Sweat Yoga is the next big heat wave to hit Playa Vista
Story by Shanee Edwards | Photos by Shilah Montiel
“It’s kind of an addictive form of yoga,” says Sweat Yoga founder Tom Schey just before the opening of his new Playa Vista studio at The Brickyard.
With four locations in Southern California and one in New York City, Sweat Yoga is growing fast. But it’s hard to say exactly what’s so addicting about it — is it the heated room, the lively music, the dedicated teachers?
Whatever it may be, Schey says Sweat Yoga has struck a nerve in the yoga community.
“The music is creative,” says Schey. “We’re young, we’re fun, we’re athletic. We’re soulful. We kind of own what we do, and no one else does what we do the way we do it.”
He’s not kidding around. On the day of their grand opening, the gently lit studio with windows on all sides was 106 degrees, with a mister in the center of the room to add a bit of humidity.
Schey says there are many benefits to doing yoga in a very hot room.
“We feel the heat aids in loosening up and lubricating the joints. Our classes, from a duration standpoint, can be a little shorter because of the heat — it takes less time to warm up. There’s a fairly direct connection with detoxifying the body which is also caused by sweating, and then rehydrating the body with healthy liquids aids in that.”
Schey says that rather than feeling beat up at the end of a class, students feel refreshed.
Located at The Brickyard, the space has windows on all sides.
While it was challenging to build a studio with wrap-around windows — “Do you know how hard it is to put in a shower next to a window?” Schey says, comparing the raw space to a terrarium — the mirrorless studio is an inspiring place. After all, students come in to connect with their bodies for an hour, not to stare at the person in front of them or check themselves out in a mirror, he adds.
“We concentrate on a moving meditation.”
On opening night, employees wear big smiles and point to where a freezer filled with frozen treats will go. The excitement is palpable.
Descriptions of Sweat Yoga’s various classes are online. Their signature class is called “Sweat-Flow,” where the warmup includes connecting to the breath and is followed by three separate flows. The 60-minute class ends with a “sweet savasana.” There’s also the “Sweat-Chizle” class, which focuses on strength training. It includes some flows, but poses are held longer and light hand-weights are integrated into the session. If the 100+ degree heat sounds too intense for you, check out their “Candlelight Yin” class that includes candles, long holds and slightly lower temperatures.
Due to the success of their Santa Monica location, Schey is optimistic about what the future holds in Playa Vista.
“We’ve been knocking on doors in the neighborhood. It’s always tough to start a new studio, but I think Playa Vista is going to be our most successful location a year from now.”
Single classes are $25, but you can get an introductory pass for $45 that allows you unlimited classes for 14 days. A one-month unlimited membership runs $185.
Sweat Yoga Playa Vista is in The Brickyard at 12105 E. Waterfront Drive. Visit sweat-yoga.com for more information.