AS SOON AS YOU WALK THROUGH the doors, you know you have entered into someplace special. Thavma Yoga in Lakewood Ranch is not your ordinary yoga palace. It is an escape from the typical yoga studio. It’s refreshing, clean, well equipped and decidedly European. That is probably because both owners are from Greece. It is clean, stylish, modern and lush in a very special way.
Marina, the yoga master and instructor was exceptionally kind and welcoming. Smiling in a very genuine way–she was encouraging and did not put me off in any way from the impending difficult hot yoga class that I had signed up for. Many a journalist would have been running scared, but not me–I was totally up for the challenge.
“Have you ever taken a hot yoga type of Bikram class?” casually asked Marina.
“Not truly” I replied. I had done many classes in Miami with no air conditioning–that should have counted for something. She smiled again, reassuringly. I was still feeling ok with the whole concept.
“This will be different, it is truly a hot yoga experience” Marina replied.
We entered the beautiful room and wow- the heat enveloped you. But, in a good way. I understood that you can burn 800 to 1000 calories in a single session. I was certainly up for that after a holiday weekend of a tad of overindulgence. However, I felt confident that I could proceed with the class and truly enjoy it- my suspicions were spot on.
Those who are devoted to the practice of hot yoga say it has all kinds of benefits. Most often, it is the detoxification, heavy sweating is said to flush toxins from the skin. The heat also allows you to go more deeply and safely into the postures. Working in a heated room also elevates the heart rate, which makes the body work harder. It is ideal for people who want a more intense workout- great for strength and flexibility and focuses the mind which helps with mental concentration.
Bikram Yoga, which is the emphasis of Thavma Yoga, is considered the incarnation of the form. They follow a set or sequence of 26 postures and focus on endurance.
The class was geared to every level– high, medium or low. The music was totally amazing- classic 90’s Depeche Mode and more and kept you going and often kept your mind off the movement through the heat. As the time went on, the heat became much more tolerable and the perspiration that was rolling off the body was a release of toxins, allowing for health benefits to move through. The heat also assists in warming the muscles to a point of great flexibility–I was able to perform moves that I had not been able to do previously.
The benefits are amazing–you can seriously slim down and create a fine tuned body machine. Reduce stress– absolutely. Find your happy mojo– definitely. Is Thavma Yoga a beautiful and calm space to achieve these goals in–a thousand percent yes! Bravo to Thavma Yoga. – Susan Short