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Blog Categories: Health and Fitness

Wowcher Does Hot Yoga @ Fitness on Fire

yoga1Imagine you’re stretched out on a scorching beach, basking in 30°C heat and surrounded by supple, sweaty bodies. Now replace the beach with four walls, your towel with a mat and the beams of sunlight with infrared heaters, and you’ve got yourself a hot yoga studio. Doesn’t sound so scary now, does it? First founded by yoga guru Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, hot yoga has earned itself a toned troupe of practitioners that include Gwyneth Paltrow and Lady Gaga. Tentatively, I brave the humidity to see what’s behind all the hot yoga hype at the Fitness on Fire studios in London.

Prepare to Sweat
As I enter the studio (just moments from Old Street station) and leave the bitter wind outside, my chilly limbs are embraced by hot air and wafts of incense. It’s like stepping into an airless conservatory on a summer’s day. In Bangkok. Already a devoted yogi – but used to the comfort of air-conditioned classes – I choose a space at the back of the room, strategically close to the door should I need to swoon out sideways to escape the heat (which typically wavers between 30°C and 40°C, with a high degree of humidity).

yoga3Ten minutes into the hour-long session, a beady moustache of sweat has slyly formed on my upper lip before dribbling mischievously down my chin to form a beard. My usual yoga classes would never cause even a small stream of perspiration, let alone a fully-formed channel of facial hair. During the course of the hour, as we move through a sequence of postures, the room becomes a sauna. Perhaps it’s the relief of savasana (the resting ‘corpse pose’ held at the end of each session) or the rush of cool air that greets me at the door, but when I leave the studio, still pink and glistening like a leaf drenched with morning dew, I’m feeling strangely satisfied and drawn to return.

Body Benefits
Advocates claim that hot yoga enables us to sweat out toxins, while improving balance, strength, flexibility and coordination. The higher temperature helps yogis stretch out further than usual, lengthening limbs and engaging a wider range of muscles. After a few sessions, my body soon adjusts to the heat and the initial burn that I felt during the first class slowly lessens (as does the fear of losing balance and causing a domino effect of tumbling down dogs). My clothes may still become saturated while my hair is glued to my scalp like a stringy leech, but with each class, the poses become easier to follow and practice becomes a relaxing but rewarding workout. It’s safe to say I’m hooked.

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Tips for First-Timers

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after practice to avoid dehydration
  • Take a towel to soak up the buckets of sweat that may pool around you
  • Inform the instructor of any injuries you have
  • Light-headed? Get on your knees and lay your head on the ground in front of you with your arms stretched out behind (don’t worry, this is a genuine resting posture called balasana, or ‘child’s pose’)
  • Don’t push yourself too hard – you probably won’t master the splits in your first session
  • Try to maintain regular breath
  • Try not to eat heavy meals two hours before a session
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously – wobbling and slipping is all part of practice!

Want to try hot yoga for yourself? Feel the heat at Fitness on Fire’s hot yoga classes in either Old Street or Westminster, with Wowcher.co.uk. Choosing from Vinyasa, Power, Hatha, Ashtanga and Dynamic Flow classes, held Monday to Sunday from 7am-10pm, you’ve no excuse not to get sweaty!

Please note – all deals featured may not be live.

Wowcher’s Guide To Beating The January Blues


Through beverage-clouded vision and a mince pie-induced coma, it’s hard to see an end to the merry festive period. But now the New Year’s celebrations have drawn to a close, it’s back to reality and worse yet – back to work. So how to up your mood, keep memories of the good times bright and kick yourself back to fitness? Read on for Wowcher’s guide to surviving January… Read more

A Little ‘Me’ Time For You!


Ah yes, the planned romantic gesture from your other half – rose petals, scented candles, some aromatic oils and Barry White lilting gently in the background. Then comes the most ham-fisted, bone-crunching, oafish and downright clumsy excuse for a massage you’ve ever, ever had. But simmer down, because there’s no need to plot your revenge just yet. We’ve devised a handy guide to the best places where you can really indulge in a little me-time and untie a few of those knots along the way. One of them could be the perfect way to make it up to you…  Read more

Wowcher’s Guide To Dental Treatments


What do all A-listers have in common? Whether they’re heading to a snazzy film premiere or slapping a selfie on Instagram, they each have that deliciously inviting Hollywood smile: two rows of gleaming gnashers, all straight and shiny.

It’s hardly surprising then, that 32% of us mere mortals (that’s a whopping one third of the UK) feel ‘concerned by the look of their teeth’ – and why shouldn’t we?* Cosmetic dentistry has exploded during the last decade, as well as plenty of on-the-shelf teeth whitening kits, making it more affordable than ever to snatch up a pair of glistening pearly whites. So move over celebs, us girls are getting in on the action, and here’s what to pick from if you do:

Laser Teeth Whitening
Often touted as laser teeth whitening, this celeb led procedure doesn’t typically involve lasers, but is actually down to a nifty chemical compound called ‘hydrogen peroxide’. Once activated by strong light, the ingredient is broken down, which releases oxygen into the inner enamel to promote a whiter tooth appearance. Quick, easy and without the fiddly nature of home whitening kits, this ‘miracle treatment’ can have you in and out of the dentist’s chair in as little as 45 minutes! Lunch break treat? Oh, go on then…

‘Six Month Smiles’ Clear Braces
Sporting tooth-coloured wires for discreet wear, the ‘Six Month Smiles’ method uses clear braces to gently straighten and align your pearly whites over a period of six months. These ingenious braces are barely visible, so you won’t need to feel self-conscious when talking, smiling and laughing. A full consultation with your dentist is usually required, as is a scale and polish and dental hygiene appointment once your braces come off. You’ll also need to return every three to four weeks to have the wires tightened, but don’t worry – that sparkly smile will be worth it!

Dental Implant & Ceramic Crown
A vampy makeup look may get you hot to trot, but a fang-heavy incisor is definitely not one to show off. With a dental implant and ceramic crown, you’ll first get a full dental exam with any necessary mouth x-rays included, plus a cosmetic consultation with your experienced dentist. If all goes well, the procedure then takes place over several sessions, involving a small screw being implanted in the jaw, which is then anchored by natural bone growth. The tooth will be topped off with a ceramic crown, made to match the colour and bite of your teeth.

Home Teeth Whitening Kit
Easy-to-use home teeth whitening kits can be found on any supermarket shelf, and while they include everything you need to build up a whiter smile, these magic kits can be expensive. Here at Wowcher, you can save a doddle on popular home teeth whitening treatments that include in-depth instructions and a shade guide so you can track the change in colour of your teeth. Whichever kit you choose, each pack contains a savvy formula designed to bust stains from things like coffee, wine and nicotine – leaving you with a smile to be proud of!

Scale, Polish & X-rays
Sparkly gnashers aside, we all need a good mouth clean every once and a while – and according to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 60% of us organised women get our teeth checked regularly.* But for those who might have missed one or two, a scale, polish and x-ray is definitely worth having. These hygiene check-ups begin with an initial consultation, where you’ll get 3D x-rays of your mouth, designed to identify any hidden problems with your teeth, mouth and jaw that can’t be seen with a visual examination. You’ll then receive a teeth scale and polish lasting up to 30 minutes, leaving you with that lovely clean feeling you can only get from the dentist.

So there you have it, five dental treatments that can lift your dull and dreary teeth to glittering perfection. For your chance to snap up some bargain dental deals, simply stay with Wowcher.co.uk!

*Statistics sourced from http://bacd.com/statistics

Wowcher’s Guide To Back To University Essentials


Whether it’s your first year of university or you’re returning for another year of spaghetti hoop breakfasts and Fruit Loop dinners, we’ve got everything you need to be the ultimate student. Here is the Wowcher guide to everything UNI-d:  Read more

Fitness Fads: Totally Rad or Barking Mad?

In today’s world of sculpted celebrities, post-Olympics guilt and the comeback of the kettlebell, there’s an overwhelming pressure to jump on the fitness bandwagon. Unfortunately, not all of us are bouncing gym bunnies hopping from the treadmill to the cross trainer. Perhaps our tails were clipped at an early age by a callous PE teacher, or the trauma of our school sports days chased us down a rabbit hole, where we vowed never to resurface in a playing field again. But there’s no reason to bring back those childhood ordeals just to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A recent upsurge of fitness fads has given us alternative ways to stay active – some wackier than others – which may just stop you from grudgingly registering at the nearest sports centre. We’ll leave you to decide whether these fads are rad, mad or just plain sad… Read more

Diet and Weight Management Q&A with Dr Sarah Schenker

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Bikinis may have been firmly put away for this year, but many of us are still fighting a losing battle with the bulge. Lucky for us nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker joined us on Facebook for an hour long Q&A to answer your diet and weight management questions with some expert advice.

Here are her top tips from the Q&A: Read more

What to expect when you’re expecting? Q&A with Dr Denis Walsh

DENIS_WALSH

Itchy skin, embarrassing symptoms, mood swings, breastfeeding worries… There’s a lot going on when there’s a baby on the way. So expert midwife Denis Walsh joined us for an hour-long Q&A on our Facebook page to answer your pregnancy questions!

However, before the Q&A began a bit of a debate kicked off about whether or not men should be midwives. Dr Denis stepped in, saying:

“You are right, a male midwife cannot ‘fully understand’ but from my experience and that of other male midwives, most women want kindness, compassion and empathy, plus knowledge so I think we get pretty close to that in comparison, say to a female midwife who has not had children.”

Debate aside, here’s what the expert midwife had to say to our Facebook fans: Read more

The Wowcher Guide to New Year Fitness

“New year, new you…” yada yada yada. It’s no wonder we suffer from January blues, what with the all the regret (over the number of mince pies consumed), repenting (in the form of punishing regimes) and inevitable resignation (followed by more mince pies)… Well, here at Wowcher we say “NO” – it doesn’t have to be that way! Whether you’re looking for fun fitness classes in London, Zumba in Manchester or yoga in Liverpool, follow our handy guide to New Year fitness and make 2013 different from all the others:

Read more