Five Differences With Yoga In Japan

1.) The Hot Yoga rooms run hotter and more humid.

When I was in the States, I went with my mother to a hot yoga class. I was amazed how “cool” the room was. She was stunned and asked, “How hot are the rooms in Japan?”

I replied, “Much hotter than that. I’m usually bathed in sweat.”

They run so hot, it literally is like a sauna inside. There are dozens of showers in the women’s locker room and if you don’t plant yourself by the exit door and rush out, you’ll be waiting in a line of women for a stall when class let’s out.

I don’t know the actual temperature, but it’s definitely way above what it was in Texas.

2.)  They have hard floors

My experience with Yoga studios is limited, but all the ones I’ve been to in Japan had hard floors while all the ones I’ve been to in the US had carpeted floors.  This might be inaccurate since this isn’t an official study.

However, the floors tend to be a kind of laminated flooring.  My mother’s yoga friends were surprised at that.

3.) You get towels instead of mats

Now the really nice ones in Tokyo might be different on this. I think the ones with western instructors may use mats. However, so far in my experience you bring a large beach towel or you rent one from the gym the yoga studio is located in and you lay on that.

That surprised my mother who was like, “No mats?!”

Yes, no mats.  Just a towel to lay on top of a hard, laminated floor.


4.)  Showering After Hot Yoga Is Not An Option

After I finished the hot yoga session with my mother in the states, I had barely broken a sweat.  I went to the changing room and slipped back into my normal clothes. No hassle, no fuss.

Yeah… in Japan that’s no. (Again this is based on my limited experiences)

You’ll be bathed in sweat by the end of it and, even if you somehow miraculously aren’t, you’re still expected to shower.  There are vending machines in the gym that’ll sell soap and shampoo packets if you need them for about 50-100 yen.

5.) You get lockers

I was shocked when I went to Hot Yoga studios in the States and they gave us cubby.  I glanced around and, even asked, “Where are the lockers?”.

I was flabbergasted when I heard you were only given cubbies.

In Japan, you first put your shoes in a a shoe locker near the entrance and take the key for that. Then you use your card to check into the gym or Yoga studio, then you use that card to get the key out of your locker and leave your stuff in there.

When you finish your yoga session and shower, you remove your stuff and put the key back. Take your card and your shoe key, check out and put the shoe key back.  Hopefully by the end you have our shoes.

See it’s really just 1, 2, 3.




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When I was in my twenties, I moved to Japan and met a man there. We embarked on our adventure through life and love. I have lived with him in Japan ever since. We want to start a family, but that is proving difficult. I struggle with infertility. We almost had a child, but that ended in tragedy. Now we enjoy each day and hope that one day we'll hear the pitter-patter of little feet and the bubbly laughter of a child. In the meantime, I enjoy writing, love, studying, traveling, and working. These posts are my thoughts and stories of my life here.

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