Sculpt Your Bod in a Pleasurable Hell of Inferno Hot Pilates at YO BK, Williamsburg

by Katarina Hybenova

“This is not your mama’s pilates,” young woman shouts over the club music, which is pumping from the speakers, while the disco ball is twirling above our heads. The jam-packed room is dark except for the lights, which are enthusiastically dancing on the walls and on our bodies. I am lying on my back, my heels are pulled close to my butt, as I was instructed, and a trickle of sweat rolls from my forehead onto to the yoga mat where, in the next hour, it will be joined by a lot more sweat.

I am taking Inferno Pilates at YO BK studio in Williamsburg, which is the latest craze on the New York fitness scene, and a subject to a recent New York Times trend piece, which dubbed it as the class for “alpha-exercisers” who “aren’t satisfied until they have sweat through their clothes and feel like passing out.” This single piece of information makes me more nervous than the 95 degrees in the room. What if it turns out that I am a beta-exerciser, or worse a tetra-exerciser, and this class will be way too hard for me? And what is "alpha-exerciser" anyway? It feels like a dated idea of a person who works out through dead bodies--whether they belong to him or her, or somebody else completely.

I know that I won’t kill myself or anybody else tonight, but I do have an intention to give the class my best, and enjoy it in the process.

“It’s really challenging, but it’s really fun,” the owner of YO BK, Kate Davies tells So Williamsburg. “It’s similar to Bikram Yoga in the way that it’s challenging but also very accessible. You can have someone who is 60 years old, overweight and who has never exercised in their life next to someone who is 25 and has been fit for their entire life. It works, because there are a million different ways to modify.”

Inferno Pilates is a distant cousin of Bikram Yoga, Crossfit, and of course, Pilates. The exercise is performed in a hot room, which is only slightly colder than regular Bikram Yoga room (95 vs. 104 degrees); and is really hellishly hard, but in a great way that makes you fully present in the room, and aware of your own body in a refreshing way, especially after a long day spent in the office.

The exercise has been created in 2012 in Las Vegas by Gabriella Walters who does certification for teachers all over the world. According to Davies, Walters came to YO BK in the past to do a teacher training and will be coming back in July.

Davies points out that it’s the ambience during Inferno Pilates, which makes a lot of people comfortable. “There is no super, super bright unflattering light,” she says. “And students get be a little bit louder, they can clap and scream, and enjoy themselves.”

The class maintains its clubby vibe even at 6:30 a.m., so if you’re one of the very many people who enjoy the ever-popular morning rave, this class is for you. “[Inferno Pilates] creates an ambience that feels almost like you had a night out,” Davies explains. “We find that our students are really social with one another after the class, specifically because of this fun atmosphere.”   

Owner Kate Davies opened YO BK on the stretch of Broadway close to the waterfront on Halloween 2015. When they opened they were offering only the traditional 90-minute Bikram Yoga. “There was a void in the neighborhood, there wasn’t any Bikram Yoga anywhere in North Brooklyn,” Davies tells me. Davies explains that in May of 2016 she was approached by a couple of teachers who were going to do a Hot Pilates training. She decided to give the new class a try and put two classes a week on the schedule. The classes immediately started selling out, and they had to keep adding them. Currently Yo BK offers 12 classes a week starting as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 8:30 p.m.

You will be also pleased to hear that YO BK offers some of the best membership prices in the city. Intro month, which gives you unlimited Inferno Pilates and Bikram Yoga, is only $49, and regular monthly membership is $109. Drop-in class is $27. Davies highly recommends you reserve a class online--especially if you’re going for Inferno Pilates--and come 15 minutes early.

NY Times: New at the Yoga Studio: A Hot Winter Workout With a Party Vibe

by Tatiana Boncompagni

Hot yoga and Pilates have been around for a while. But recently, a few owners of boutique studios decided to add some spice to the heat. They had noticed that for many busy type-A New Yorkers, achieving mindfulness while stretching or building strength in a heated room was simply not enough.

“People want to get everything in one class,” said Bethany Lyons, a yoga instructor and a founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, a heated studio in TriBeCa that teaches an athletic style of yoga. “They want to relieve tension, be physically challenged and get spiritually rinsed.”

Inferno Hot Pilates, a grueling and popular class at YO BK in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, seems to be the perfect example of the new wellness/extreme-workout hybrid trend. Described as a “bridge between yoga and CrossFit” by Gabriella Walters, its creator, the 60-minute Inferno class includes classic Pilates core work — in addition to squats, burpees, mountain climbers or push-ups, all in a 95-degree studio. Ms. Walters also encourages displaying disco balls and playing pop music to create a nightclublike atmosphere.

The party vibe is also part of the draw at Tangerine Hot Power Yoga in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. The studio’s front-desk area features a bar with stools where, on some event nights, wine and Champagne are poured. Tamara Behar, the studio’s founder, said she wanted to create a “social atmosphere” with the décor.

The Inferno Hot Pilates class at YO BK has become so popular that 10 additional hours have been added to the weekly schedule to meet the demand, said Kate Davies, the studio’s owner. “We can fit 30 in a room, and we’re regularly at capacity,” she said.

And when temperatures drop, she said, classes are even more packed. In other words, the hot classes are particularly hot these days.

Eric Cahan of Brooklyn is not a big fan of winter. So when he can’t escape to his second home in Miami, he settles for the Inferno class, which he said had contributed to his recent stellar health record.

“The days when I don’t work out in a hot room, I feel sluggish,” said Mr. Cahan, an artist, who originally started taking Bikram yoga to improve his flexibility and deepen his meditation. Then he discovered that hot Pilates complemented his hot yoga practice. Most mornings he does one or the other.

“My body craves it,” he said. “It gives me energy. And I haven’t been sick since I’ve started a year and a half ago.”

It’s certainly the heat that keeps Ginger Kearns, a Brooklyn actress, coming back for more. “In the winter, I just can’t seem to warm up,” said Ms. Kearns, who takes classes at YO BK up to three times a week. “You get a little bit of a high being in a hot room. It is such a great mood enhancer.”

Dr. Gregory Galano, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, pointed out that there are potential benefits to doing intense workouts in a hot room. “It facilitates flexibility and may help prevent muscle strain injuries,” Dr. Galano said, citing a higher incidence of leg injuries among professional football players during colder games.

But on the flip side, he said, doing extreme exercise in the heat places more cardiovascular stress on the body, which can lead to heat exhaustion. “Take baby steps,” he said.

Try telling that to the alpha-exercisers who aren’t satisfied until they have sweat through their clothes and feel like passing out. For them, the hot Pilates-type classes seem more like a solution than a problem.


Feel the Burn: Inferno Hot Pilates is Your Newest—and Sweatiest—Fitness Obsession

Feel the Burn: Inferno Hot Pilates is Your Newest—and Sweatiest—Fitness Obsession

While the hot pilates trend has taken off around the country, YO BK is the only New York City studio to offer it. Currently, eight classes are held weekly, and YO BK founder Kate Davies keeps adding more. “We’ve had yoga students who are not excited that it is not yoga all the time,” says Davies. “But, honestly, it’s so incredibly popular that we have to keep doing it.”

YO BK now offers Hot Pilates!

YO BK is excited to announce that starting May 3 we are offering a Hot Pilates class twice a week taught by our talented teachers Natalie and Katia.

Hot Pilates is a 60 minute chal­leng­ing, full body, low impact, high inten­sity work­out, using mat Pilates prin­ci­ples. The room is heated to 95 degrees. It is designed for all fit­ness lev­els. It helps tone and strengthen mus­cles with­out the pound­ing of a high impact workout. 

Bikram Comes Back to Brooklyn

South Williamsburg just got a lot hotter. One hundred and four degrees with 40% humidity — to be precise as that’s the regulated temperature in YO BK, a Bikram yoga studio that recently opened on Broadway.

Traditionally, a Bikram studio offers 26 postures and two breathing exercises in a 90-minute structure. At YO BK, they do things a little differently.

Amazing 17 New Fitness and Yoga Spots Open in New York City

Amazing 17 New Fitness and Yoga Spots Open in New York City

Good Sweat

By Lisa Elaine Held

Grab a natural deodorant, 2016 is shaping up to be a seriously sweaty year in New York City. Soon, Brooklyn cult favorite The DogPound will arrive in Manhattan, while Shadowbox will reverse-commute its way to Brooklyn. Tone House will move to a giant new space, and Barry’s Bootcamp will finally open uptown.

But hold up. Before their doors even open, we’ve got these 17 (yes, 17!) new spots for pull ups and pulsing. This crop of studios all opened (or will open) in December 2015 and January 2016 ALONE (with a few small exceptions on timeline), leaving Gotham dwellers with few reasons to reneg on your fitness resolutions.

Check out these 17 new workout spots made for the new year (and listed in alphabetical order) now. Scoff at the idea of January gym crowds later.

17. Yo Bk
Bikram is the yoga style of choice (although they’re not purists—they offer both 60- and 90-minute classes) at this new hot studio in South Williamsburg, which has a loft feel and opened a little earlier this fall in the former Brooklyn Crew space. 

YO BK: Inside North Brooklyn’s Only Bikram Hot Yoga Practice

YO BK: Inside North Brooklyn’s Only Bikram Hot Yoga Practice

By Natalie Rinn

Last Wednesday evening, I entered Williamsburg’s YO BK—the only Bikram yoga studio in North Brooklyn. Bikram is maybe better known as hot yoga, which means what it sounds like: yoga poses executed in a very hot space. But the original and eponymous practice was developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, and is immutable: There are 26 poses, employed in a set order, and practiced at 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity in 90 minutes. At YO BK, opened by Kate Davies last October, the Bikram style is followed closely, except Davies also offers 60 minute classes, wherein select postures are struck once, rather than twice consecutively.

Yoga studio holds Valentine's class for couples

Yoga studio holds Valentine's class for couples

News12 Brooklyn

Kate Davies, the owner of YO BK hot yoga studio, held a special Valentine's Day-inspired class.

The class encouraged couples to come and spend an hour together exercising.

Resident KC Schimt says she motivated her boyfriend to give yoga a second chance and that they have both been practicing together for a few...

Bikram Yoga

By Craig Villani

Making the practice of hatha yoga accessible to six billion people worldwide is the primary philosophy underlying the development and growth of Bikram Yoga. Created by Yogi Raj Bikram Choudhury as a practical distillation of the classical eighty-four postures as set forth by oral transmission and recorded by the Vedic sage Patanjali, Bikram’s method of Hatha Yoga stands as a structured and foundational approach towards balancing the modern bodymind.

Hit The Mat

Hit The Mat

Think yoga has nothing to offer men? Think again.

By Elise Diamantini

There’s a reason athletes like David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Andy Murray moonlight as Bikram yogis. Murray, a pro-tennis player who’s currently ranked third in the world and is the reigning Olympic Singles Champion, credits Bikram Yoga for increasing his mental and physical endurance during matches. And Abdul-Jabbar has said that if it weren’t for Bikram Yoga, he could never have played NBA basketball for as long as he did with so few injuries.