Fitness Fridays: Ritual Hot Yoga

Whooooooo boy. I am sorry for my absence guys. I went through this “I really hate my job” phase that made it hard to get motivated to do literally anything outside of going to work and going home. Add in that my knee was acting up again (meaning I had to rest until at LEAST February), and I didn’t feel like writing sh*t.

BUT THEN I overheard a call that let me know I needed to get my rear in gear and apply for jobs. While doing that, I discovered Ritual Hot Yoga. I’m not gonna say Ritual helped me manifest my new job…but I got an amazing new job. So hey.

So let’s chat Ritual. I’ve been there constantly this month. You guys have been DM’ing me like CRAZY about this place. I’ve sent so many people there they should just hire me at this point. So for those of you who are apprehensive, I’ve got the full lowdown.

Hi yes I’m in love with Outdoor Voices

Hi yes I’m in love with Outdoor Voices

Let’s start here: Ritual Hot Yoga is Yoga in a looser sense of the word. It is, at its core, yoga. But it’s very different from what you will be expecting. You move to the beat of the music (which I love), the room is HOT (I’m unsure of the exact temperature but I think it hovers around 100F) and the studio is all-inclusive, meaning you don’t need to bring a mat, towel, or even water. They offer two class formats: Ritual Hot Yoga and Ritual Hot Yin. I’m going to chat at length about the standard yoga class, but the Yin class is a slightly cooler, deep stretching class where you hold poses for 6-8 breaths. Most of it is done seated or laying down. Highly recommend it for recovery, and it’s offered weekday evenings at 7:30p!

Class Structure

While each instructor brings their own flair, music, and wisdom to each class, the format is always exactly the same: you begin class in a simple/easy seat or sitting back on your heels. You begin to breathe to the beat with the instructor’s count, to an upbeat but chill song. As you do this, the instructors (there are two: one calling the flow, and one strictly doing demos and assists) come around and give you a quick shoulder/back massage. From there, you warm up then move to core work. It’s fast paced and focused on core with other moves filled in. From there, you move to learn the flow for class, slowly at first, then one beat, one breath, one movement through 8 times total (4 on each side, twice with the instructor’s cues and twice without). You end in down dog then move to a new pose, before moving to your peak pose of class. It’s important to note that they give you levels to get into the pose, starting at level 1 and moving up to level 4. After this, you get to the final portion of class, the long flow, which combines the flow, the build up to peak, and ending the class with some deeper stretches. You end in savasana with a cold eucalyptus towel and another little massage, plus wisdom from the instructor. Currently, as of posting, Ritual is working through a 7 week series on the Chakras.

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Okay, that’s a lot I know. Classes are HARD. Hard. It’s sometimes oppressively humid, making breathing a bit tough, in addition to the fast-paced flow. Additionally, some of the pose names were unfamiliar for me, as they very often forgo the traditional Sanskrit. I also was confused the first time, because I felt a bit like a fraud being Level 4 in some poses and Level 1 in others. I learned to leave my ego at the door for this class, and that’s part of why I love it.

The difficulty of this class ensures I will leave my problems and ego at the door. For 50 minutes, I think of nothing but that room. Only once (out of over 30 classes taken there total) have I not been able to shake the day when I got to class.

Ritual provides a beauty bar (deodorant, hair spray, ponytail holders, etc), coffee or tea, bottled water, towels, mats, straps, and blocks. Additionally, they have three showers (with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash), two changing rooms, and two restrooms. They’re dog friendly with a really great chill area to wait before/after class.

For a premium studio, Ritual is more affordable than SOUL or Barry’s. It’s $200 for a month totally unlimited, and SO MUCH is included, including 30 minutes of private yoga a month. In January, I took 24 classes. That’s a hell of a deal. I was trying to hit 30 classes in 30 days for a free sweatshirt, but I started the challenge on the 14th and about died (figuratively) trying, so I settled for as many as I could get, and am going to just buy the sweatshirt. #EarnedItAnyway

Interested in going? I’ve got a few tips!

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  • Bring your own water, even if you plan to grab a complimentary one [Trust me, you’re gonna need it the first few times]

  • Arrive early! [ALWAYS for new classes should you arrive extra early, but arrive early to get your choice of mat and to take a few to adjust to the heat.]

  • Bring clothes to change into after class [Especially in the winter. You will be SOAKED. I rinse off after class, but at LEAST bring some sweats and a tee to wear home!]

  • Drink enough water during the day. [You know that recommend 64-96oz of water a day? Actually drink that if you’re going]

  • Fuel before [I like Red Bull, we all know, but I also like BCAAs with B12 or caffeine]

  • Fuel After [If you’ve watched my stories lately, you know I LOVE Aprés! Link for $15 off HERE]

  • Manage your expectations—leave your ego at the door [Class is difficult and unique. Cut yourself some slack, show yourself some love. It takes a couple of classes to get easier, and some classes are still tough]

  • Come with an open mind [It’s unique. Different. Give it a shot!]

As a member, I can take new (never been) guests for free, so please let me know if you want to give Ritual a try! Questions? Something I forgot to cover? Ask below in the comments! (Click the photo below to visit the Ritual site!)

I’ll be following up after 60 classes to show/chat about how my practice has evolved from the challenging style Ritual offers, and to show any physical/aesthetic changes if there are any!

—B

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