Bikram yoga: it’s so hot right now

Cape Town is the hot yoga capital of South Africa. Doing difficult asanas (yoga poses) in a heated room may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But thanks to the somewhat controversial Indian yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury (founder of Bikram Yoga), doing yoga in 40-degree heat is, well, so hot right now. Here are some suggestions on Cape Town hot yoga studios to sweat it out at.

Yoga Zone (on the 10th floor of the Picbel Arcade on Strand Street in the city centre) is at the heart of Cape Town’s hot yoga history, with owner Fulvio Grandin having first brought it to South Africa. The studio has a friendly atmosphere, with regular visiting teachers of note.

Meanwhile, up the road in the Cape Quarter on Waterkant Street, Yoga Life is a hub of hip activity that draws large classes of tight and tattooed bodies sweating to the latest radio hits. With well over 7 000 likes on Facebook, the Yoga Life studio has a strong focus on community, with three free beginner’s classes for first timers.

Hot Dog studio in Sea Point, the seaside suburb bordering the city centre, is a rustic haven for hot yoga. Here owner Hylton Jaggard brings lots of teaching experience from his days in New York. The place is totally unpretentious, while prop use is encouraged. “Stoned or straight, you’re welcome here,” he says.

Down in the southern suburbs, about 20-minute’s drive from Cape Town’s city centre, Claremont’s Yo Yoga is a sleek and airy studio with a dedicated following, especially among students from the nearby university. There is a refreshing diversity here, both in terms of demographics and ability, from first timers to advanced practitioners.

Also worth a mention is the calm and kind vibes of Yoga Spirit in the leafy southern suburb of Constantia (about 30-minute’s drive from the city centre), where a Friday morning community produce market offers home-grown veggies and preserves. And lastly, The Source, also in Constantia and the youngest of the hot yoga studios, offers an interesting array of talks and mind-expanding events.

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