MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Looking to change up your workout ways this New Year? How about hot yoga?

Step into a “quiet room” at CorePower Yoga in downtown Minneapolis and you will see it’s certainly not a hushed workout environment.

Anastasia Albert’s tightly packed room brings on the heat, so much so we had a tough time keeping our camera lens clear, but Albert said that’s the whole point.

“People always think of yoga, oh it’s just stretching,” said Albert, who has been teaching yoga for three years now. “But I think the biggest thing that challenges people is the heat.”

For yogis the class offers a quick 60 minute escape from Minnesota winters. The heat is cranked anywhere from 90 to 95 degrees.

“Because the muscles and all of the tissues in the body can warm up, we can get deeper, or further, into our postures or our exercises which allows our bodies to get more benefits than if we were moving on cold muscles,” said Jen Regenscheid, the studio manager and national yoga sculpt lead at CorePower Yoga.

It’s not just the sculpt class that could benefit you in 2015, but really any yoga pose will do, that’s according to a new study by the European Society of Cardiology. The research, which examined statistics of more than 30 English published studies, found that yoga “may provide the same benefits in risk factor reduction as traditional forms of physical activity,” like cycling, or brisk walking.

We asked Christina Johnson, one of the newest yogis to the CorePower sculpt class, why she ditched boot camp for this bikram style full body burn?

“The heat is challenging. So, doing boot camp I got into really good shape, but this is just a different form of workout,” Johnson said.

She made yoga her primary choice of exercise around Thanksgiving. She started the hot yoga class just before the New Year and hasn’t looked back since.

“For me, it’s more challenging than if you did a three mile run in the fact that you’re challenging your body with the heat,” Johnson said.

There might not be the ocean and palm trees, but inside it certainly feels like paradise, and requires a much needed Minnesota deep freeze when the 60 minutes are up.

Ali Lucia

Comments (11)