Arm Balance Masterclass this Thursday!

Elementals Earth

Arm Balance Masterclass

Thursday 26 April, 7:10pm – 9:10pm

Sunday 22 April marks this year’s Earth Day celebrations. We decided this means it’s the perfect time to build confidence going upside down. Our very own Marianna will lead a 2 hour Elementals Earth masterclass to perfect your technique in those pesky arm balances that you always wanted to know how to do correctly.

Peak Postures covered:

  • crow (Fire)
  • side crow (Fire)
  • eight angle pose (Earth)
  • tripod headstand (Earth)
  • flying pigeon (Water)
  • dolphin (Earth/Fire)

Class Structure:

We begin with a strong grounding flow practice to get the body ready for arm balances. We then will work by breaking down each arm balance. You can ask questions and get hands on corrections with your technique.

You may just find that one simple adjustment makes it suddenly possible! Months of struggle fixed in one correction.

Marianna will then ground you with a closing meditation to make it the perfect end to the evening.

Costs:

Unlimited Members – Free

Class Packs – Single Credit

Soon-to-be Members – £25

Sign Up

New to Hot Yoga? Everything you need to know before your first Hot Yoga class.

Jennifer Hersch tells you everything you need to know before your first Hot Yoga class.

Over the years, I learned some useful tips both as a teacher and student. I’ve been in the hottest studios, I’ve practiced with few people up to 500 people in class, experienced every kind of heat, worked through injuries and different practices in the heat.

Let’s face it. Your first hot yoga class can feel intimidating. Even every hot yoga teacher remembers his or her first experience. I remember mine in a small Bikram studio in SoHo, New York City. I climbed the winding stairs to find a small, carpeted room with no windows and intense heat. My only memory of the whole class is seeing black in camel. And then that amazing feeling after class where I couldn’t wait to try it again.

Twenty years later, and I’m still at it.

However, I know the first class can feel intimidating and we all worry about what others will think. The beauty of hot yoga is that no one cares. It’s like giving birth. Everyone is just focused on getting through the class that they don’t care what they look like or those around them.

Below I answered the typical questions we get from new students. Take a read, relax and don’t worry. It will all be fine.

How do I know which class to take?

Hot Detox 26 (Bikram): This is recommended for students with little yoga experience who prefer moving slowly through poses without a lot of continual movement. It’s for beginner to advanced students (I’ve done it for 20 years), but since it is a more static practice it makes it easier for newbies to catch on to postures while getting used to the heat.

It’s also great for students with upper body or wrist injuries since we don’t do postures on the arms. Likewise, the series can help students with knee injuries.

Done by many athletes for cross-training.

Elementals Earth: Great first hot flow to try if new to Elementals or flow in general. It’s a  slow hot flow class designed for students who need activation of muscles, release of neck tension and core strength. Of our flows, it is the best to start with if you are new to hot flow as it moves slower than Fire or Water. Set sequence changes every term. All levels.

Elementals Water: This is for students who love to flow as we work in circular movements to heal the body through more spiral moves. We have many signature yoga moves we do in this series which you can pick-up over time. A definite try for hot flow lovers. If you are new to hot yoga, start with Earth and Hot Detox then give this a go.

Elementals Fire: An intense hot flow that incorporates Pilates core strengthening. It moves quicker so may feel slightly tricky if new to hot yoga. We also work with the barre as a yoga prop to go deeper into backbends and flexibility training. All levels, but newbies may want to do the other classes first then move on to this one. Great for those who need core strength and want to work on inversions and backhanding.

Elementals Space (Yin)This class is more about meditation and finding relaxation as we work deep into more yin-like poses. The room is warm, but not hot and you use yoga bolsters on the floor the whole time. It’s for days when you just want to tune-out and relax.

How do I prepare for class and what should I bring?

Hydrate. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day including electrolytes. This means you come to class prepared to sweat.

Avoid eating 2-3 hours before class. Make sure you eat earlier in the day, but you don’t want a full stomach for class as this can make you feel sick during the class. Clean foods and liquids.

Electrolyte tablets in water. Newbies can put electrolyte tablets in their water for class as this helps with hydration. If you find you get headaches or dizzy in class, often it’s because your electrolytes are low due to sweat. This is often true with strong guys who sweat a lot. Nuun tablets are good as they are all natural.

Water. Bring large chilled water bottle/s. You will want enough to drink in class and possible splash over your face during class.

What should I wear?

You will sweat like never before, so think swimsuit material. Men typical wear shorts or bathing suit. Newbies often come with a shirt but then realise you want to take it off during class. If you really want a top then make sure it’s breathable.

Women often wear lightweight leggings or shorts, a sports bra or light tank.

Which class is best for shoulder, wrist, arm injuries?

Hot Detox 26 is the best for anyone who cannot bear weight on their arms or wrists given we don’t do typical yoga poses like downward dog, chattarunga, vinyasas or arm balances.

Which class is best for knee injuries?

The Hot Detox is probably the best for most knee injuries. The series was originally put together by a yoga guru to heal his students knees. Always tell your teacher if you have issues and they can give you modifications.

You can take the Elementals Flow classes too, but may need to pad your mat for knee lunges and tell your teacher for other modification.

Which class is best for complete beginners?

It depends on whether you like to flow or prefer a more static practice where we move slowly from one pose to another. Hot Detox 26 is usually the best for complete beginners as we hold each posture for a period of time and then slowly transition into the next one. You don’t need to worry about a fast moving class where you have to catch continual movement.

Elementals Earth is also good for beginners as it’s a slow hot flow. We do flow between movements but it’s not a faster tempo like Elementals Water or Fire.

If you are looking for more of a yin-type class that is more meditation and relaxation based, try Elementals Space.

The idea is to begin with a practice like Hot Detox and then slowly move into the Elementals Flow classes given they are designed to complement each other.

How many classes should I take a week?

This depends on your goals. The more classes you do in the beginning, the quicker your body gets used to the heat and you see faster progress. This means at least 3x a week.

If you are doing other classes at SOMA and integrating hot yoga intro your training plan, aim for 2-3 classes a week.

And to really dedicate yourself to what transformation hot yoga can give you physically and mentally, try 4-6x a week.

I get headaches after class. What is this from?

It usually means you have not hydrated well enough. This means water and replaced electrolytes. Make sure to drink during the day before class and after class. Newbies often need water during class too.

Sometimes it also comes from your initial detoxification. When the body starts to detox through intense sweat and yoga poses meant to purify the systems of the body, you can get headaches in the first month or so.


Want Glowing Skin? Try Our Antioxidant Smoothie!

Did you know that our Forever Beautiful Shake is also called the Antioxidant Superfood?

Yes, that’s right, get your beauty skin prescription to enrich the benefits of your workout.  

We all want beautiful, glowing skin and what better way then sweating out toxins, cleaning the skin and then nourishing your body from the inside out.

How does it help skin?

When you eat the correct balance of foods and feed your body the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay healthy, your skin will be clearer and glowing, your hair will be shinier and your nails will be stronger.

This is due to the miracle workers for youthful and healthy skin: antioxidants, the most important ones being vitamin A, C and E.

We packed our Forever Beautiful full of these as well as high levels of super-molecules from acai berries, maqui, acerola, maca, chia seeds and blueberries. We combined this with coconut water to rehydrate the skin as well after sweaty classes.

Which classes is it best after?

Your body is especially primed to absorb nutrients after a hot yoga session given we usually say not to eat 2-3 hours before a class and then you sweat and drink water during class giving your body a cleansing period.

Follow this up with a shower to wash away the toxins that came out during class and then give back to the body the highest level of nutrients in smoothie form so it’s easy to digest. The body can stay in a resting period without trying to immediately process food.

It’s like fine-tuning your body so it can absorb and accept the nutrients you need immediately post-workout.

How do I get it?

Just pre-order it at reception when you sign in for class. Unlimited members get a discount.

Enjoy!


Introducing Aromatherapy to your SOMA experience: this week Rose and Neroli for Valentine's

This week we launch our aromatherapy in hot yoga classes. Enjoy carefully blended essential oils in your cool face cloth that change each week based on our Elementals Space theme.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds for improving psychological and physical well-being.

We believe that when paired with hot yoga where you are working through the mind and the body, it brings that extra element of healing benefits and completes the whole experience.

How do you choose the week’s essential oil?

Every Sunday we have our Elementals Space class which is our yin-inspired class working on the meridians and soft tissues of the body to create space, relaxation and healing especially on the overworked body and stressed mind.

As part of this class, we use a blended essential oil that works on the same part of the body as the poses. For example, one of our classes focussed on the spleen and stomach meridians so we used Cardamom and Ginger which are also known to help with health in these areas.

Based on the theme of the Sunday class, we then use the same essential oil blend for the whole week so members in all hot yoga and cycling classes will get a chance to experience it on their hard-earned cool face cloths.

Which classes use it?

You will experience the week’s chosen blend in all hot yoga classes and cycling classes.

What is the blend for Valentine’s Week?

For Valentine’s, we chose Rose Neroli oil known to balance hormones, help acne and depression as well as a known aphrodisiac.

Sounds good!


Top of the Leader Board - Hitomi Kato-Moore

Inspiring Women. Since 1 January, SOMA member Hitomi has taken 46 classes which puts her at the top for most classes completed this month. Typical weekly workout includes Cycling, TRX, Hot Yoga and Barre.

What’s your secret to making time for training?

I’ve put training in the same category as drinking water, it’s my human necessity. Just as I don’t question taking big gulps of water when I get thirsty, I don’t make training ‘a thing’.

Favourite class/es?

Cycling! Soul Yoga! Hot Yoga! And And all of Vanessa‘s classes she adds so much soul to every class!

Most challenging part of training?

For me it’s about respecting the pose, movement. Doing things properly instead of rushing through them. I really struggle with Savasana because I want to be the first one in the shower!

How does your body and mind feel after training?

Pure love! Self love, life love, all beings love.

Most surprising result of training?

That I am more powerful than I think … whenever I push myself past what my mind limits me too I think ‘jeeze I’m powerful!’

 I've put training in the same category as drinking water, it's my human necessity.

Hitomi Kato-Moore