A Yoga Journey through Pregnancy with Susan Bullington

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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! 

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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.  


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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! 

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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!


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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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A Fireman's Tale: Heat Heals

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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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Uptown Student of the Month - Aaron Bell!

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I remember my first class like it was yesterday, it was on a Saturday and the place was packed.  I came in to class without water and fresh off two cups of coffee; I was completely caught off guard.   I have never experienced the range of emotions like I did during that 90 minute class; I was hot, sweaty, dizzy, nauseous, mad, confused, and ready to be done.  After class I thought, "never again", however I wasn't going to give in that easy. 
 

I returned to THR  the very next day because I was determined to make it through the entire class without hitting the floor in total exhaustion.  The class was just as hard, however I was better prepared mentally.  I made it through and was hooked.

 

Health benefits for me have been as much mental as they have been physical.  Physically, my back pain, balance, flexibility, strength and energy level have all improved tremendously.  Mentally,  my practice has taught me how to "be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”  Gaining this skill and applying it in real life has helped me through numerous situations both in my profession and personal life.

 

My advice to new students is to really listen.  This will help maintain your focus and composure during class, thus leading to a more productive and enjoyable practice.

 

My favorite posture is standing head to knee because it’s fun, rewards patiences, and feels great!

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The Hot Room Uptown 2nd Anniversary! Free classes all day!

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Join us as we celebrate two years at our Uptown location on 96th street. Enjoy free classes all day long and special discounts and raffle prizes. Please make sure to sign up to reserve your spot!

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The Hot Room Downtown Grand Opening!

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Join us for our grand opening and free classes all day long! Enter to win a free year membership! Sign up to reserve your spot!

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