Published: August 16, 2012
If the thought of practicing yoga poses in 100-degree heat sounds exciting, keep reading. If it sounds scary, keep reading any way. Hot Yoga has arrived in Murfreesboro.
No, it doesn’t involve contorting the body into an awkward position under the blazing sun. Hot Yoga is yoga practiced in a room that ranges anywhere between 95-105 degrees, depending on the type of yoga being performed, explains local yoga instructor Amanda Baier.
“It’s a controlled, sauna-like heat that allows the body to bend and stretch freely because the muscles become warmer, faster,” she said.
Baier has been a personal trainer for four years and practicing yoga for nearly 10 years. Since 2009, she has been teaching yoga and spin classes and offering personal training services at Gold’s Gym Murfreesboro, located across from Stones River Mall on Old Fort Parkway.
After some discussion with owners John and Andrew Davis, the trio decided it was time to bring the Hot Yoga revolution to Rutherford County.
“The only studios like this are in Nashville, and we are trying to be pioneers and bring it to the ‘Boro. Yoga is foreign to Murfreesboro, and I'd like to be the one to change that!” says Baier, who is now the director of Hot Yoga Murfreesboro.
Since opening three years ago, Gold’s Gym has grown from 300 members to 10,000 members, according to John Davis. He explained how every square inch of the building is being used by weight machines, cardio equipment, fitness rooms and even a cardio cinema. For that reason, Gold’s Gym expanded outward. The new 1,000 square-foot Hot Yoga studio will be located in the strip mall located next door to the gym.
He anticipates codes approvals to take place this week with classes beginning next week.
“Hot Yoga, as I learned, appeals to people who don’t normally like to exercise in a regular gym environment,” Davis said. “They just love it. I’ve never seen people take to their activity like yoga. We’re going to draw a whole new crowd.”
Classes will be offered to members and non-members, but pricing will vary.
In addition to the overall health benefits of yoga, Hot Yoga is great for anyone with back/hip problem, tight muscles/tendons, weak upper/lower body strength, or just those who want to detox, Baier explained.
“It’s beneficial for athletes and heavy people, alike. There's no such thing as ‘the right body type’ when it comes to yoga,” she encouraged.
Although room temperatures can reach 105 degrees, Baier says she’ll start off with lower temperatures to accommodate all the beginners.
“Yoga is scary enough, and when you throw in the heat, it is doubly scary,” she said of Hot Yoga’s impression on newbies.
Baier will be teaching two types of yoga: Power Yoga and Hot 26. The former will be comprised of a flow of poses during each 60-minute class, while the latter is a bit more intense. Hot 26 is very structured with 26 poses, including two breathing exercises, during the 75 minute class. She explained how the poses are in a specific order with a specific dialogue that will be done the same way every single time.
Yoga is low-intensity and all about listening to your body, Baier continues.
“One day you’ll come in and have an amazing practice, and the next day, maybe not so good, but you let it go and try again,” she said.
“You are going to get light-headed, but the beautiful thing is you can lie down until you feel better. Give it three tries, and after the third try, you’ll either love it or decide it is not for you.”
Because yoga -- and Hot Yoga -- are so new to Murfreesboro, beginners won’t have to worry about being, well, beginners.
“This is a non-judgmental environment,” Baier says. “We’re considering it to be new to everybody because it will be. There is yoga in Murfreesboro, but not Hot Yoga.”
The benefits of yoga are undeniable. Muuyu Yoga, an online service in development that connects students with teachers, through streaming video, recently highlighted Top 5 Bikram Yoga Benefits. Living yoga master Bikram Choudhury is a Hot Yoga innovator.
Muuyu Yoga explains how practicing Bikram Yoga, or Hot Yoga, impacts both the body and the mind in a series of ways.
1. Increased vitality
If you want to gain more spring in your step and recover the “vim and vigor” of youth, the Bikram series practiced in a heated room is a great form of yoga. It has the potential to reverse the elements of aging, giving you the ability to take much deeper breaths to navigate your way through a hectic modern world or simply run up a flight of stairs! Keep up with a consistent practice and you’re guaranteed to look and feel younger.
2. Weight loss
Practicing Bikram in a heated room creates a much safer approach to your yoga practice as it allows you to stretch quicker and deeper. This is turn leads to stronger flexibility in the muscles which burns fat. As every fitness trainer knows, building muscle burns fat — doing the Bikram sequence in a hot room jump-starts this process.
Additionally, one of the overall effects of Bikram yoga is a general improvement in diet as the body craves healthier food. As the practice itself sharpens our perception of the mind-body connection, so does our overall awareness of what the body needs, reinvigorating the body’s natural processes to long for healthier food.
The massive elimination of toxins from the body occurs during hot yoga, primarily thru sweat. It’s possible to drop up to 10 pounds of sweat (which includes oil, salts and water) during a class. As water rushes out during the course of a 90-minute class, this creates immense benefits such as super clean skin and the detoxification of pores in the body’s largest organ — the skin.
4. Increased mental clarity
As the body is cleansed, the mind is sharpened. Regular Bikram practice leads to improved mental clarity, clearing out the “fuzz in brain” caused by the modern world’s list of negative stimuli — traffic, stress, bad food, pollution, etc.
In addition, poses with significant time spent in forward bends sends blood rushing to the head, which is a fantastic way to “clear out the mental cobwebs.”
5. Reduced stress
Perhaps one of the most significant Bikram yoga benefits is the increased connectivity with the body, gained from regular practice.
The intense focus in the sequence causes the chatter of the mind to decrease, leaving one less mentally preoccupied, both in and out of the class. Also, with consistent practice, the muscle memory of taking deeper breaths carries over into daily life, automatically providing instant relief to the temporary stressors that plague our modern world.