Hot Yoga: Not your Average Stretch

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to start getting in skiing shape before the first day on hill, which is just over a month away, has your body aching more than it ever has before. In my search for new ways to stay in shape for ski season, besides the mundane treadmill run, I stumbled across a quaint hot yoga studio in nearby Manchester, Vermont.


Located about 20 miles from the Stratton Mountain Village and just down the street from Manchester Designer Outlets, sits the appropriately named Manchester Hot Yoga studio. Click here for turn-by-turn directions.

What is Hot Yoga?

Hot yoga, officially named Bikram Yoga, is a 90 minute class containing 26 beginner yoga postures combined with two breathing exercises that have healing tendencies – both spiritually and physically. Click here to see the postures practiced. Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees. Don’t be scared of the heated room – it helps loosen your muscles, improves flexibility and allows your body to sweat out toxins. If you’re not flexible, don’t fret. This yoga is perfect for those wanting to increase flexibility.

stratton yoga
Your whole body will feel the stretch with the Half Moon pose.

There are many  health benefits thought to come from practicing this unique exercise. Yogis say it can help reduce stress, increase blood circulation, regulate weight, revitalizes skin, build muscular strength and encourages detoxification. See other health benefits here. I have not been practicing long enough to see significant changes yet, but with anything, it takes time. Check out some testimonials here.

Who Can Practice Hot Yoga?

Chances are, you’ve heard about hot yoga. But you may  be skeptical if it’s really for you. Take it from me, even beginner yogis can participate in hot yoga. While this was not my first Bikram yoga experience, I would encourage beginner yogis to try it out.

Get your twist on with the Triangle pose.
Get your twist on with the Triangle pose. (photo not in hot yoga studio)


Bikram Yoga is designed for all levels of fitness, but the folks at Manchester Hot Yoga suggest consulting your doctor before joining a class if you’ve had any sort of medical conditions, surgeries or injuries.

Kids up to the age of 12 are welcome join in on the second half of the class, the floor series, and enter at the first savasana. Kids must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18.

You'll backbend with the Camel pose. (photo not in hot yoga studio)
You’ll back bend with the Camel pose. (photo not in hot yoga studio)

What to Bring to Class

  • Yoga Mat
  • Water Bottle – I suggest a large Nalgene – you’ll want to drink as much water as possible.
  • Large bath, beach or yoga towel
  • Change of clothes (your clothes will be drenched after class, it makes for a more comfortable ride home if you have dry clothes.)
  • Shower items – there are two showers at the studio to use if you would like.
  • A willingness to challenge yourself.

What I Learned

After the first class, I immediately felt a change in my body. I was energized despite working all day and it being almost 9PM, my body felt lighter and my posture improved.

While I practice traditional yoga at least twice a week, I would not deem myself as an expert yogi. I was nervous going into this class because, as many people may feel, it can be intimidating to practice with others who are much more advanced than you. However, my nervousness vanished the instant I walked into the door when I was greeted by the extremely friendly instructor, who proceeded to give me a tour of the studio and introduce me to the owner. Everyone was very friendly and supportive no matter what level you’re at.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! You sweat so much during this class that it is essential that you drink as much water as possible in the days leading up to your class. It is helpful to stop drinking water about an hour and a half before your class, just so you don’t have to take a bathroom break during class. If you do not hydrate enough, you run the risk of feeling dizzy or sick, so drink as much water as possible.

Get to the studio at least 15 minutes early.  With any yoga or workout class, you want to give yourself enough time to set up your mat without feeling rushed. The doors are locked once the class start, so being late isn’t really an option.

One of my favorite aspects about this studio is that you can view the full list of classes and book your spot right online. Check it out here.

Overall, it was a challenging but rewarding experience. I look forward to returning for another class and getting stronger for ski season!

Important Links

Manchester Hot Yoga – schedule, information, first-timer guide

Stratton Mountain Yoga

Stay tuned for more Venture Vermont fall. Soon, Venture Vermont winter will be here! Tag us in your photos #VentureVermont and #Stratton, and share on social media below! 


About the Author

12790880_10154042121438689_4862440859600777479_nCassie Russo |  Growing up in central Massachusetts, Cassie ventured to the snowy mountains of Vermont almost every weekend until her late teens to enjoy her passion – snowboarding.  After working at a ski shop while studying for a degree in journalism, Cassie knew Vermont was her next destination.  You can now find her living her dream of residing in Vermont, pursuing a writing career and strapping a snowboard to her feet every day. When the snow melts, you can find her on her paddle board, on the tennis courts and searching for the next adventure.
Cassie’s Instagram and Twitter:@cassachusetts