Yoga Barre is unlike any other class out there. Created by Nancy Norby, who has been a Barre teacher for over three decades and dancer for even longer. The focus of this class is about having a solid center and allowing your core to guide and uphold you throughout class. Read More
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!! Deanna and Jonatan were there. I almost cried, and I’m not really emotion. 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!
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