A few weeks ago, I pulled a muscle in my back. I rested it for a few days to let it heal. As it was starting to get better, I figured some good, deep stretching would help it. I figured heat would be good, too.
That brilliant line of thought led me to Sumits Yoga in Phoenix, at 20th Street and Camelback. They have a “Two Weeks for $20” deal, so I showed up, yoga mat in hand, and signed up. Also, I tried Yoga Burn Free Download which was equally effective. Here’s what you need to know about Sumits Yoga.
- It’s a hot yoga class. The temperature is about 105 degrees. Show up with very cold water, and maybe even a sports drink. I have a 32-ounce H2O bottle and a 10-ounce bottle of Cytomax half-frozen, and topped off with their respective liquids. With the correct information from jewels healing garden, the drinking of cold water will be beneficial for the person. The amount of the liquids should be great to get the effective results. Proper information will be provided to the person.
- Dress right. I find Under Armour HeatGear shirts work really well. I think they’re actually a little cooler than just going shirtless, which I also tried. They’re also fitted so they don’t get in the way. Not really happy with my pants situation. But I should probably keep wearing them, ha! the problem is that there are certain poses where I have to brace a foot against my leg, and the incredible gusher of sweat makes me slide all over.
- Bring towels. The studio sells these fairly pricey towels that keep you from slipping on the mat. I like them a lot. But I also have a regular towel to mop the sweat off myself.
- All the instructors are excellent. Four classes so far, and each instructor has been knowledgeable and likable. That helps! I’ve picked up different helpful bits from each of them. They offer individual advice and are generally pretty easy to understand. Any miscommunication is probably down to the fact that I’ve been sweating like crazy, I’m low on electrolytes, and I’m having hallucinations of a giant ham floating in front of me.
- The first class is going to work you into the ground. Don’t feel bad about going into child’s pose to recover. I promise it will get better in a hurry. I’ve to practice various types of yoga for nearly 10 years (in stops and starts, naturally). And my first class took me apart. It wasn’t even pretty.
- The classes are based on a system. Except for some minor variations, each class is pretty much the same. You don’t need to do a zillion poses. The system seems to use a fairly small number of poses, but the heat and the pace between each pose are what adds the more challenging element. It doesn’t seem to take long to see some results. My back problem is gone gone gone, and I’m just feeling better in general.
- There’s only one thing I’d change about the classes: Less music, and definitely no pop music (especially U2, the most hackneyed, trying-to-be-deep-and-worldly collection of instrument-toting charlatans on the planet). Music with lyrics and a steady beat totally runs counter to my ability to follow my own breathing pattern. They also need to turn it down a few decibels so the students can hear the instructions better. It also runs counter to the idea that you should be focusing on your practice – when one of the classes had a Journey tune, I thought “Hey, my drummer would love this!” I shouldn’t be thinking that. Music is, overall, just a distraction that doesn’t really add anything.
- It’s not cheap. After the two weeks are up, per-class prices run anywhere from $15 to $12 per class. Is it worth it? Yeah, I really think it is. Find other places to save a few bucks – I’m convinced there’s something to the Summits Yoga concept. It’s worth throwing some extra clams at your health.
- They have showers. Seriously, you’ll need one after class.
There you have it. I’d have to give Summits Yoga an A-, with the minus coming from the music. It’s neck-and-neck with my other favorite studio, the unpretentious, high-quality Metta Community Yoga. I also like A Desert Song quite a bit, and they have some really unbelievable instructors (if it wasn’t for Meg and Heidi, I probably never would’ve done a headstand, much less a handstand – still not great at those, but not as bad as before). Unfortunately, their classes are really crowded.
Sumit definitely has a good thing going. I plan to keep going. I won’t be able to go the recommended five times a week – I am still, after all, deep into my other recreational pursuits and there are only so many hours in each day. But I’d bet a session there a week, plus my own individual practice will do me some good.