The fever. Have you caught it yet? Ever since practicing at Yoga Fever, at 1154 Wealthy St SE, a year ago as part of its new student deal, I hadn’t had a chance to return but found myself craving its unique combination of intense hot vinyasa with thoughtful alignment cues and more classical postures. I got my fix when I returned a couple of weeks ago and took a Hot Flow class with the owner, Shannon Austin, which is described as an “alignment-based vinyasa yoga class.”
The studio recommends that practitioners take a Slow Flow or Gentle Flow class prior to attending Hot Flow.
Austin began the class with a gentle, internally-focused sequence: while lying on the floor amidst chilled-out beats, we used a strap to assist us in opening backs of legs, and it seemed the entire world slowed. Yet before I knew it, we were completing a complex dance of pivoting, lunging, standing on one leg and arm balancing – all to the proclamations of Rhianna.
Like our Western approach to yoga, which has become inextricably connected with pushing ourselves in a rigorous workout, Yoga Fever admittedly focuses on athleticism, such as repeated push-ups and knee bends.
While I did notice that the fast-paced aspects of class demanded that I regularly check my ego, Austin ended the class with more obscure, meditative poses one may not see in a hot yoga class, including Pose Dedicated to Sage Marichi I, or a forward fold over one leg with arms intertwined around a bent leg.
And this is where Yoga Fever excels: it offers a strong physical practice along with opportunities to turn inward and learn more about the roots of yoga.
From what I have experienced in a handful of classes, the instructors as a whole lean toward very creative sequencing, which means one can never really know what to expect in any given class. This approach can have its pros and cons: the body and mind are kept stimulated through fresh combinations, and yet they may challenge beginners or those with physical limitations.
I personally prefer innovative and surprising classes such as those at Yoga Fever, but such sequences are challenging in that they ask us to honor our bodies and avoid pushing ourselves too hard.
At an hour and fifteen minutes, the extended class time was appreciated, as it gave the chance to warm up and wind down. Afterward, I floated out of the sweaty classroom, taking in the clean white walls of the lobby, with bright watercolor paintings for sale.
Yoga Fever also offers a 45-minute lunch flow and well as hour-long classes. It’s convenient location on the corner of Fuller and Wealthy easily lends itself to grabbing soup at Uncle Cheetah’s or coffee at The Sparrows nearby, too.
*This article has been edited to clarify the recommended requirements for Yoga Fever’s Hot Flow class.