Twenty minutes after we arrived I was upside-down with snot, sweat, saliva and tears pouring down my face. Straining to touch my toes on the floor above my head, I was learning the hard way that Hot Yoga wasn’t, as I had been hoping, just hot girls doing stretches in Lycra.
OK, this is Ukraine, so the room was also full of hot girls, but like me they were also sweating their way through a no-nonsense Yoga session in a room as hot as a Sauna.
Welcome to Hot Yoga Kyiv.
I don’t know who thought of the concept of Yoga in an oven, and it’s as ridiculous as it sounds but it was also one of the most ‘extreme’ hours of my life and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I was the only wuss who stopped and took a drink mid-exercise and everyone else was slimmer and more streachy than me, but it didn’t matter.
Hot Yoga takes place in a basement at 23 Observatornaya Str which is just off Artema street, one-block from Lvivska Square and behind the House of Artists (for those who know Kyiv, that’s the building with seven large women on it).
There had been a slight mix-up with the booking and the receptionist (sweat manager?) had no idea about our booking, but she was all smiles and assured us that everything would be OK as she handed me some slippers and showed me where to get changed etc. Everything was OK and shortly after 18:30 about twelve of us were stretching, balancing and sweating in our little basement hot-box.
It’s pretty hard to describe how much sweating I did and at one point my right eye felt like it was trying to pop out of my head, but despite the hell-like conditions it was actually a lot of fun and (afterwards) thoroughly relaxing – easily as relaxing as a ‘strong’ Thai massage but without the need for a Thai woman to climb on you and no elbows in your back.
For some reason our hour-long session overran giving us an extra 15 minutes of the hot-stuff, but to be honest, I was pretty messed-up by this time and our ‘bonus’ felt more like unnecessary torture. For a newbie like me, 60 minutes is just fine.
The hot salon is small, low-key and friendly with everything you need for a sweaty session, including showers, towels, drinks and mats etc and although the website says you should book, it did seem that anyone could walk-in and join a session at any time if there’s space.
So, if planking in a sauna is your kind of thing – Hot Yoga is the perfect way to end a hard day.
Thanks to Marina for the invitation and the team at Hot Yoga for looking after us.
Tip: guys, forget your t-shirt, it is completely pointless and you’re better-off without one. Do not forget water – you’ll need lots of it.