expectations from this practice (I'm serious... the first place I officially review for this blog and she starts off with the title). This unknown reference to my blog title put a smile on my face and confirmed I was doing the right thing.

Somehow we got to standing after a few warm up stretches, and she walked us through our first sun salutation. I kid you not, I was pouring sweat before we went through one cycle... soaked! And then she blared the music... What? This was so jolting, as I'm use to the calming chant music subtly playing in the background while the instructor walks us through the poses. Nope. Not here... music pounding, we just kept doing our salutations until the song was over. I must say, for the first song it was quite a rush. Yoga never felt so bad ass!

Then the second song we switched up our salutation to something a little more complicated, I lost my place here and there, but would just peek to my neighbor or go with the flow of what I felt like doing. By the third song my stomach was so sick, I attempted a child's pose—which upset me more—so I resorted to hero pose for a while. Every once in a while I would attempt a few parts of a salutation, but all this detoxing sent me back to savasana for the rest of the ride. I wasn't too disappointed in myself, as four other people had already left the class completely. And many others around me, who were way more advanced and obviously regulars, took their moments of child's pose too. Honestly, I was just proud I made it through to the very end.

At the end Tiffany walked us through poses on our backs, a few stretches (I never knew my shins could sweat that much), and then everyone went into savasana to "cool down". An hour and fifteen minutes later, prune-y from all the sweat, and soaked through completely we were done. H'zah!

What I didn't like about this class... there was no instruction, and that just sounds like a recipe for injury to me. If you're new to yoga, I would try one of their other introductory classes first, assuming they walk you through it more. I also don't want to ever look at my neighbor's mat. The beauty of yoga, for me, is it puts me in my own little bubble where I try not to compare myself to others because I should be focusing on what my body needs to be doing. If you take this class enough times I think you could get to that point, but as a drop-in, it was nearly impossible.

For this girl, I think hot yoga would be great to revisit when I want to detox. Tiffany told me the room is usually around 105° and at 70% humidity when everyone is in there working. You're going to sweat out some bad mojo by the end of that class, for sure. That being said, I wouldn't do this weekly, but I can understand the addiction people have for hot yoga just from knowing what I accomplished when I was done.

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