published Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Some like it hot

Yoga class turns up the heat


by Chris Carroll
  • photo
    Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press Jessica Langston performs a floor exercise with classmates in C.C. Carter's 105-degree "Hot Yoga" class at North Shore Yoga on Saturday.

Kari Baker Pollard said she knows most men think yoga is easy and meditative and far from a cardiovascular workout or toning muscles.

Not hot yoga.

The North Shore Yoga instructor, who teaches hot yoga four days a week inside a 105-degree room, said she mops up her room with Clorox soap after every class.

That's to say, things get pretty intense in there. All doubters should probably stay home.

"We've got to have our floors cleaned twice a day with a hot steamer," Mrs. Pollard said. "You're cleansing your organs every day. It's an awesome cardiovascular workout."

Mrs. Pollard said she sees "18-year-olds all the way up into upper 60s and 70s" for workouts that are designed for "beginners of all ranges." She recommended the curious to try.

HOT YOGA TIPS

* Eat something light -- like a salad or smoothie -- no fewer than three hours before a workout

* Drink lots of water before and after.

* Winter workouts are usually 90 minutes, but summer heat cuts it down to 35.

* A typical class will burn 800 calories per hour.

Source: Kari Baker Pollard

WHERE TO GO

See all available classes at www.northshoreyoga.net

"(There's) nothing like beating off stress, becoming more flexible and preventing injuries," she said.

Mrs. Pollard pointed out that she has a great crowd for potential friendships, and she uses upbeat sounds to "keep everyone's mind going while the heat's going, shying away from pop in favor of traditional Yoga-like Indian music.

"No Britney Spears or anything like that," she said with a laugh.

A minimum of four bottles of water is recommended before hot yoga, Mrs. Pollard said before making a point to not sound like a warrior-turned-high-school-football-coach.

"Everyone can have as much water as they want during the class," she said. "That can add to the puddles, but hydration is necessary for a complete workout."

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