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I have found a new obsession and it goes by the name of Hot Pilates! (Sarah Marcella Photography)

We are halfway through our hot yoga challenge and still loving it

I have found a new obsession and it goes by the name of Hot Pilates!

I know what you are probably thinking, but this is a Hot Yoga challenge, and I know I know, but one of the rules of my challenge was that I could take any HOT class offered at Mind the Mat as long as I took three classes a week and that I have done.

I am at the end of my second week of my 30-day challenge and I have said forget hot yoga (okay, not completely...I still take it once a week), I love this whole hot pilates thing. If you've never taken a hot pilates class before, here is a quick description: you sit in a hot room and do small pulsating movements that work every muscle in your body until your limbs feel like they are going to fall off. Don't expect relaxing music, expect pop or hip-hop tunes with a good beat that you can move to. Also, do not, I repeat DO NOT forget a towel or you will be swimming in your own sweat by the middle of class.

Some people say it's not a workout and before I started this challenge I would've agreed, but my perspective has completely changed and I will tell you why: I was taking my hot classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and doing my regular workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, adding in a Saturday (sometimes). One day I thought it would be a good idea to take a 6 a.m. boxing class and a 6 p.m. hot pilates class and boy was that a mistake. By the end of Hot Pilates, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was exhausted, because not only did I get a full body workout that morning, but I also got a full body work out in a very hot room that evening in pilates.

After two weeks at Mind the Mat, I would absolutely recommend anyone to a hot yoga or hot pilates class. It is a great addition to any workout routine you may have or even just great on its own! If you want to work on posture, core strength, arm strength, or really anything strength wise, I would suggest you hit up a yoga or pilates class.

Here is what I have learned so far:

  • A pilates bridge is different than a yoga bridge... and harder.
  • It is much harder than you think to lay on your back with your legs together, straight up in the air with no slight knee bend.
  • Childs pose is much appreciated after holding a side plank for five minutes straight.
  • Childs pose is also much appreciated after holding a bridge for what feels like an eternity.
  • You will be sore the next day and it feels good to stretch it out in yoga the day after a pilates class.

Here is what I have accomplished so far:

  • I can almost do a crow (learned in yoga, not pilates).
  • I can feel my arm and core strength growing with every pilates class I attend.
  • I take fewer breaks as I take more classes.
  • I can move from a sitting position to a laying position while maintaining a proper C-curve.

My journey continues next week as I head into the stretch of my challenge. Make sure to follow along as I continue on!