When I lived in LA, I was taking a lot of hot yoga classes. My roommate and I both were. We loved the detoxifying sweat combined with the muscle toning poses. It was always a good way to release the stress of the day and walk out renewed.

When we both moved to SC we were disappointed to find that our go-to hot yoga chain (CorePower) didn’t exist anywhere north of the south valley. Bummer.

We looked for classes in the valley that offered flexible class times (i.e. early morning and late night) that would fit into our crazy work schedules. Instead, we decided to keep taking classes in the valley before and after work since we were commuting. We did this for over a year.

And then I finally decided to try ClassPass. I had heard about it in the summer of 2015 but I didn’t think it was a viable or affordable option for me when all I really wanted to do was hot yoga at CorePower and would be limited to 3 visits per month. But, in May 2016, I decided that my birthday present to myself would be a month of ClassPass (I have since renewed and don’t intend on getting rid of it) so I could get into great shape for the summer and get myself out of my health slump that I had been in for 2 months.

My very first class with my ClassPass was at Bikram Yoga Santa Clarita. Before I booked, I was a bit intimidated by the word “bikram”. I knew there were differences between generic hot yoga at a chain of studios and a real bikram yoga practice. I assumed I would be in a room with yogis who had a strict, lifelong practice. I went to the class expecting to feel like it was my first day of yoga, ever.

When I arrived, I was the first one there. Eventually there were 5 students. The owner/instructor, Ravinder, is very friendly and accommodating. Walking into the room, it was already very hot and had an unusual dry humidity feel to it. Kind of like walking out of a casino in Vegas in mid-July. It kind of smacks you in the face. At CorePower, the room is warm when you walk in and they make it hotter after class has started. I prefer the “smack you in the face” method.

I found a spot in the back and set up my stuff. I laid down and did some stretches and relaxed a bit. The rest of the students filed in slowly.

Once class started, I noticed one HUGE difference for the savasana pose… we did it with our heads facing the front of the room. It felt so weird and still kind of does since I still switch between hot yoga and bikram. We also did a warm up breathing exercise that still confuses me a little.

Beyond the warm-up breathing exercise and the upside down savasana, it wasn’t much different than hot yoga. I felt like I knew what I was doing the whole time and beyond the “smack in the face” heat at the beginning, the temperature wasn’t any worse than the CorePower Level 2 classes.

The true challenge of this practice is the length of the class and the ability to push yourself beyond your current limits.

I’m a fan and everyone has been really nice and non-judgmental.