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New ‘Warm Yoga’ Fitness Class: We’ll Be Back For More

Any Penn State gym rat knows the first week back for the spring semester is hectic. “Resolution Week” brings crowds to campus fitness facilities and with the addition of new classes and updates, this semester is no different.

We sent three of our staffers through the chaos to FitWell’s new “warm yoga” class to see if they could stand the heat:

Callaway Turner

If you’re looking for a nice way to ease yourself in to your New Year’s resolution of working out more, “warm yoga” is definitely the way to go. From the looks of it, the class was a nice mix of yoga newbies (like myself) and long-time yogis. The instruction was easy to follow and there were several options to make the workout more or less challenging.

With all the doors shut in Room 16, FitWell certainly delivered on its promise to bring a balmy warmth to the room, likely helped by the fact that the studio was utterly packed with people. I was definitely sweaty by my first sun salutation, so hopefully the added temperature helped me burn off an extra Christmas cookie or two.

There’s a chance that I will wake up tomorrow feeling even more sore and out of shape than I felt during class, but I liked it enough that I’d definitely consider making it a habit this semester. If hot yoga is on your bucket list, head over to IM on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Gabriela Stevenson

I am a sweater. I sweat a lot and I hate it. If you see me walking in the street, no matter what time of year it is, I’m usually sweating. Thanks to my perspiration problems, I didn’t expect warm yoga to do much for me. I already sweat so much when I work out, so I didn’t think bumping up the temperature a little would make a difference.

I was only about 15 or 20 minutes into the hour-long class when I realized how wrong I was. I was sweating so much that my hands were sliding all over my mat during Downward Dog, but this time, I really loved it. I loved feeling the temperature slowly rise and feeling my body react to it and continue to work hard. The temperature really allowed me to loosen up and test my flexibility a bit. At the end of class, we had the typical time to reconnect with our bodies and our breath, but the warmth of the room really put me at ease.

It was also a nice change of pace to be in a class with so many different people. There were 78 people crammed into the studio and a good mix of men and women, students and adults. I even saw my freshman year English 015 professor, which just further proves this class is for anyone.

Altogether, I applaud the instructor for providing me with a relaxing, stress-free atmosphere, a solid workout, and a great playlist. This is a class I’ll make time for every week.

Elissa Hill

I’ve never been a regular yoga-goer, but since coming to Penn State, I think I’ve tried all the yoga class variations offered at least once. That said, when I found out about the new warm yoga class, I knew I had to try it out.

We were cutting it pretty close on time, and when we arrived at Room 16 of IM (admittedly after wandering the building for a few extra minutes) the line for the class stretched out the door. I was surprised to see how many people had showed up for the first Thursday night class, and like Gabi said, the class was a cross-section of both men and women, students and adults.

And we got sweaty. If this is called “warm yoga” I don’t know that I’d want to experience what might be considered “hot yoga” after all. After 20 minutes or so, we were definitely feeling moist, but not in the gross way you might think of when you hear that word. I always feel overheated when I work out, but this felt a lot different because we knew we were supposed to be warm.

The instructor also gave clear directions on which poses to transition to next, and was super helpful at making sure the whole class knew how certain things could be made easier or more difficult. She said she’ll be there every week for the rest of the semester, so I feel confident assuring you you’ll be in good hands at Thursday night warm yoga.

Overall, I really enjoyed this class. I’m not sure if it was the temperature, or the yoga, or just being away from my phone and laptop for an entire hour, but I left feeling the most relaxed (and flexible!) I’ve been in weeks.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

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