Hot Yoga: Get ready to sweat

Linda Burch leads a class at Hot Yoga in Federal Way. - Andy Hobbs /
Linda Burch leads a class at Hot Yoga in Federal Way.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs /

Before the class had even begun, my skin was dewed with sweat. It was as if I had already been running, but all I had been doing was sitting.

I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into.

Here I was at Hot Yoga of Federal Way, awaiting my first hot yoga class — not just any hot yoga class, but the hot power yoga. Yikes!

Hot Yoga of Federal Way has two different types of classes: Hot Hatha for 60 minutes or 75-90 minutes, and Hot Power Yoga for either 60 minutes or 75-90 minutes.

I showed up early for the class and decided that I should acclimate my body to the warm room: 105 degrees and 60 percent humidity. As class goes on in the room filled with 20-30 hot sweaty students, it gets a bit warmer — quite a bit.

I was told by one young man who had started classes a week before what I could expect.

“You’re going to want to puke,” he said.

The instructor said we could take breaks whenever we needed, and people just beginning would probably need a lot of breaks.

I sure did. For the first 40 minutes, I was probably only able to do about half of the moves. The remainder of the time was spent lying on my mat in child’s pose, praying I wouldn’t puke in front of strangers. Or pass out.

But I made it — sans puking or fainting.

However, I did sweat, more than I ever have before in my life. My clothes were drenched and sweat was dripping off every body part. I saw sweat beading and dripping off my ankles.

You are required to come to each class with a mat, towel and water. The towel is for laying over your mat because you sweat so much. I looked around at the people who were actually able to do all the moves, and they had rivers of sweat running down their bodies, dripping onto their mats and into well-formed puddles on the floor.

The second part of the class was a bit easier. There weren’t as many downward facing dogs, high planks or low planks followed by upward facing dogs, which really wiped out my arms. I like to think that I have pretty strong arms. I spent a good deal of the summer on my parents’ farm bucking hay bales, and I lift weights — I am not a complete weakling. However, after several of the dog plank moves, my arms were jelly.

Toward the end of the class, there were several moves that I had done in pilates before, so I was actually able to do them. Actually in the heat of the room, which relaxes your muscles, I did them better and easier than usual.

Then there was the ab work. Crunches and twists, all in a hot room.

By the time it got to the cool down stretches (of which there was nothing “cool” — it took all of my concentration not to think about how hot the room was), I was wiped out. Exhausted. A limp noodle.

Stepping outside after class, I felt chilled. It’s strange to think that temperatures in the 80s would feel cold.

So the morning after, I take stock. It most definitely was my full effort, but I just wasn’t able to do all the moves. I am still sore. Mostly in my arms and legs. Oh yeah, and my butt, which I really don’t remember working on, but obviously did.

I am already figuring out when I can go again. Although this time, I think I will try 60 minutes of Hot Hatha. It should be a piece of cake ... yeah right.

Learn more

Hot Yoga is located at 31839 Gateway Center Blvd. S., near I-5 and 320th Street in Federal Way. Call (253) 528-0880 or visit

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