Sitting on a maroon-colored rubber mat in the middle of the well-lit studio at YogaSpark (1 Depot Plz, Mamaroneck 914-630-4988; www.yoga-spark.com), I waited for my 95-degree hot Pilates class to start, envisioning a half-hour of sweaty relaxation. Little did I know.
YogaSpark became the county’s first hot Pilates studio when it launched the class in October. When I tried it, the heat was intense, yet inviting. As instructor Catie Newman affirmed before kicking off the class—it seemed to soften up my joints and muscles, allowing me to fold myself in ways I never thought I could.
Five minutes in, there was not an inch of my body that wasn’t completely drenched in sweat. Although I found myself breathing as heavily as a snoring bear, the heat put me in a meditative state of mind, like I was sitting in a wood-fired sauna. Frequently altering between standing, laying, and squatting, Newman made sure that we pushed ourselves as the class went through the core-based exercises. I ended the class with abs straining, thighs aching, and calves burning. The toughest exercise was a push-up-like maneuver that alternated
between placing weight on the elbows and the palms.
The moves were truly intense, but no one will look at you disapprovingly if you take an unannounced water break or temporarily crawl into child’s pose. I had to do both a couple of times.
YogaSpark offers hot Pilates classes on Wednesday mornings and Sunday afternoons, and also hosts hot power yoga and hot barre classes every weekday. Prices range from $27 for single classes to $250 for one-month unlimited packages.