This review is also the story of How I Got My Groove Back.
It was only three months after my mom passed away that I found myself wanting to release pent up endorphins but for the first time didn’t know how. I was accustomed to a morning swim or jog perhaps – or even the local spin class at the gym of my choice but none of those ideas seemed worth my while.
My sixteen-pound weight loss journey has a lot to do with my workouts at Hot Yoga of Huntsville.
I remembered a time while dancing professionally when I went to the Bikram studio there in Philadelphia – mind you, I was in the best shape of my life – and almost passed out my first time; but the next day was filled with such feelings of release, surrender, freedom, and was feeling most like a champion. I relished in the idea that I had conquered 110 degree heat, sweat, and shaking muscles for 90 minutes.
What I didn’t understand at the time because I was young and just ready to burn the maximum amount of calories possible to maintain my girlish figure, was that the overall benefits and healing from such a workout was endless.
So here I was, three months after my mom passed away and two babies later – and took my first class in four years at Hot Yoga of Huntsville. Immediately when you enter the door your nose is tickled with scents of lavender and eucalyptus and you meet the very fit and welcoming, Robyn, who owns the place. We immediately hit it off in conversation about dance, as she is a former dancer and so am I – so I was eager to take her class. I got there 15 minutes early to give me time to register for the H26 class which is closely likened to the Bikram series based on 26 postures and 90 minutes half of the class standing and half of the class on the floor.
The room was hotter than I remembered. Cranked up to 110 degrees it felt like death on a platter. I lay calmly on my back in the room with five minutes to spare before class started just breathing – trying to get my breath and mind under control. We began the class – and I was in a much calmer space than before. Robyn reminded everyone that yoga is a practice and it’s not about dividing and conquering every pose – it’s about accomplishing something better than you did the day before.
With that in mind – I did just that. Gently entering poses and falling out of the poses when needed to gather myself. I often sat in child’s pose or lay on my back when necessary as well. I left that day feeling extremely challenged – and the next morning, I felt like a million dollars. Couldn’t believe how pleasantly refreshed I felt!
I would end up becoming a regular, getting a membership for $100 a month for three months of unlimited classes. The price was amazing to me! They offer a really nice shower area and bathroom for both men and women. Childcare is not available which is largely due to space and wanting to keep a nice calm atmosphere. With class offerings available before, during, and after work hours, it wasn’t a problem having my husband help with our children while I took class.
The offerings are really appealing for every body type and every walk of life: Hot Yoga 101 for new beginners to yoga and exercise, Power Yoga for a 60 minute challenge, Yin Yoga for still stretching, and even Yoga for Athletes for those who run and swim often, to name a few all offer a challenging but uniquely tailored workout. I was asked to become a part of the staff as the Hot Ballet instructor – where we incorporate ballet, modern, and Tribal dance into a 60 minute heated dance class.
My real testimony lies in this: yoga can help overcome grief. Erica Roth agrees in her article about yoga and grief: “According to “Yoga Journal,” breathing exercises called pranayama and a meditation routine, or sankalpa, help you find a sense of peace, calmness and resolution. Your new-found or heightened clarity can eventually lead to acceptance as you move through the stages of grief.” And yoga did just that for me.
In addition to the great class offerings, accessible location in Hampton Cove, wonderful staff, small family atmosphere, and tremendous workout – it also can just help you through life’s stuff. My sixteen pound weight loss journey has a lot to do with my workouts at Hot Yoga of Huntsville. And who wouldn’t enjoy a workout that didn’t do all of that?
Locations: 326 Sutton Rd, Huntsville, AL 35763 (Owens Cross Roads/Hampton Cove area)
Phone: (256) 585-6380
Childcare: Not available, but classes available to suit a variety of schedules
Cost:: $100 a month for 3 months of unlimited classes
For more information about Hot Yoga of Huntsville visit their website at www.hotyogaofhuntsville.com.