Updates October 2014: BYCH is now shifted to Dhoby Ghaut, Regency House
As many of you would know, I love love love hot yoga. For people who think that it isn't a work out, you cannot be more wrong and this is coming from a yoga convert. I used to think Yoga is really easy and boring/static until I tried a couple of classes (flow, vinyasa, ashtanga) and then I've not looked back since. But if you're looking at only doing yoga to lose weight, then you better be doing 4h of non-hatha classes a day for an extended period of time.
I was invited to try the classes at BYCH Hot Yoga at Raffles City Shopping Mall some time back. BYCH offers the classic Traditional Hot Yoga series which is practiced in a 40ºC studio. For those who haven't tried Traditional Hot Yoga, it comprises a fixed sequence of 26 standing and floor postures. Think of it as Hatha yoga in a very very hot and humid studio.
I was wondering how to pronounce BYCH and then I noticed that the floor mat says it all. My girlfriends commented on how it's a perfect place for me since I'm quite the bitch (sometimes only ok and only to annoying people!).
Well I guess it's another way to get lazy asses to work out. Sometimes we need some tough love to whip us into shape. So no whining once you step onto the mat. It's all for the good of your body. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later when you see your 6 pack.
This is the first carpeted studio i've been in and it supposed to prevent slipping and to protect muscles against strain. An antimicrobial preservative is used on the mat covering to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria and so the room doesn't smell bad as well. Yoga mats (called Mowels) are used during the class and washed and tumbled dried after each use.
These reminded me of those baby mats to prevent babies from wetting the beds. It looked and felt the same.
Pre-class photo. Loose clothing are not allowed at BYCH. I think you're encouraged to wear as little as possible to prevent heat exhaustion as well.
The class hasn't even started and i already started to perspire! Students are not allowed to use towels to wipe their perspiration during the class and that really annoyed me because i really perspire a lot! That made it really hard to hold my poses because i can't grip my toes or ankles tightly. The waterproofed underside of the mat was also kinda slippery and there were moments that i simply had to step off the mat to balance in the poses.
No photo-taking during class duh. Here's my take on Traditional Hot Yoga. I don't mind doing it occasionally but i'm not a fan because i don't have that sorta determination and mental strength to follow the exact instruction given (i'm such a free spirit). Static poses really bore me and i cannot imagine myself doing the same sequence over and over again. Well, BYCH also offers a 55 minutes Cardio class which suits me better.
That said, there are many people who only do Traditional Hot Yoga. The instructions given by Chin Rei (the instructor) were clear and i could follow the sequence easily. Just a reminder, there's a lot of talking in a Traditional Hot Yoga class, as in the instructor will be talking the whole time to guide you through the poses so if you cannot take that kinda environment, then Traditional Hot Yoga is not quite for you.
Post 90 minutes Traditional Hot Yoga class. Thoroughly soaked from head to toes. My fingers were wrinkled from all that perspiration that i cannot and have nowhere to wipe off on. It felt really good to perspire so much! I wouldn't say that it's a strenuous workout on the body as compared to cardio but it was tough mentally and physically (for those not used to hot yoga).
I didn't quite like the lockers as they are all closely packed and stacked high. Not too shorties friendly. Meh. Good showers with delicious organic bath products (almost edible really). I certainly welcomed the nice shower after the class!