If you think you're the last person on earth who would even remotely enjoy yoga, read on. There's a studio in town that made yoga so likable and mainstream, you'd actually be looking forward to class #2.
I visited Other Movement (OM) after a particularly stressful day, and asked my coworker Belle to accompany me. There was no way I could've been convinced to try this class if it weren't for its major hook: "Candlelit hot yoga to music." I love music-based workouts (I'm an indoor cycling fan), and I know anything looks good in candlelight (lol), so I was sold. Game. On.
Where is Other Movement (OM) Studio?
100 Carlos Palanca
Legazpi Village, Makati City
Contact: (0917) 523-15138
Why use candles and music during yoga class?
You'd think the candles and music are just a gimmick, but they actually serve an important purpose: The yoga class is done in a dark room lit only by flameless candles (no accidental wax spillage!), so you can focus on yourself rather than looking around at people. Cara Jose, co-owner and teacher at OM, explains, "In any fitness space, we find that oftentimes people get conscious when they see how other people are doing. The darkness helps you really focus and get in your head."
As for the music, it's there to make the flow of your movements more fun. "We found that a lot of people are really driven by music," Cara imparts. "Music can change the mood like no other so we knew adding this to the class would dramatically alter the yoga experience in a positive way." As for the type of music played, it all depends on the teacher—it can be instrumental, or even songs with lyrics or beats.
What is hot yoga?
If a Bikram yoga class (90 minutes) is held in a room heated at 41 degrees celsius, the hot yoga at OM (only 55 minutes) is milder and more tolerable. The heated air improves flexibility, helps stretch muscle tissues, and increases stamina. Cara says, "In general, it helps you become more aware with what’s going on with your body and helps clear your mind. You engage and exercise both your mind and body. After a class, you come out feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and focused. It’s a plus that sweating out toxins also helps you shed some calories."
Hot yoga is great for anxiety too, according to Cara. "The overall experience of sweating, flowing, focusing, then walking out of the class feeling realigned and refocused mentally and physically is unlike any other."
What are classes like at Other Movement (OM)?
In a Vinyasa-based class, expect the linking of one yoga pose to another. There is literally a "flow." According to Cara, there are many yoga poses, and the poses done are dependent on the week's theme. "We ask first-timers for their injuries. If there's any, we tell the teacher as every class has different poses. We give them advice on their injuries accordingly but we always recommend them to take it easy."
Aside from the poses, because the classes are also music-based, each teacher has something unique to offer. "We highly recommend trying each teacher to see whose class you feel most aligned to," says Cara.
What is a major misconception about yoga?
You've heard it before, and we're saying it again: You don't need to know how to do a headstand or possess amazing flexibility to do yoga. "We’re here to let people know that if you’re able to carve out an hour of your day to arrive on your mat and clear your mind, whether you get to do all the poses or not, that’s already yoga. We all start somewhere!" Cara says. She couldn't have put it better: "Yoga is for everyone and it meets you where you are at." It's OM's mission to make yoga less intimidating and more accessible to people.
How often should you do hot yoga?
You can do hot yoga every day if you would like. At OM, many of the people visit three to five times a week on average.
What are things you should expect before, during, and after a hot yoga class?
We asked Cara to share tips for hot yoga newbies who'd like to try a class at OM.
- Make sure to hydrate as much as you can, use the toilet, and refrain from having something heavy to eat before the class. Nuts, granola, or fruits are great pre-yoga snacks.
- What to wear: T-shirts, tank tops, sports bras, yoga pants, or cycling shorts.
- There are lockers, showers, towels, and toiletries at OM; pack light!
- What to bring: Jug of water
- There's no need to bring a mat and mat towel as they will be provided for.
- Focus on you doing you. Don't feel pressured to do all the poses. You can always go back to child's pose at any time. It is also candlelit to help you just focus on you rather than seeing other people.
- At any point, if you are feeling scared, don’t forget to just BREATHE. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always call the attention of the teacher and they would be happy to help you. You can also take sips of water at any point in the class.
- OM does not allow talking or mobile gadgets in the room to help keep the OM experience distraction-free for everyone.
- Always listen to your body. Make sure to be mindful of your pace and not push yourself too much. If you feel faint or dizzy, you can go on your thunderbolt/Vajrayana seated pose. Take a sip of water then kneel on the floor, then bring your bum to sit on your heels. Lay your hands on your thighs, palms down. Inhale, exhale, and continue to focus on your breathing until you start to feel better. If you continue to feel faint, you can step out of the room.
- If you get cramps: Stretch the cramped muscle and gently rub it to help it relax. Take sips of water afterwards and breathe.
- During class, make sure to take sips rather than big amounts of water at a time to avoid feeling bloated.
- Dizziness could mean that you were pushing your body a bit too much or you did not have enough water for the class. Don't forget that in a hot yoga class you will be sweating more than usual while flowing through poses. Make sure you drink enough water before class to compensate for that as well as afterwards. You can also drink coconut water to help replenish electrolytes.
- You can take a shower after class. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath can also help shorten recovery time.
- Aside from water, you can also drink coconut water or Pocari sweat.
How much is a hot yoga class at Other Movement (OM)?
Intro Special 3 Class Pack (non-transferable) - P1,000
5 Class Pack - P4,450
10 Class Pack - P8,300
15 Class pack - P11,700
1 Class - P 950
Check the schedules and book your classes at othermovement.com.
How was our first candlelit hot yoga class?
Belle and I were hot yoga newbies—and probably the best people to try OM because we were 100% clueless going into this. Read our reviews below!
"The best part about the workout was the environment! The lighting, music, and temperature made a really conducive atmosphere for a newbie like myself. I was afraid the room would be too hot, but the temp was perfect. I felt less self-conscious about my body, and I was able to let go halfway into the workout. I also liked how they tell you to listen to your body; you're free to go into child's pose at any time, and you can leave the room if you feel you've overextended yourself. My tip for beginners: Keep yourself hydrated! Eat something with protein a few hours before the workout. I was really nervous before the sesh, but now, I wish I could have told my past self there was nothing to worry about. Just relax and let go! I would definitely go again." - Belle
"My greatest fear during my yoga class was getting cramps. I tend to get intense, debilitating toe cramps because I wear high heels a lot, and I don't hydrate enough. Guess what, it didn't happen! I think the heat helped immensely to warm up my body and put me at ease. Our teacher Abel went around the class as we were doing the poses, assisting me and Belle as needed. His presence was quite comforting and helpful, and I didn't feel any pressure at all. The music and candlelight were so relaxing too. I work in a job where deadlines never stop, and I feel like my heart is in a constant state of palpitation. But in those 55 minutes, the stress went away, and it was just me in a safe space where time kind of stopped. I left the class drenched in sweat with a happy heart, as if a load was lifted. I'd go back just to feel that again." - Jillian
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