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Home > News > Company news > Why I Love: Hot House Yoga


Why I Love: Hot House Yoga

From the moment I set foot in the warm, dark room of a Hot House Yoga studio, I knew I had made the right choice.

A choice for me, my health and my well-being.

I may be irritable, grumpy, sad, happy, or elated. I may have wanted to go home, shopping, eating or have taken a nap instead; but I succeeded in overcoming all those obstacles to show up for myself. Part of what motivates me to show up week after week is the knowing that once class is over I will feel more open, invigorated and centered. I will have spent an hour with a group of mostly strangers who also decided to show up for themselves, whatever their reasons might be. I keep coming back because the practice reminds me to be patient, kind and compassionate with myself and others. The instructors at Hot House perpetually prompt me to let go of my self imposed expectations and meet myself where I am today. If I’m tired, go easy, if I’m charged up, push through to a personal best.

I am encouraged in every class to fully accept and express myself with no judgement or expectations; to embrace the beautiful, perfectly imperfect human being that I am. 
The definition of yoga, as I have been taught, is to “yoke the mind.” Yoga invites us to see through the illusion of the story of the ego and helps us to wake up to who or what we really are: spiritual beings having a human experience. It teaches us how to show up in the present moment and then to gift all those in our lives with this same presence. Most people think showing up for a yoga class once a week for an hour is practicing yoga. But that is just a small part of a yoga practice. A true yoga practice is what you take with you off the mat, and is reflected in how you show up in your relationships, your work and in the general flow of your life.

In the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred book of yogic ideals, Krishna lays out what it means to be a yogi. “Fearlessness, purity of heart, perseverance in acquiring wisdom and in practicing yoga, charity, subjugation of the senses, performance of holy rites, study of the scriptures, self-discipline, straightforwardness; Non-injury, truthfulness, freedom from wrath, renunciation, peacefulness, non-slanderousness, compassion for all creatures, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, lack of restlessness; Radiance of character, forgiveness, patience, cleanness, freedom from hate, absence of conceit – these qualities are the wealth of a divinely inclined person.”

This is a steep aspiration, and trust me, most of the time I fall short, but that is why it is called a practice. I keep showing up with the hope that with each practice I will grow and become better; a better person, friend, daughter, sister, healer, teacher, neighbor: a better human being in general.

So much of the suffering I see in my office is born out of the misconception that life is supposed to be easy, or good, or how we think it is supposed to be. The truth is life is messy. I love the saying “Life happens, suffering optional.” Yoga helps me to understand there are cycles to everything. Starting with my practice, as some days I’m completely on my game and then others I am just having my own personal running monologue of negative commentary, swimming in a pool of self pity and negativity. The practice gives me permission to accept however I show up; the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.

Being a member of the Hot House Yoga community is a I gift I give myself. Some days I carry onto my mat the frantic jumping of my monkey mind, and allow myself to suffer; struggling with my thoughts through out the entire class. Yet some days, as soon as I enter the dark, warm room my mind shuts off. These times of silence are a true gift from all that the Yax brothers have worked to create in their studios. A safe space for each of us to show up in all our human messiness to perhaps have moments of true knowing that we are okay and always welcome.

As a psychiatric practitioner and life coach, I recommend yoga to all my clients to improve overall health. Yoga helps to develop strength balanced with flexibility of the body as well as the mind. It helps to maintain muscle and bone strength as well as balancing the endocrine system. The Hot House philosophy of yoga, specifically, emphasizes stretching of the body in a specific series of stages to maximize opening and healing, while preventing injuries. These sequences of stretches are created out of a profound understanding of the body and the integrative nature of muscle, fascia and bone. Through their personalized program, the Yax brothers have created a system that warms up the layers of the body to open the fascia, maximize the balance of flexibility with strength.

Adding heat to practice of yoga delivers a myriad of additional benefits for health and wellness. The most obvious is that the heat warms up the body and muscles so you may move more fluidly in and out of postures, possibly going a little deeper with less risk of injury. Sweating is the great detoxifier for our bodies. The skin is our largest organ and the most effective way we eliminate toxins such as harmful chemicals and toxic elements we are exposed to through our food and environment. Respiration is the second most efficient way to eliminate toxins from our bodies, and hot yoga increases respiration as it increases heart rate, improving blood circulation and enhancing vascular elasticity. The increase in circulation, coupled with the movements of the muscles and fascia, push lymph fluid through our bodies; our third greatest defense at eliminating all that we do not need. Lastly, hot yoga increases the internal body temperature to a point that many pathogenic bacteria and viruses as they cannot survive, thereby improving immunity.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Yax Yoga Concepts workshop in Asheville, NC, which exceeded all my expectations. The level of commitment and integrity the Yax brothers bring to their teachings help highlight the fact that they are walking the walk. Just being in their presence helps me to remember my desire to embody the principles of yoga both on and off my mat. The path of love and warmth they are creating in their own lives shows up in their studios, another reason why I keep coming back. Each time I show up I am reminded of the type of person I want to be; kind, gentle and accepting of myself and others.

I invite you to go to a Hot House Yoga class, show up on your mat and see what you find. Watch your thoughts and judgments, and challenge yourself to be open and accepting of whatever presents itself to you. Invite yourself to fall, to make a mistake, to get back up and try again. When a negative or judgmental thought shows up, be curious about it, laugh at it and remind yourself why you came to yoga. The reasons may be different than my own, but I’m confident they harbor in them a desire to be better. And this is what the world desperately needs right now, for each of us to show up on our proverbial mats and practice the principals of what it means to be a yogi; to be patient, fearless and radiant.