I'm a London-based yoga medicine teacher, and when it comes to yoga, I'll try anything. So when I heard about Hotpod Yoga, the fitness studio that allows you to practice yoga in an inflatable (almost) bouncy castle, I had to try it. Hotpod offers hot Vinyasa yoga classes in an inflatable, heated studio.
When I got to the studio, the Hotpod hadn't been blown up yet, but as I got settled in and changed, I watched it inflate pretty quickly and by the time I was ready for class, the studio looked completely different. The bright and airy space had transformed into a black and purple inflatable dome. The pod was heated to 96.8 degrees and was dimly lit, with relaxing music playing.
When the class started, I noticed the pod wasn't packed with people like some studios — the maximum amount per class is 20 students, and there was a decent amount of space between us, so I didn't feel like I was sweating on anyone. Though there was a faint hint of a sweaty stench toward the end of the class, it was subtly disguised with a room diffuser.
At 5-foot-6, I could easily reach my arms above my head without touching the roof, though if you're a bit taller that might be an issue. There is a wooden floor on the base of the Hotpod. It was clean, smooth, and easy to practice on. I didn't have a hard time holding positions or moving through the poses.
Obviously, the heated pod got substantially hotter as the class progressed, but I never felt dizzy or as though I needed to stop. It felt very similar to other hot yoga classes I've been to before.
So I guess you might be thinking what's the point? Well, I'd argue that it's a different experience from practicing in a standard yoga studio. You feel a bit removed from the world when you're in the Hotpod. And since it was a cold London day, the pod felt like a warm hug.
Hotpod yoga offers a novel experience for yogis and newbies alike. The classes are also priced slightly cheaper than other classes in London studios, and you can buy bulk classes that never expire. I'll certainly be going back!
Photo courtesy of Hotpod Yoga