Be Your Own Inspiration!

Whether you are doing the 30 Day Challenge or not, Hot 8 Yoga will help shape you and change your life. We hope you find inspiration to keep showing up on your mat and love to hear about your story. Do you want to be featured next?

Karlton completed his 30 Day Challenge in May, you are SO CLOSE. Here’s some things Karlton learned during his 30 Day Challenge, and we hope some of it resonates with you too.

Here's Karlton's story:

I was a part-time yogi. I would do yoga 2-3 times a week, and lift weights another 4-5 times a week. Yoga was a perfect compliment to my routine. Power, Hot Power Fusion, and Yin classes were my typical rotation.  I stayed away from the other classes like the plague. I would come to class, stretch, sweat out my impurities, shower, and then go about my day. Never did I see myself as the everyday yogi, like others. That’s until I did my first 30-day challenge.

I can’t lie. I was reluctant to start. When asked about it, my default answer was “Yeah I don’t know. Maybe.” That phrase would end with a slight grin and a shoulder shrug. I would quickly change the subject.  My hesitation was brought on by several reasons. Firstly, 30 days of hot yoga is just a lot. Period. Secondly, like many self-conscience, ex-athletes, I thought that it would reverse my gains from the gym. Sitting at a solid 205 pounds, I didn’t want to lose my size or strength. Lastly, I’m busy. How was I going to add yoga into my schedule EVERYDAY?!

Then Day 1 of the challenge happened.  Like most people, it is quite easy to start something. I took my usual Power class, and happily placed my sticker on the board. Day 2 came, and again, repeated the cycle. Then something strange happened after seeing my third consecutive sticker. I realized that I HAD to complete this 30-day challenge. This was a breakthrough for me.

Luckily, being a member of staff, forced me into the studio for work. Therefore, if I had to work, I was going to take class. The problem with this is that my typical classes were not always the ones before or after my shift.  I had to conquer my fears, starting with Yoga Sculpt. Sculpt was the fifth class that I took at Hot 8, and was almost my last. I almost died in Marxel’s class. But, now I was in it. I had no choice.

After I got through my first sculpt class with Layna, I felt truly powerful. It was as if I fought and beat up the older bully that had been taunting me. From that point, I was invincible!! I took on Yoga Barre, Hot Yoga, and Yoga Sculpt head on, sometimes on consecutive days. Teachers didn’t scare me either. Nancy, Marxel, Leigh, Janette, Chelsea, Brit – It didn’t matter. I went in confident and came out stronger. I doubled up on classes for the first time, if I missed a day.  I was a focused yogi. On the last day, I took two classes. I’ll never forget of putting up the final sticker on the board. 30 DAYS!! I almost cried, and I’m not really emotional. It was a significant accomplishment, and even better was that it was unintended!

Since I’ve completed this 30-Day challenge, I feel immensely stronger, both spiritually and physically. I have leaned down to 197 pounds, but surprisingly, have gotten significantly stronger in the gym. My max has increased by 30 pounds, and I went to the gym less (I had started to go only 2-3x a week)! My abs are more defined, plus I have gain more mental focus and clarity. My body clock has naturally reset as well. I’ve begun wake up before 6am everyday, with no alarm! I have so much energy! Doing yoga everyday has also made me more cognizant of what I eat. More fruits and veggies. Less meat and sweats!

This challenge has been “eye” opening. I recommend yoga for everyone now. This experience has been life changing. I am an official yogi now. Thanks Hot 8 and all the wonderful yogis and teachers that have been with me through this journey. I even bought my own mat!


Karlton Frazier

How Heat Helps Reach Your Potential!

I’m always interested in ways to maximize my efforts, relationships and goals in my daily life and Hot Yoga has proven time and time again to help me in achieving so many more things than I anticipated!

It can sometimes be daunting to step into a hot room, and halfway through class you wonder, “why did I show up in the first place?” I know, I’m not talking to YOU, but . . .

Here are 5 very simple reasons why practicing in the heat will help you reach your fullest potential off the mat and in the world:

1. Hot Yoga Relieves Stress- Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve heard this before. But REALLY, it relieves stress. It is proven that practicing in a hot room gets you a  better night of sleep, lower blood pressure and also lowered cholesterol levels. With the unavoidable stress factors in daily life it’s IMPERATIVE to manage your stress levels in order to accomplish your goals.
2. Teaches Mindfulness- A 60-to 90-minute yoga session can provide a nice detachment from disruptive technology, meetings and responsibilities and allow you to focus on yourself so that you can begin to move more mindfully in the rest of your life. This allows us to take control of our lives OFF of the mat.
3. Detox for REAL- You will sweat more in a Hot 8 Yoga class than in any other regular workout. According to this  LIVESTRONG article, a yogi can lose 1-3 pounds of water weight per class. The internal detoxification benefits range from flushing of the kidneys and liver which will help increase your metabolism to burning fat more effectively and helping to clear your skin- the largest organ in the body. YES PLEASE!
4. Improves Endurance- No one knows endurance better than professional athletes, and we are seeing more top notch athletes such as LeBron James (NBA Cleveland Cavaliers) and Russell Wilson (NFL Seattle Seahawks) practice in the heat to improve their endurance. Hot Yoga teaches you to keep working hard and push through for a sense of completion and success!
5. Gives You a Sense of Balance-  I have learned through a regular yoga practice that balance is key. And balance can mean going from complete effort to complete relaxation or knowing when to push versus allowing the ego to release and just enjoy Savasana. This lesson will give you more insight when you deal with challenging scenarios outside of the classroom. Balance is KEY!!
Balance is not something you find, it's something you create.- Jana Kingsford

Get yourself into a Hot 8 Yoga class this week to achieve all that you are capable of doing!!
Sign Up Here For Your Next Class!

Tips for Handstand!

5 Things to know getting into a handstand...

So you’ve seen yet another amazing instagram post of someone in a handstand and you’ve decided you want to take the plunge. You finally want to see what life is like upside-down. Where do you even start? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been training my handbalancing professionally for over 6 years now and some things just never change no matter where you are in the process. Here are 5 tips to get you started on your handstand journey.

1. Have patience.
Mastering your handstand will be a slow process. So slow, you might not even realize the progress you’re making. Don’t give up! Find enjoyment in the process and notice the little things that improve. Fall down and get back up again until one day you are the one deciding when you want to come down from your handstand.

2. Build up your strength.
Holding a handstand is a full body workout and requires many small muscle groups to engage that you might never have accessed before. Having a strong core will make stabilizing your handstand much easier.  Building up wrist and finger strength will not only help you catch more airtime, but will also prevent any wrist tenderness that follows. Chaturangas are a great way to strengthen and prepare the wrists and shoulders. When in doubt, nothing beats good old-fashioned push-ups and sit ups!

3. Know your alignment.
Handstands are all about finding the float. When teaching handstands, the fist thing I always look for is hand placement. The most common adjustment I give is to bring the hands a little closer together so that they are truly underneath your shoulders. This can make a worlds difference! As you may have heard before, a handstand is simply tadasana on your hands. You’ll notice as you stand, your bones are stacked in a way to keep you upright effortlessly. The same goes for when you’re upside-down! 

4. Learn how to fall.
For every one handstand that is successful, there will be one hundred that you have fallen out of! It is part of the practice to fall, but the fear associated with falling may be what is holding you back from either reaching your balance point, or even attempting a handstand at all. A huge concern I hear is the fear of falling forwards and landing on the back.  When you feel your handstand starting to go down, open up one leg to the side and allow your body to somewhat cartwheel out. This not only gives you all the control, but also allows you fall those one hundred times with grace.

5. Learn how to laugh at yourself!
A solid handstand demonstrates strength and hard work, but what’s the point if you didn’t have fun along the way! Smile when you hit your first balance and then don’t find it again for two more weeks. I am a firm believer that handstands are good for the soul. In fact, I can’t recall one time I trained my handbalancing and didn’t leave my practice feeling like I could conquer the world. Whether it takes one month or one year to reach your goal, be proud that you believe in yourself enough to even try. Honor your body, honor your practice, and honor your handstand.
-Laura Pawel- Hot 8 Yoga Sherman Oaks Barre Instructor!

Quick Tips for Meditation!

Sometimes meditation can be a little intimidating, we have given you a few helpful tips to help you get into meditation and how to get started!! Making the decision to meditate is half the battle!!

Quick Tips for Meditation:

1. Create a sacred space for yourself, so where ever you may be : cleanse and clear your space by use of crystals, sage, or any other essential oil resin that transmute and elevate all energies!

2. Bring your awareness to your breath, giving the mind something to focus on, and just listen to the subtleties of the body and environment around you ...honor what you feel and what comes up physically and emotionally.

3. Once settled and grounded, visualize a great white light surrounding your entire body, and see that light expanding as far as you can grow it,  inhaling positive vibes, thoughts and intentions and exhaling fear doubt and anything self destructive!

Meditation has become a major part of not only my practice but a daily routine in my life! It keeps me grounded in reality, present within my feelings and emotions and clear of mind! Meditation for me has been an active form of self discovery, self healing and powerful transformation! Increasing intuition, regulating the emotional body and the purging of traumas deep within the subconscious are all the things I've gain from my meditation practice and journey!

Next Monday, September 11th is Meditation Monday!! When you take a meditation class at any Hot 8 Yoga, you get a free guest pass. See you there. 

-Antwan Thomas
Teacher and avid Meditator