Hot Yoga

Best for: Toxin-prone yogis

Offered: Daily; a.m. and p.m.

Drop-in cost: $15

Bring: sticky mat, microfiber towel, water bottle, little dignity

Wardrobe: done your tiniest apparel

For newbs: Yes (modifications encouraged)

 

I could count all 60 tiles on the back wall from between my knees.

This is not a complicated feat as an inverted specimen, forcing the frontal lobe to a right kneecap and noting the milliseconds between each bead of sweat dripping from my nose. The shallower the breath, the faster they fall.

Standing-forehead-to-knee is repeated once on each side of the body during the Sumits stretching series. Stretching takes place in the final 20 minutes of the 80-minute routine, and is typically considered the “resting” portion of the yoga class. It’s about this time sighs of relief reverberate off mirrored walls.

So, rewind one minute, or actually one hour. Here are a few survival tips if this is a first hot-yoga experience:

  • The heat is on (like, 105-degrees, on), so arriving at least 15 minutes before class to unroll a mat appropriately out of a heater’s firing range drastically affects practice.
  • Before class begins, spread your body on your mat (towel on top) like jam on toast. Face the back wall and let your eyelids fall heavy. This is savasana, or “corpse” pose repeated often in the routine.
  • Sumits follows the same routine every time you practice. It consists of a down-dog-based warm-up, chaturanga (in this class, it’s called a flow), balancing series, a four-part cardio flow, and stretching.
  • H20 saves lives. Fact.

This whole Sumits Yoga routine stuck in a swampland-like humidity can all be a little intimidating.  It’s making it to your mat, however, that’s the hardest part. At least that’s what Melissa Zeugin, an instructor with the voice of Mother Willow, says. She tells her Sunday evening class to “inhale tranquility, happiness, ease” and exhale “staleness, aggressiveness, bitterness.”

The breath is arguably the most important part of the practice, especially in the sauna-studio. That’s really all you have to do in Sumits:  breathe. How easy is that?

 

Melissa Zeugin with Jonna Hagni after an evening of Sumits Yoga

Melissa Zeugin with Jonna Hagni after an evening of Sumits Yoga

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