Hella Yoga: Hella Hot Pilates

Photo: Hella Yoga

Photo: Hella Yoga

CLASS: Hella Hot Pilates at Hella Yoga, Berkeley 

TRAINER: Anastasia (Ana) & Erin — this tag team was having a great time teaching together — and their fun was contagious. 

SWEAT: 10/10. 

LEVEL:  Intermediate to Adv. Beginners may want to start with a few regular pilates classes before goin' straight for the turnt-up heated version. 

APPROX. CALORIES BURNED: 300

TOP 3 TAKEAWAYS:

  • As soon as you walk in to the hot room, you'll notice disco ball, strobe lights, and loud hip hop music. At first we weren't sure if we walked into a nightclub or a pilates studio, but we knew we were there for a good time. 

  • Don't be fooled by the party atmosphere, the workout is actually quite intense. You'll definitely walk away feeling sore. By mid-class, you'll be drenched with shaky muscles.
  • Hard. Wood. Floors. It's a minor detail, but we love that it's a hot yoga studio with hardwood floors vs. carpet.  

MUSIC: Mostly hip hop. Lots of throw-back (aka DMX, Missy Elliott) and some newer hits (Cardi B, Drake).  

BRING:  A yoga mat, two towels (one for your mat, one for your face), and a water bottle that will stay cold in a hot room. Shoes/socks aren't necessary. 

CLASSPASS: Yes

Pro tip: Come on an empty stomach (don't eat 2-3 hours before class) and drink lots of water before, during, and after this workout. 

Photo: Hella Yoga

Photo: Hella Yoga

Photo: Hella Yoga 

Photo: Hella Yoga 

THE WORKOUT

So, first things first: This was one helluva fun workout. The lights were shinin', music was poppin', the sweat was drippin'.  It's set up like a traditional mat pilates class, except it's hot, the music is loud, and it feels more like a party. Class started off pretty standard, with a few light warm-up stretches. However, as class starts to heat up (literally), and the music starts goin', it's clear that Hella Hot Pilates is going to be a hella hard workout. 

While none of the moves are too difficult in and of themselves, the repetition with very little downtime in between movements (plus the heat) is what's killer. This studio uses the Tabata style of pilates, so every set is about 35 seconds on, 5 seconds off, repeat, for 4-minutes. While that doesn't sound hard per se, the repetition results in serious muscle fatigue and the heat adds to the intensity, it quickly puts your mind and your body to the test. 

Most of the moves follow a traditional mat pilates style class, but there's some cardio-based thrown in too — think: mountain climbers, burpees, etc. Ana and Erin did a great job of coordinating movements to the music. At one point, we did squat walks forward and backward to the beat to Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up" and the entire class was having a great time — we've never seen so many smiles during a squat sequence. Plus, it made a long squat sequence feel doable. 

While Ana and Erin were super fun, and did a lot of dancing around the room to keep the class hyped, the one thing we didn't get a ton of was a full break down of each move or hands-on adjustments in class. There was a few times when we had to look around the class to see what everyone else was doing before we could settle in to the actual movement, and we kind of had to assume we were doing the movements correctly. For this reason, we recommend this class to those who are intermediate or advanced fitness enthusiasts. 

Overall, this is a definite must-try class. It's fun, it's challenging, and it's unlike any pilates class we've taken in the Bay. Plus, who can resist a disco ball in the middle of a workout room?

THE SPACE

We absolutely love this space. It's a bit quirky with a bohemian feel to it — lots of bright colors, mismatched furniture, and random items in the lobby. You'll also find a few changing rooms in the lobby separated by a curtain as well as a few bathrooms without showers. 

There's one main room behind the lobby where class is held. You can only bring your mat, water, and your phone into the room. Everything else is to be left out in the cubbies in the lobby. 

There's a parking structure nearby, Parking is hard to find, so be sure to get there with plenty of time to look for a space. 

 

Hella Yoga | 2240 Oxford St. Berkeley | 510.990.6163 |

Classes start at $16 for a drop in, and packages start at $99