If the words 'hot' and 'yoga' together in a sentence bring a about a serious brow sweat without even setting foot anywhere near an artificially-heated 42 degree room, this is one studio that may just change your mind. I've been a dedicated yogi—hot and cold—for a while now, but the strange looks from most who hear of this curious hobby lets me know that the consensus is I'm plain insane. Quite the opposite, I'll have you know. Yoga does wonders for both the body and mind, allowing a time that can be dedicated to you, free from deadlines, traffic jams and the other stresses modern life constantly throws at us. When I was invited to attend a class and lunch at Auckland's newest contemporary hot yoga studio—which opened last year—I jumped at the chance of a midweek retreat, and of course to test out this beautiful studio that everyone has been raving about.
The inner city sanctuary has been designed with experience in mind, bringing into 50% fresh air, heated to the ideal temp for bendy bodies. The resulting atmosphere is more warm cocoon, as opposed to sweaty death chamber as can often be the case. I once did a hot yoga class in a room with a carpet floor. I kid you not.
We were treated to a taster of the classes Studio Red offers, taught in tag-team by the superb line up of teachers. The team is filled with yogi personalities—each has a personal style and makes each class their own. You'll appreciate the sense of humour from amateur comedians Vincent and Doug who will keep you from grimacing as you contort your body and stretch out all that built-up tension.
There's a variety of styles to try and see what floats your boat: try Hatha or the flowing Vinyasa for a more yang style workout, or a soothing and nurturing yin. Or, of course, head along to any class with squat-loving Vincent Bolletta for a style which doesn't quite fit in a traditional yoga box. The classes range from 60 to 90 minutes and all bar yin will have you sweating buckets. But the list of benefits is longer than the lean limbs you'll sculpt - brighter skin, greater flexibility and of course head space for that "you time".
Unlike the famous song where paradise was paved to put up a parking lot, the fabulous team behind Auckland's new Studio Red Yoga have done just the opposite. Creating a little oasis of calm, this luxurious studio is a slice of paradise right in the middle of the concrete jungle. The Cheshire Architects-designed interior is nothing short of gorgeous with its sleek lobby and chill zone is industrial with its glass, concrete and metal finishes. This is perfectly juxtaposed with the interior yoga chamber with its natural wood panelled walls and springy floor which almost feels like the forest floor. The candyfloss tiled bathrooms with overhead shower heads are an absolute treat to wash away all remnants of your hard work.
After revering and readjusting to the scorching Auckland day that was still a good 15 degrees cooler than the studio, it was a delight to be treated to a nourishing lunch afterwards after the class. The tables were filled with vegan goodies to replenish the soul, and not-so-virtuous treats for those more in camp moderation. I may have snuck in a chocolate truffle or three on my way out. I’m all about that moderation. Plus my quad muscles worked hard enough to justify that surely.