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The Spotlight: Hot Athletic Yoga3 min read

Hot Athletic Yoga at Equinox
The Spotlight is where my favorite classes, studios, products, brands, destinations, (or anything else that I can’t get enough of) is featured! If I love it enough to share, I hope you might want to go ahead and try it!

Ever heard of Hot Athletic Yoga? Well, it is unlike any yoga class you have taken or will ever take. Taught by Serena Tom and available at select Equinox locations in NYC, it is yoga with an edge. Comprised of yoga, HIIT, and core conditioning, this class is very challenging. If you don’t believe me, Serena will tell you herself — this class is for those who want to be pushed and challenged.

Hot Athletic Yoga is open to all levels, but it is strenuous for everyone. The moves are athletic, as the focus is on strengthening your body and improving performance. Since prior experience with vinyasa yoga is required, it is not recommended to take this class if it is your first time doing yoga. In one hour, this class manages to pack a variety of workouts.

Oh, did I mention that this class is hot? With the average class heated to about 98 degrees, bring plenty of water and towels because you will sweat from beginning to end. I mean it, your sweat will break a sweat.

Get ready for 60 minutes of Hot Athletic Yoga.
Rooftop Athletic Yoga with Serena Tom

Rooftop Athletic Yoga with Serena Tom


The warmup

The class starts with a few sun salutations. This is the moment to open and prepare your body for the deeper practice. If you like, challenge yourself with a few variations, but remember, the “real workout” (as Serena says) is coming next.

The “real workout”

This is where the class diverts from the typical yoga class. Serena will demonstrate the HIIT and core conditioning moves and offer variations for the different levels in the class. Yes, you will feel hot, you will be sweating, and you will feel tired. Yet, with Serena’s encouragement, you will get to the end of the circuit feeling stronger and amazed at what your body can do.

The flow

After HIIT and core conditioning, it’s time for the traditional vinyasa yoga flows. Most of the flows focus on balance, which is challenging after intense cardio. Yet, while in flow, Serena reminds the class to “calm the mind” and to find strength in the movement. She is a tenacious and supportive instructor that will provide assistance if needed.

Finally, it is time for the universal favorite of savasana. Enjoy a few moments to congratulate yourself for thriving (or surviving) through the toughest yoga class ever.


This class is not for those who want to fade into the background, as no effort goes unnoticed by Serena. She will encourage and push you, but she will also call you out. So no checking work emails, when you should be doing downward dog. Hot Athletic Yoga is as much a mental experience as it is physical. Be present in this practice. You will not only leave this class sweaty but with an amazing sense of accomplishment.

Note: if you want to try this class, but not in a heated room, Serena also offers Athletic Yoga at select Equinox Locations.

The Spotlight Summary– Hot Athletic Yoga
Difficulty 8 — difficult
Workout Quality 9 — vigorous exercise
Class Size Max capacity is 30. The average class is often full.
Locations Only available at the following NYC Equinox locations:

  • Equinox Brookfield Place
  • Equinox Bryant Park
  • Equinox Columbus Circle*
  • Equinox Park Avenue*
  • Equinox Soho*
  • Equinox 53rd St*
  • Equinox 76th St*
  • Equinox East 92nd St

* Locations that offer Athletic Yoga

Cost Requires Equinox membership
Reservation Requires pre-booking on Equinox app
Tips Bring lots of water!

If you want to give hot athletic yoga or athletic yoga a try, check out Serena Tom’s class schedule. Don’t have a Equinox membership? You can join here!

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