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

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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. 

 

Breathe.
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!


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


Student Spotlight: Kristie Carr

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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

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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.”

 

 

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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.”

 

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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.”

 

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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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Late Cancellation Policy

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A Fireman's Tale: Heat Heals

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Why Hot Yoga?? We (really) Love Beginners!


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With a name like "The HOT Room" the question comes up again and again; why hot yoga? Why would one want to begin their yoga journey by submitting themselves to 105 degree temperatures and palpable humidity? The answer is multi-layered but hopefully an understanding of the benefits of this practice will encourage you to give it a try. 


1. The Heat


The heated room helps to warm up your muscles, prevent injury, allows for a deeper workout and cleanses the body of toxins. Yoga helps to change the construction of the body from the inside out. The heat helps to warm the muscles and allows for more flexibility so that the change you want can happen more efficiently. Practicing yoga in the hot room also diminishes the chance for injury as a warm body is more supple and pliable. With the heat you can achieve a deeper stretch, so fresh oxygenated blood reaches deeper into your muscles, tendons and organs to keep your systems healthy. The heat helps to burn more calories and helps to build endurance. Toxins are released through the breath and skin by sweating. The end result is an unbelievable feeling of mental and physical well-being.


2. The Postures


It is an intelligently designed sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. This series of postures moves fresh, oxygenated blood to 100% of your body. The postures work together to restore natural range of motion to the body, heal old injuries and illnesses, promote weight loss, relieve stress, and much more. In 90 minutes (remove the first part of this sentence), By the end of class, you will have worked every muscle, joint, organ and tendon of the body. 


3. The Mental Challenge


The focus & intensity of the class will help to build mental clarity & determination. By learning to breathe and stay calm in the peak of the practice you learn to take that into all other areas of your life.

But wait...

So the next question is should I try this yoga even if I have never practiced before? The answer is a resounding, YES! If you can practice HOT yoga you can handle anything.  We will walk you through every step of class. Your first class should be about staying in the room and breathing normally. Postures are optional. If at any point you feel overwhelmed take a knee, a sip of water, and breathe normally.

Running and Hot Yoga: Perfect Companions

There’s something special about long distance runners. 

Runners have a unique ability to see beyond the first few miles of physical discomfort to meet their ultimate goal; crossing the finish line. 

Similar to runners, there’s something special about those who practice hot yoga. Now, we’re talking hot yoga. Yoga practiced in a 105 degree fahrenheit room with 40% humidity for sixty to ninety minutes at a time. These yogis challenge themselves to bend, stretch, and breathe in extreme conditions.

What is most fascinating is the striking similarity between the two groups. Both finish their sport with sweat and a smile. 

While the two activities are quite different they couldn’t be a more perfect pair. The combination of yoga and running together can transform your physical body and mental game in unbelievable ways.


Endurance

The physical strength and endurance it takes to withstand 105 degree heat is a great test for any athlete. Combine the elements of the room with the mental challenge of breathing through the discomfort and you have the perfect test for endurance. The body is typically much stronger and more resilient than we give it credit for. Those who try hot yoga for the first time will definitely attest to that. After class most students feel a sense of elation as they re-hydrate and go about their day. 


Indy Mini Marathon runner and hot yogini, Taffanee Keys, remembers her first class like it was yesterday.

“When I first walked into the room, I thought it was like being in New Orleans in July at the hottest point of the day. Like New Orleans, all I wanted to do was to escape and find a place with the coldest air-conditioning. However, after a few minutes, I noticed that I began to sweat and my body started to adapt to the heat. My goal was to stay in the room and I managed to accomplish that task by concentrating on the words of the instructor and paying attention to my practice.” 


Keys has been practicing at The Hot Room since November 2014 and has noticed incredible results in endurance performance. 


“For me Bikram yoga has increased my endurance both physically and mentally. While I have engaged in other types of strength training that focuses on increasing my physicality, Bikram has built my mental stamina which is key for endurance runners. Like Bikram, running is a mental sport; the body is incredible and can go long distances when properly trained, it is the mind that allows me, as an endurance runner, to maintain the course and not give up. Bikram helps to train the mind. It has helped me realize both my mental and physical limits and to find strength to stretch beyond them. As a result, I completed my first ultra-distance race in January without any major injuries.”


2. Breath

Yoga without breath is like peanut butter and jelly without the peanut butter. It’s just not yoga. Running without breath is impossible. It would be the same as running without legs. The breath instruction in yoga will transform your running experience. You will notice a complete mind-body connection that comes from the deliberate instruction to breathe in and out of specific postures. You will notice your body responds with new vitality when the breath is truly connected to the movement. 

“I’ve developed greater flexibility in my entire body.  I have also garnered greater lung capacity, managing the ability to breathe with great ease while running in single digit temperatures and in the extreme heat.”


3. Body Awareness and Injury Prevention


The Sanskrit meaning of the word “yoga” is union. It is derived from the sanskrit root
“Yuj” meaning to join, but also to control or disciplinate. In simple terms, it means you must be completely connected between body and mind. Pushing yourself beyond your physical limits in the practice is quite literally not yoga. A successful practitioner honors where there body is in each practice and takes rest when it is needed. 


“Prior to Bikram, I often suffered from running overuse injuries which included IT band issues, popliteus tendinitis, and Achilles tendonitis; these injuries often kept me benched so to speak. I have found that Bikram targets and aids in the healing of all my problem areas which also includes my hamstrings, knees, lower back, and calves. Once I incorporated Bikram into my training schedule, I have been healthy both physically and mentally and can bounce back easily after running long distances.” 


If you feel ready to add hot yoga as part of your training we would love for you to experience The Hot Room. Here’s Taffanee’s tips for a successful first class!


Get to class early. You want to be close to the door to ensure you feel the air ventilating throughout the room
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Proper hydration is key to be able to endure 104-108 degree temperatures with 40% humidity.
Do not eat a heavy meal 2 hours before you arrive. The key is to keep all nutrition inside your body.
Wear comfortable dry-fit clothing; shorts and a tank are sufficient. Nobody cares what you look like, comfort is the word.
Stay mentally and physically in the room. This is time you carved out for yourself. Leave all the worries of the world outside. 

We commend all our runners on their hard work and training.  Bring your race bib into one of our studios and receive a free class on us!



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December Student of the Month - Kristen Himsel

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My first class was challenging! I was glad to just make it through the 90 minutes. At first I was relieved but there was also an immediate sense of pride for staying in the room and trying something new and something entirely for myself. It was one of the most difficult physical challenges I had put my body through in a long time. I had expected it to be, but I was surprised how I felt even hours later. I was energized from within and knew that I wanted that to continue. I am more limber than I was a year ago and I've also built strength. In addition, I've also begun to be more conscious of the mind/body connection and have had brief and fleeting moments when my mental strength has been able to calm the physical reaction to the challenge of the practice. I've maintained a healthy diet for most of my life but this practice has encouraged me to be even better about it. We've all experienced an especially challenging class due to dehydration or a poor choice of meal or timing of a meal. I've also been less prone to illness. Be patient and be present. Take one pose at a time and focus on where your body is during that particular class, during that particular pose.

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Downtown Student of the Month - Holly West!

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Even though that first class I practically melted, it turns out that regular classes are even hotter. But it didn't matter though, I was already hooked! I liked that I could concentrate through the heat to find a posture. I loved the challenge. I also loved that the Hot Room is a judgement free zone so I am my only competition. The staff are very knowledgeable, too. I've had several different teachers in the past month--each have a different style and emphasize different points so I learn something new each class that allows me go deeper into a stretch or hold a posture longer. I am much more toned. I trained for a half marathon for 12 weeks earlier this year but I actually saw more results from completing the 30-day challenge at the Hot Room! Hydrate! Even on days you don't go to class. Be patient with yourself and breathe to ease into those tough postures. Camel is the most fun for me! Half moon is my second favorite because I've experienced the most improvement here. My first couple weeks of classes, I hated that posture, but now I look forward to the backbend and really challenge myself to see my reflection in the window--I'm almost there!

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