Hot8Yoga. I was definitely intrigued; after these last few years of doing yoga, I had never gone to a true hot yoga class, and the free one week trial made it an easy decision. The facilities are very nice; it is in the old Exhale space on Second Street between Broadway and Santa Monica, a couple doors south of Power Yoga West. They have a large reception area, men and women locker rooms with showers (unusual for most studios I have been to), and two large studios. The studios are windowless, with a few walls of mirrors, and interesting hypoallergenic, pvc floors.
Since it was both of our first times, we took the regular hot yoga class which was for all levels. The temperature was set at 100 degrees for the entire class and it felt like a sauna the entire time. Within minutes, everyone was soaked and we weren't even doing particularly difficult or strenuous moves. I have to admit, I did not enjoy the class at all. The pacing was very strange; there was no flow or harmony to the movements, the whole practice was very disjointed and I found my mind wandering constantly (particularly wondering how much time was left in class, which I never think about in my regular classes). We did a lot of poses, such as half moon, differently from how I normally practice them, and I prefer my regular way. While there was a lot of stretching and backbends, I did not really feel like I was building strength or really pushing myself to the limits. I definitely sweated multiples more than I ever have in a class, but I didn't really feel like I was working that hard, and I found the heat and sweat to be more of a distraction than a positive. Even after class, I did not feel the relaxation that I normally do after a good yoga class. It was definitely disappointing. I will definitely be back this week to try some different classes with different teachers since it is free, but I do not see myself becoming a member.