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Jennifer Huss: Finding the Fountain of Youth

Our students all possess a unique story on how this practice has impacted their life. Each has their own reason for walking through the doors at The Hot Room. They have all experienced some form of transformation from this practice. During the month of October, we will be sharing several student stories to acknowledge their transformations. Get ready to be inspired and read on to learn how Jennifer Huss transformed her life at The Hot Room:
 
Recently I decided I was going to take back my physical health, so I started working out at home. I progressed into the gym and signed up for my first obstacle course race. This race consisted of 13 miles and 20 obstacles. Sixty pounds later and four races under my belt I was feeling good but not great. The cardio, circuit training and weights left me feeling tired and worn. I also felt pressure to keep it up but there wasn't a workout to recover and replenish me. I tried Bikram yoga while on vacation, and the day I returned home I sought out a hot yoga studio and found The Hot Room. 
 
I joined The Hot Room in April 2017, and in a short amount of time I realized THR is my fountain of youth and it restores me. I feel energized, challenged, inspired and accomplished when I leave. When I started going to THR I found it to be my oasis. It was only me, I knew no one, I knew nothing about yoga and it was fresh. No one needed anything from me and I just took it all in. The Hot Room regenerated me and brought me through to the next stage of my life. Yoga is my therapy, downtime for my mind and a time to be kind to my body.
 
My physical transformation during my time at THR includes losing 13 additional pounds. I also feel lean and better aligned. The mental and emotional benefits I've received from my practice have improved my life substantially. I take the peaceful focused atmosphere inside the room outside with me when I leave.  My reaction to the world is like my breath—calm and steady. I learned to let situations be what they are and no more.
 
I have developed such a strong passion for my practice that I went to Sterling Hot Yoga Teacher Training in Puerto Morelos, Mexico for four weeks this summer. The training and the people I met were incredible.  My transformation continues as I develop my teaching style and prepare to get on the podium and lead class. I have this new passion in my life to inspire others. That is one of the most positive aspects of my transformation.
 
The students at The Hot Room inspire me daily. It's a hard and disciplined practice, and I admire everyone that accomplishes their goal to get in the room day after day. I also love the way The Hot Room involves the students. The contests, challenges and recognition are well utilized platforms to motivate and create a sense of team. Who doesn't want to be on a winning team like The Hot Room? You never lose here!

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Preciss Stone: Experiencing Transformation One Breath at a Time

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Our instructors all possess a unique story on how this practice has impacted their life. Each has their own reason for walking through the doors at the Hot Room and sharing the gift they’ve been so graciously granted, but they have one goal for their students: for them to experience the same transformation from this practice that they have. The Hot Room staff spotlight this month could not be more PERFECT for our theme of the month: Transform Your Life.
 
Preciss Stone has transformed in more ways than one through The Hot Room, as a practitioner, a teacher and an individual. She continues to strengthen the relationship between the mind and body through one thing - the breath. After only 6 short months of practice, Preciss’s instant infatuation with hot yoga inspired her enough to become a teacher herself. Becoming a teacher not only allowed her to strengthen her own practice, but it also granted her the opportunity to positively affect others’ lives. While Preciss has experienced immense personal growth through The Hot Room, she’s also been able to watch the community around her flourish and transform TOGETHER over the last 5 years. Here are some wise words from Preciss about her intimate relationship with hot yoga:

When did you decide to teach, and what was the tipping point to enter the Original Hot Yoga teacher training?

It was not even a year into my practice. I actually decided 6 months into the practice that I wanted to teach. This style of yoga was like nothing I have ever done. I felt so invigorated and challenged. I wanted to continue this feeling and figure out a way to bring this same feeling to others. I wanted to find a way to incorporate this into my community. Simply my love for it right from the start is why I wanted to teach.

How have you transformed through the years as a teacher?

I’ve transformed by learning more about compassion and how to apply compassion to each and every person who comes to practice at The Hot Room. Everyone that comes through our doors is dealing with something. You have to give everyone the space and allow people to get out what they need to in The Hot Room—it’s never personal. As a teacher it is my responsibility to hold the space for them and keep them safe. It’s huge to me to keep everyone safe mentally and physically.

How do you apply yoga outside of the studio?

Everyday life is breath. One breath at a time. I’ve been more aware of my breath, which is the foundation of everything I do. I’ve learned how to breathe and be more grounded in everything I do. I’ve also learned how to control my breath and how I look at things through my breath. It truly makes a world of difference.

What is your favorite posture? Your least favorite?

I have two favorites: Triangle in the standing series and Camel in the floor series. They are both challenging and invigorating at the same time. Each time I practice I feel like I break through another barrier. I always try to take myself to a new place in these postures each day. I look at myself as a blank canvas and listen to the words so I can learn more about me. For my least favorite, awkward part three. I cringe every single time I do this posture, but I am also thankful for it because it challenges me. It challenges me because when I think about some of the injuries I’ve endured, and how I must rely on my muscle strength in my legs and abdominals. I’ve learned to embrace the things I’ve disliked through this posture.
 
Describe what you see watching The Hot Room community grow over the past five years.
 
I can’t even begin to describe what I’ve witnessed. It’s amazing because it’s five years of The Hot Room helping the community live their best life. I’ve seen five years of sweat, hard work and determination, with so many members coming through our door with the same goal. It’s been a huge influx of different bodies and diversity. Not just in race, but diversity in body shapes and gender. It’s really amazing to see how the community has transformed. The Hot Room community truly makes this yoga accessible to every BODY!
 
 
 

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Barry Sinclair: 1200 Classes and Counting!

Karma Krew Since 2014

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We have so much to be grateful for at The Hot Room during our five-year celebration! The success of our studios would not be possible without the support of our community. To commemorate this support, we’ve decided it is only natural to choose Barry Sinclair as our next student spotlight. Barry is one of The Hot Room’s most dedicated and kind-hearted yogis to ever grace The Hot Room. He truly works and practices from a place of positivity and gratitude, and that energy is infectious. Since practicing at The Hot Room, Barry has taken nearly 1,200 classes and logged almost 1,500 hours of yoga. This doesn’t include the countless hours Barry contributes as a Karma Krew Yogi. We can’t imagine how many towels he’s folded, floors he’s mopped and fruit he’s chopped. Here’s what Barry has to say about his life at The Hot Room:

 

What’s life like for you outside of your yoga practice at The Hot Room?

Life is great outside the Hot Room!  Much of that is due to the many positive side effects I receive from my practice. Health, happiness and relationships just to name a few

 

When did you join The Hot Room community and what motivates you to continue to come back?

I joined the Hot Room community in 2013 a week or two after the studio opened. The community itself keeps me coming back. The students and staff are so inspiring!  I am far beyond grateful!  

 

What forms of yoga do you practice and why?

Mainly the Original Hot Yoga for the physical benefits. I also enjoy Hot Power Vinyasa, Hot Power Sculpt, and lately the Inferno Pilates. I find that when practicing all of these forms they feed off of each other. My body and strength are more balanced. 

 

What is your favorite posture?

My favorite posture is by far Camel! It makes me feel wide open powerful yet vulnerable intensely aware and indescribably invigorated. 

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You’ve attended nearly 1,200 classes at The Hot Room! What does that number mean to you?

That number probably means at least a million things. It means I have fallen down and gotten back up at least ten thousand times I still consider myself a beginner. You should see my Standing Head to Knee—at this point I can only laugh. It means countless times I have been beyond grateful to myself and our community.

 

You’ve been with The Hot Room since the beginning. How have you seen our community change and evolve over the years?

I am amazed by the number of students who have also been practicing at the Hot Room since the beginning. That says a lot. I am also amazed by all of the new faces I see every week. It is such a unique opportunity to see and sometimes be a part of their transformation.

 

Tell us about your Original Hot Yoga Teacher Training experience?

Initially because it is my goal to teach. I had seen firsthand the products of the program in some of the great teachers we have on our staff. It taught me that I have so much more to learn. I would highly encourage anyone one interested in Original Hot Yoga to pursue a training at The Hot Room. In addition to providing the tools to become a great teacher it provides detailed anatomy, effective public speaking, yoga history and philosophy.    

 

 


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Why One Class Is Not Enough

 

The dedication of our students inspires us daily. Every student has their own reason for coming to The Hot Room, but once in class, we embrace the heat together. Tammy Millott, who’s been practicing with us since 2016, describes her own personal journey with hot yoga.
 
Tammy is one of those faces that brightens the studio with just the flash of her smile.
After 32 years of nursing, Tammy was looking to show herself some compassion and healing and found this in The Hot Room. 
 
During her first class, Tammy thought to herself, ‘Maybe this isn’t for me’ after feeling a little nauseous and weak. She admits that her first few experiences with hot yoga were definitely challenging, but these hurdles reeled her in. With self-doubting thoughts rushing throughout her mind during class, she began to realize her ability to overcome these thoughts.
 
The progression of Tammy’s yoga journey only grew from there, recognizing more and more what her body truly needed. “I gradually learned what I needed to drink and how often I needed to drink,” Tammy expressed. She always assumed she kept herself hydrated, but realized after taking hot yoga that she was nowhere where she needed to be.
 
“I just felt detoxified and alive,” Tammy said.
 
How do YOU feel after your practice?!


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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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