Let me preface this by saying I’m inherently lazy when it comes to physical exercise. I’d rather walk – more like stroll – to the ends of the earth before embarrassing myself doing squats or scissor jumps in some trendy aerobics class.
Thankfully for me, there are other options, such as the relatively new craze called Inferno Hot Pilates, which promises to strengthen muscles and burn fat without the rigor of a high-impact workout.
I recently heard that Bikram Yoga Durham started offering classes at their studio, so I decided to check it out.
First, let’s start with the heat. The one-hour class is held in a room heated to 95 degrees and 40 percent humidity. For this former Miami girl, stepping into the room felt like coming home.
I didn’t have to bust a gut to break a sweat fairly quickly. Within a few minutes of doing “bridge” butt lifts on my yoga mat, I started to feel some beads slide down my brow.
Fast forward another 10 minutes, and the floodgates had opened. So did the intensity of the class. Forget about soft music and gentle stretches. This was more like Pilates on steroids – combining Pilates principles with interval training. Think ski squat pumps and wide-leg burpees performed to the booming remix beats of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
At one point, the instructor, Hanna Newman, shouted through her headset, “You don’t have to go running after this.” Um, don’t worry. I wasn’t planning on it.
This workout was definitely more intense than I’d expected, but in a good way. Surprisingly, the time flew by and I didn’t feel the need to check the clock every five minutes (very unlike me). My body ached for days afterwards. But that’s a good thing, right?
This same studio is also on top of another new trend – “Goat Yoga” classes. Interesting, right?
The craze that originally started on the West Coast is now heading our way, with classes offered at Hux Family Farm, a small Nigerian dwarf goat farm near Falls Lake.
“There’s an overwhelming amount of interest from the community, and the classes keep selling out,” Hanna says.
“Being outside and interacting with animals is great for overall mental health. It produces endorphins and increases oxytocin and serotonin levels, among other things.
“It’s such a unique, fantastical experience, and it brings something new to our studio and to Durham.”