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Studio gives a hot twist to traditional pilates

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Vanessa Gomez, instructor at Hot Yoga Claremont, leads a high intensity interval training class, known as Hot HIIT, on Monday. Hot Yoga Claremont features Hot HIIT and pilates classes as well as hot yoga, in which students workout in a room heated to about 100 degrees. The studio on Foothill Boulevard also features belly dancing and several styles of yoga. See story on page 6. / photo by Maydeen Merino

Catalina Diaz
LV Life Editor

Sweat can be heard hitting the floor as students push their bodies to their limits at Hot Yoga Claremont, where classes are held in a room of nearly 100 degrees.

Hot Yoga Claremont, located on Foothill Blvd., offers a variety of yoga and pilates classes in a hot room, with a schedule that starts as early as 6:30 a.m.

Instructor Vanessa Gomez has been teaching for over four years at Hot Yoga. In January, she created the Hot HIIT Pilates course, that she says has had great success. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which is a series of intense, short exercises with only seconds of recovery in between.

“I was tired of teaching the same thing over and over again, so I decided that we should try something new,” Gomez said.

Gomez’s Hot HIIT Pilates class is 45 minutes of pure energy consuming movements, accompanied by a fast-paced workout mix. The best, and possibly worst part about this well-rounded routine is the 97 degree room the class is held in.

Gomez said the high heat allows for the body to have a better range of motion, allowing for a safer and deeper stretch.

“It also allows the joints to open up so that way you have the ability to extend them more so you have a more range of motion,” Gomez said. “Once you’re a little more warmed up, your body is able to do more, safely.”

Students and their mats fill a heated room and follow Gomez’s vigorous cardio movements. It is recommended that yogis refrain from eating a hearty breakfast before attending class. The heat along with fast movements could hinder them from finishing.

Although the class is fast-paced, Gomez said that she teaches her sessions differently than other yoga studios.

“In most yoga or pilates, the teacher just talks you through the classes, where this one I stop it, show you what to do, and then we do it together. So it gives the student more time to understand what it is that they’re doing,” Gomez said.

Like most forms of exercise, pilates and yoga depend greatly on good form.

Gomez said that with her style of teaching, it allows for better concentration of form.

“It’s more about making sure you do it precisely, it’s about doing it correctly,” Gomez said.

Personal trainer and mother of four, Alicia Gurado said that she needed a switch in her workout and daily routine, which is what brought her to Hot Yoga as well as the sweet Groupon deal she found.

“I believe the way you workout really changes your body,” Gurado said.

“By doing this and the weight lifting, I am getting the results that I want.”

Yoga is also widely-known to help alleviate stress, which Gurado said she also looks forward to by attending classes.

“That’s the part I love – the clarity after the yoga,” Gurado said.

“And I do notice a change in my workouts. I am more stable and stronger and have a full range of motion.”

Other students attending classes at Hot Yoga also find themselves setting goals.

Brittany Wyatt, 27, and friend Brianne De La Cruz, 23, both of La Verne, attended Gomez’s Monday morning Hot HIIT Pilates course for their first time, and said they were satisfied with how they felt after.

“I work all of the time, and you can get so unmotivated by just going to the gym so I wanted something new,” Wyatt said.

Both De La Cruz and Wyatt said they are looking forward to burning fat and developing more energy by attending more classes.

Other classes offered are Bikram Yoga, belly dancing, kids yoga and restorative yoga, which focuses on poses that are held for sometimes up to twenty minutes.

Hot Yoga Claremont offers new students a free introductory class, with the choice to attend any one offered.

Visit for more information on classes, rates and schedules.

Catalina Diaz can be reached at

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