Heat up your workout this spring

Hot yoga is the latest way to spice up your workout routine, with more than just physical benefits, Anand Parekh, the co-founder of Hot Yoga Nottingham speaks to Gemma Faulkner about the benefits of mindful practice.

I went to meet the power couple behind Nottingham’s only hot yoga studio. Devina and Anand Parekh have a strong and deep connection to the practice of yoga. British-born but drawing on their Indian heritage the couple set up a unique, judgement-free zone where they offer a range of mindful classes to help get in touch with your mind, body and soul.

Anand, 32, co-founder of Hot Yoga Nottingham, felt like there was a gap in the market for an effective yoga studio in Nottingham that offered an authentic experience, incorporating chanting and mindfulness into the practice.

Anand Parekh, 32, co-founder of Hot Yoga Nottingham

Different to yoga, hot yoga provides a sauna-like atmosphere to help you de-stress, sweat and add another level of intensity to your practice. Much like the warm climate of Fiji, where Anand’s family are from, the studio creates a tropical and inviting environment to practice the art of yoga.

Opening in 2017, the studio on North Sherwood Street also provides teaching to new yoga instructors with their 200-hour teacher training course, aiming to bring more people into the industry and to provide a variation of unique classes.

After Covid-19 they reduced the number of classes and now regularly offer 2 evening classes a day as Anand said, “Ultimately, it’s about giving back, at the end of the day it’s about helping people.

“Here people are seeking something, they’re maybe a little bit lost sometimes and trying to find their path in life.”

All focusing on balance, clarity and movement they offer a range of low-intensity classes like Hot Yin to Hot Dynamic Flow, there is room for all abilities to take part.

As a beginner to hot yoga, I took part in Hot Yin yoga which allows for deep stretching to detoxify the body and improve overall balance.

The room had LED mood lighting to invite you in and the infrared heating is like a warm hug.

We began with stretching and breathing exercises to relax the mind and get in touch with our body, it was just what I needed.

We slowly built up the intensity and worked up to the deepest stretch where we were introduced to a yoga strap to help hold a hamstring stretch, as a beginner this was a tiny bit intimidating, but Anand was great at explaining us through the stretch and making it accessible for all abilities to take part in it, beginner or not.

Unlike some other yoga classes, Anand and Devina focus on not just the physical element of yoga stretching but also the mindfulness and mental benefits.

It is known to help you de-stress and decompress with steady breathwork and slow-flowing movement it can undoubtedly be good for your overall well-being.

Anand who led our Hot Yin class explained after the class that they pride themselves on being able to help people in all walks of life, the elderly looking for more movement, students who are stressed and people who just need a chance to decompress.

But as summer comes around the corner, the chance to try new types of activities can be an inviting idea, the importance of movement for your body has obvious benefits, and hot yoga is the perfect beginner way to get your low-intensity sweat on.

Hot Yoga studio, North Sherwood Street, Nottingham

Looking to the future, the co-founder explained an event they are hosting at Wollaton Hall for International Yoga Day and Summer Solstice a few days after on June 22, 2024 where there will be an outdoor event to take part in, as well as food trucks, well-being tents and all round good vibes.

As business owners, they aim to be very involved in the local community, trying to get more people to take part in yoga, to get their bodies moving and to spread awareness to the people of Nottingham about the mental and physical benefits of Hot yoga and mindfulness.

Anand added, “We are always trying to reach out, we recently did a meditation class at Nottingham Trent University, helping to educate them.

“As well as midnight meditations at the studio occasionally.”

Anand says he wants to support people to push themselves, offering to assist them in classes to push deeper and progress, he added: “It can make people feel better.”

Overall, Hot Yoga Nottingham is a great place to start your journey as a beginner or if you are more advanced. It allows you to mentally and physically feel the benefits.

To find out more and get in touch with Anand and Devina, visit their website here.

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