Friday, October 14, 2016

RVA Fit Gal's Guide: The Hot Yoga Barre

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Hot yoga is one thing. Barre is another. Hot barre - a totally different ball game. I've been repeatedly pushed to test my preconceived notions of how a "workout" ought to look and feel - and I've loved every second of it. The Hot Yoga Barre is situated right above Duck Donuts (why...) in Willow Lawn next to the Red Nails 2. The studio is clean, cozy, and friendly - the instructors and staff all seem really sweet, there's a small locker room with two shower stalls, cute apparel you can purchase, and cubbies for all your stuff. The studio is probably medium-size, well-lit, and heated. It can get feel crowded in some classes, but I would think this would all just depend on what time you come to your mat and which class you are taking. BURN was the most crowded, whereas 7:30PM Yugala Yoga felt more spacious.

If you don't do yoga a ton or are worried about starting for the first time, just bite the bullet and go to a class. I'd suggest starting with Yin or Yugala - just let your instructor know that you are new, and do your best to follow along. The hot room can be overwhelming at first (but so amazing when you adjust) so take your practice at your own pace and listen to your body first and foremost. You'll sweat a TON - and feel detoxed both physically and emotionally afterwards.

Classes I tried: (full list HERE)

  • Hot Barre Blast - I mentioned that Alex's class at TURN was the most challenging barre class I'd taken - and then I realized she teaches at HYB too! Barre is tough because it works muscles with tiny, precise movements. Doing it in a heated room made me feel even more accomplished afterwards because I was sweating so much. This class was an insane workout - I felt amazing after, but it was definitely a challenge for me because I wasn't used to either Barre or exercising in a heated room. You will need to bring a yoga mat for this class, and grab small weights, a ball, and a band in the closet on the way into the studio.
  • BURN - BURN is more along the lines of a sculpt-type class - you are led through 45 seconds of a toning/cardio exercise, 20 seconds of rest, and repeat for 45 minutes. It's amazing how heavy those 2lb weights can feel by the end! This class was a little more familiar to me because of the combo of strengthening and cardio moves - just add in a heated room, and you're glowing in no time. It was upbeat, challenging, and fun - a little faster paced than Barre. The class was led by Bethany, who I think has an unlimited energy supply. You will also need to bring your own yoga mat for this class.
  • Yugala Yoga - I will preface this with the fact that I am no yogi. I do yoga occasionally when I am home because my mom does and I know it's a good thing for my mental and physical health - but after Monday night Yugala Yoga, I felt like I was practically having a religious experience, I loved the class so much. Yugala Yoga is 25 pairs of poses - and doing poses in pairs allowed me to focus on doing them correctly and more deeply than I am usually able to in a power flow class. I also saw a really wide variety of bodies and fitness levels in this class, which is always cool. The weekend one was crowded, but Monday night was relaxed and chill while still challenging me mentally and physically. Grab blocks in the closet before going into the studio. Bring your own yoga mat and perhaps a towel to go on top. It's also totally okay to just rock a sports bra and leggings in this class! PS: I took this with Michele all three times I've gone so far, and I love her!
  • Hot Power Flow - I went to my first Hot Power Flow class at HYB on Thursday to celebrate my new job offer (!!!) - at first I was going to treat myself to a happy hour, but then I realized that the best way to spoil my soul and my body would be by taking some time to sweat, reflect, and be grateful. ANYWAY this class, taught by Marge, was a somewhat fast-paced vinyasa flow, made me sweat like crazy, and pushed me to focus on my body and breathing more than most yoga classes have. Marge's energy is infectious, and I forgot to tell her my nickname is Marge, too :) If you are new to yoga, I would recommend trying Yugala first, but like I said earlier, yoga is something that you can always take at your own speed.


  • drop-in - $23
  • new student first month (spark) - $79 for unlimited classes (this is a really good deal!)
  • monthly after first month - $139 for unlimited classes with 3-month commitment
  • 25 class pass - $375, breaks down to $15/class
  • 15 class pass - $270, breaks down to $18/class
  • 5 class pass - $100, breaks down to $20/class
Full-time students, K-12 teachers, policemen, EMT's, firemen, and active duty military are all eligible for a 15% discount on packages purchased in the studio, other than the spark membership.

What to Wear:

Nothing wild and crazy, really - for the yoga classes, I would just do a pair of leggings and a tank or sports bra, and for Barre or BURN you could do leggings and a tank/workout top or shorts with a wider range of motion (NOT classic Norts/Nike Tempos). You might want to bring a small towel with you as well, and definitely don't forget to hydrate. Have a favorite brand of workout clothing we should know about? Comment below!


  1. I've never tried hot yoga or a barre class but this makes me want to!

  2. Omg I've been passing this place every time I go to Duck Donuts and I've wanted to try it out! I'm so glad you did a review on it. Now I totally want to go! I'm just such a yoga newbie I've been nervous about it haha!

    Also, job offer!! EEEE!! Can't wait to hear all the deets on Monday! 💕

    Stephanie //