On Sunday, I was invited along to a hot pilates class at Yotopia, which was organised by simplyhealth to promote pilates as an alternative treatment for back pain.
I practice Bikram yoga fairly regularly, but I had not experienced a hot pilates class before, so I was intrigued to find out more. My husband Glen was keen to join me for this class- he uses pilates workout DVDs at home to ease out aches and pains from running, but he has never tried out a group exercise class of any kind, so this would be a new experience for him!
We arrived in Covent Garden early to spend some time wandering around the shops in the beautiful spring weather, before heading over to Yotopia to get ready for the class. I had anticipated Bikram yoga style heat, so I dressed in shorts and a vest, aware that I could be getting very sweaty!
The Yotopia studio is ultra-modern, light and spacious, tucked away from the bustling streets of Covent Garden. We were greeted by the team from Simply Health and given some details on what the pilates class would entail, before heading upstairs to the hot room. I met Zoe, Charlie, Harry and Laureen while we were waiting to get our sweat on!
|Before the Class|
The class was taught by Amy Slevin– an yoga teacher and osteopath. She lead us through a series of standing postures with focus on spinal alignment, then onto mat work which involved planks, twists, roll-downs and a shoulder bridge. The movements were controlled and precise with emphasis on engaging the core and lengthening the spine.
The focus of the class was the management of back pain through pilates: back pain can be caused by a build up of tension in the muscles from emotional or mental stress. Pilates helps to build strength and flexibility, while the breathing works to relieve stress and filter oxygen flow to the muscles.
The room was not as hot as I had expected, it was warm enough to work up a sweat, but I was not dripping like after a Bikram class! I did find that the heat irritated my skin, and I was scratching the backs of my knees throughout the class, thankfully the itching didn’t distract me too much.
More information on hot pilates can be found here, plus simplyhealth have recently launched a back care app which can help those suffering with back trouble overcome their aches and pains by adopting practices like yoga and Pilates.