A Yoga Journey through Pregnancy with Susan Bullington



A long time student of The Hot Room, Susan inspired us during her pregnancy with her continued dedication to practice. We admire her strength and passion so we wanted to learn more about what her journey was like! 


How was this yoga journey during pregnancy different than your other two?
I am fortunate that I was able to practice during all 3 pregnancies.  I never feel more connected with my body than when I am practicing when I am pregnant.  I am more patient and listen to what my body needs during those months.  This is the only pregnancy where I practiced hot yoga during the entire 9 months.  Prior to my pregnancy, I only practiced the original hot yoga about once a week because I preferred pilates and vinyasa classes, but by the end, I was practicing it 3 times a week and it was my preferred class. I love the predictability of this yoga and it allowed me to confidently practice as my body rapidly changed.

I actually feel that I grew stronger during my pregnancy because I was able to increase the amount I practiced the original hot yoga (and because I was holding poses with an extra 30lbs.  :))  Probably the biggest change during this journey was the support I received from THR community.  Every class, I received words of encouragement from a teacher of fellow yogi.  I can't express enough from how much that meant to me. 


How did you decide to continue your practice during pregnancy? What was the biggest change/modification you had to make?
Yoga was such a huge part of all of my pregnancies and I knew I wanted to continue for my mind as much as my body.  Prior to this pregnancy, I was practicing some sort of hot yoga/pilates about 6 days a week so I knew my body was accustomed to the workouts and heat. I followed the pregnancy modifications for the original hot yoga very early in my pregnancy.  This allowed me time to try the modifications and figure out what felt best for my changing body. 


Do you feel that yoga helped during labor or any other benefits during your pregnancy?
YES!!!!!  Yoga played a huge role in allowing me to have 3 natural, unmedicated births.  Every class, I made sure to find some time to completely focus on my breath and visualize breathing through contractions.  During labor, I relied on my months of preparation to control the pain with my breath.  All 3 of my deliveries were rather quick and I think that yoga gave me the strength I needed to quickly and efficiently push my babies out.  :) 

Other benefits...ENERGY!  Practicing often gave me a much needed energy boost and I noticed I felt more tired if I missed classes.  Yoga also helped with digestion. I had lots of heartburn with this pregnancy and was surprised to discover that yoga actually made it better.  Another benefit was the effect on my mental health. It felt good to know I was able to do something healthy for my body and baby.  I am definitely more cranky/less patient when I don't do yoga. 


What advice do you have for other expecting mothers who plan to practice during their pregnancy?
I would encourage expecting mothers to inform the instructors as early as they feel comfortable and adopt the pregnancy modifications early.  This helped me feel more relaxed during my practice and allowed me to give myself permission to take it easy and rest when I needed to.  Always remember that your baby is the most important person in the class and listen to what your body is telling you.  I found it helpful to talk to other moms who practiced during their pregnancies to learn from their experience.  And as always, drink tons of water!!!  But most importantly, enjoy the journey...it truly is a magical time.  


Hot Yoga Summer Practice Benefits

Many people think that hot yoga is best practiced during the colder months. There's definitely a high number of students when the weather turns cool! The truth is, hot yoga and pilates is truly beneficial all year long. Keep reading to learn more! 


Cope with the Summer Heat - Ever felt sapped of energy after a long day in the sun? A consistent practice will keep you strong and energized through all of your favorite summer events! 


Improve your Practice - Your body will be warmed up before you enter the studio. You will find that you are more flexible and can go deeper into the postures during the summer. 


Feel Amazing, Look Amazing - Continue your practice and you'll feel strong and confident in your summer clothes. 


Detox - Sweating helps improve your kidney functions - which is great after all those summer cocktail parties!


Drink More Water - Your summer practice will encourage you to stay hydrated and help you lose weight.


Energize your Body and Mind - A consistent practice will release stress from your body and enhance your overall peace of mind.


Perform your Best - Practice at The Hot Room and it will give you the athletic upper hand no matter what outdoor activity you pursue. 


Indulge - Summer schedules tend to be more flexible for lots of yogis! Take advantage of some extra time by spending it on yourself and your health. 


Spend Quality Time with Yourself - 
Dedicate your practice to YOU! With a consistent practice you will be full of energy and be a better version of yourself.


Connect - Hang out with your favorite teachers and the best yoga community all summer long!


What Yoga Has Given Kelsey Thurman: A Student's Perspective



Here are the life lessons I’ve learned from The Hot Room and their amazing instructors. 

Set your intention every day.
Most days, my intention is different. Some days, my intention is to get through class and grab a juice after. Other days, my intention is powerful. When I look at myself in the mirror and love myself for who I am, I am in the moment. It slows down this hectic life that seems to move so quickly. More importantly, without realizing it, I started to set my intentions during my daily tasks. My demeanor at work has changed. It has even benefited the students I work with every day. 


You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit.
After my first class I left thinking, who are these crazy people? That was the most miserable class I had ever endured. But then, I came back. For the first time in a long time, I found myself leaving every practice feeling stronger, mentally and physically. Everyone who steps into the room is devoting themselves to an hour of pushing themselves to be better; to be a stronger, kinder individual who leaves and continues their practice out in the world. Your Hot Room practice provides you this experience every time you come to class. 


Embrace the hard stuff.
As I began to listen to the instructors, the words that stuck with me are, “the hardest pose is the one you need the most.” Those damn Eagle and Dancer pose. Outside of my practice, I have learned a great deal from embracing the hard stuff. Embracing where you are in life and knowing that avoiding the hard stuff is not going to get you anywhere. Facing the challenges of your day to day with the grace you bring to your practice can ground you and lead you to have a better understanding of yourself and your journey. 


MEDITATE. MEDITATE. MEDITATE. Can’t focus? Meditate. Can’t sleep? Meditate. Can’t seem to do anything? Well, guess what, meditate! I am an anxious person who is always on to the next thought or event in my mind. The Hot Room has slowed me down, in the best way possible. Even when my head is racing, I can find peace in focusing on my breathing in the current moment, even if I feel like it’s the last place I want to be; this thought means it’s the first place I need to be. Meditating has improved my life immensely in the last year. In my job, when 28 students need my immediate attention and I need to be ON all the time. I subconsciously am breathing through the hard parts of my day, leading my students to breathe through the hard parts of their day.


We’re all in this together.
Class ends with clapping. Now, this isn’t the corny clapping after the plane lands. I know ‘they’ say yoga isn’t a performance, but let’s be real, 50 humans just put on an hour of the most amazing performance of their strength and endurance and that deserves major applause! Sometimes, I want to high-five the person next to me and say, “girl, I saw you nail that toe stand. Oh yeah, I saw that.” There’s that dopamine coming into play again. Those small accomplishments that believe it or not can radiate to other people. 


So, whether you are getting your dopamine fix from your small accomplishments or materialistic purchases, remember you can always boost others by pointing out the accomplishments they might not see in themselves.


Happy five years, The Hot Room! Here’s to many more years of changing lives and enjoying every moment!


See what real leadership in action looks like! Click the video above!

Student Spotlight: Kristie Carr


Kristie Carr, our June Student Spotlight, can often be seen around town with her best furry friends, her dogs Olive and Ivy. Kristie worked formerly at a veterinarian clinic where she rehabilitated dogs post-surgery, specifically greyhounds coming off of race tracks. A yogi since 1989, she recently combined her passion of yoga and her experience with animal rehabilitation and started teaching DOGA—yoga with your dog.


According to Kristie, “DOGA allows you to strengthen and deepen your natural bond with your dog. It decreases anxiety and relieves stress in you and your dog.” Kristie is very passionate about promoting pet owners to be physically active with their furry friends. “And here's the good news,” she asserts, “dogs really benefit from DOGA whether they participate or not. They pick up your energy. That’s all that matters. When you become still, your dog becomes still.”


Kristie has been a member since our Uptown studio opened in 2013. In 2015, The Hot Room became her home studio when we started offering a larger variety of classes. “I love Vinyasa. I like the playful part of it,” she says. “I did the 30 day challenge a while back which forced me to try the Inferno Hot Pilates. Now I go once a week. I feel like my regular yoga practice has improved from my stronger core.”


An avid runner, Kristi ran this year’s Mini Marathon after an eight-year break. “I practice Bikram because I know the health benefits are so important, especially as a runner. I believe that’s why I am injury free.” Kristie recently took part in Run, Stretch, Transform, a three-month marathon training program consisting of bi-weekly group runs paired with yoga classes. “Without The Hot Room, I would not have run this year,” she admits, “not only did The Hot Room help me complete the mini this year, but they allowed me to bring my dog, Ivy, to the trainings. Bonus!!!”


We love having Kristie as a part of The Hot Room family! She has a beautiful practice and encourages all the yogis around her to push their practice to the max. “I chose The Hot Room as my home because of the instructors and fellow students,” she says. “Everyone inspires me to be the best version of myself… I just feel loved when I walk into the building.”


Feeling inspired by Kristie? Dog or no dog, check out all our outdoor classes we’re offering this summer!

Student Spotlight: The Kelley's



We see a lot of couples come through our doors. “Couples that sweat together stay together!” says Abbie Kelley, one half of this month’s student spotlight.

“Abbie and I have worked out together since we first started dating,” adds her husband, Josh Kelley, our other half, “so we tried hot yoga for the first time with each other.” Like most of The Hot Room tribe, the Kelleys stay very busy in their professional and personal lives. “Practicing hot yoga together allows you to share a hobby with your spouse.” Abbie adds, “sharing the experience of the… challenging environment of The Hot Room is rewarding.”





The physical benefits of the practices at The Hot Room are sometimes more obvious than the mental. Athletes outside of the studio, both Abbie and Josh value the effects on their mental health. “The practices… help prepare athletes for the mental rigors of their pursuits,” according to Josh. “The environment in the hot room allows you to push yourself and recreates the feeling of competition,” Abbie adds, “even though you are competing with yourself to face new challenges in every practice.”



A former division 1 soccer player at Butler University, Abbie asserts “Original Hot Yoga is… the most challenging activity since playing college soccer.” Forever a competitor, she goes on saying, “the physical and mental demands of the heat and poses push me to the edge of exhaustion… and result in the runner’s high every time I complete my practice.”


Similarly, Josh is a soccer referee. For athletes, he asserts that yoga and pilates “can help increase stamina and add longevity to a career.” For his personal practice, Josh favors Hot Power Vinyasa “because of the constant flow, cardio workout, increased flexibility and strength building.” He goes on saying “the 75-minute class can be one of the most challenging pursuits if you push yourself to work hard throughout every pose.”




We’re so happy to have the Kelley’s as a part of the Hot Room Tribe! Do you have a similar experience in sharing this practice with a loved one? We’d love to hear your story! Comment below and share with the rest of our community!


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A Fireman's Tale: Heat Heals




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