I was introduced to the Hot 8 studio on Wilshire by my roommate Brynn who swore by it. She had been going to Soha’s classes regularly and it showed. I, on the other hand, had just gone through a breakup with my boyfriend of 10 years and was feeling a bit lost to say the least. I was newly single at 26 and felt completely derailed. To make matters worse, I had gained about 20lbs towards the end of the relationship and my confidence was at an all-time low. So one early morning, back in October 2013, Brynn attempted to drag me from my room, which I’d turned into a dungeon that consisted of Sex and the City on repeat and endless amounts of pizza delivery. You should also know that prior to joining Hot 8, I rarely exercised (as in I never exercised) and the idea of going into a sweltering room with experienced Yogis wasn’t at the top of my priority list. Nevertheless, I decided I should at least try it out. I remember the first half of Omar’s Sculpt class was almost unbearable and there were moments I thought I was going to puke. But I didn’t want to give-up. And an hour later, I felt more mentally and physically sound than I could remember. I knew instantly that Hot 8 was going to become a new home for me.
Since that morning in 2013, I’ve managed to lose 30lbs and have kept it off from going to Soha’s Barre classes and Omar’s Sculpt classes religiously. Their remarkable techniques have drastically changed not only my body, but my mind as well. I have more energy than ever and a newfound lease on life. I thank the universe every day for giving me that little bit of courage to attempt something completely out of my comfort zone. And I especially thank Hot 8 for welcoming me into their loving and warm community.
- Murphy Stack
After participating in my first Synergy class, I knew this would be something I would soon be sharing with others. Right away I connected to the physical connection to another body that takes place in this practice. I know that sounds a little ‘touchy/feely’ but that couldn’t be further from my experience. I felt like my body was being supported in a way that happened far beyond what my rational mind could understand. My experience was that my body was communicating to another body through breath and relaxation. My mind didn’t even have a chance to interpret or judge what was going on. I didn’t know it at the time, but now know this is what makes the practice of Synergy so special, and healing.
Synergy is a practice that creates a space of trust and communication. Unlike during a therapy session or anything liner where the mind is filtering being ‘vulnerable,’ this practice allows us to go right to the place of feeling supported, which inspires vulnerability immediately. We don’t even have to think about it.
The health benefits that come from this unique way of communication from body to body is huge. Back bending and forward bending, (which in yoga class can feel often challenging or scary), are experienced with grace and ease. When one partner relaxes into the stretch, the other partner’s body feels that relaxation and is inspired by that, and then relaxes too. Just like in Yoga when the instructor speaks to the ‘body’ Synergy is a communication from ‘body to body.’
- Amanda Dykann
I found BARRE (60 minutes, baby). I can’t even express to you the change that my body has experienced, I have developed a muscle tone that is NOT natural or genetics, I have ( for the most part always been thin, except for the entire year of 2007 but that is a different story) but never toned. My arms and legs are thin and my stomach resembles one that would typically belong on Homer Simpson. Yoga Barre has completely transformed my stomach, legs and ass. My pants fit more comfortably and the cellulite on my ass and upper legs is basically non existent. My boobs are even perkier! NO lie and I’m standing up much straighter, which has been a big burden for me!
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When we were younger we loved a certain brand of garlic-and-herb cream cheese, which we’ve recreated here using goats’ cheese. It’s always good to “vary the dairy” and goats’ dairy is one of the easiest to digest. Look for the best-quality goats’ cheese you can find – full-fat for flavor and nourishment. We’ve paired the cheese with layers of colorful beet slices, which are beautiful to behold! Try to get as many colors of beets as you can: golden, purple, and candy-colored Chioggia. We love how every time we make this terrine it looks different. Make this the night before a picnic or dinner party − this dish has the wow factor.
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On Saturday, October 25, from 1:00-5:30 p.m., Well+Good readers are invited to the ultimate two-hour boutique fitness event in Santa Monica, presented by Athleta. Athletes will check-in at 1:00 PM at the Athleta Store at 1318 3rd St. and head out with their team to their first of two workouts.
Your entire $30 registration goes to Girls on the Run, a non-profit mentoring organization that uses a 5K-training program as a basis to inspire young girls to be healthy and self-confident.
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, October 1 at noon sharp!
What team are you on?
Team Sculpt and Flow
Pure Barre with Kayla Allen (All participants are required to wear a top that covers their midriff, long pants and socks in order to participate)
Hot 8 Yoga Sculpt with Layna Dakin
After-party back at the Santa Monica Athleta Store
Team Burn and Balance
Maha Burn with Ryan Orrico (at Naam Yoga in Santa Monica)
Unplug Mediation with Suze Schwartz (at Naam Yoga in Santa Monica)
After-party back at the Santa Monica Athleta Store