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Breathe! Everything Else Is Optional!

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muscles of the diaphragm, breathing, hot yoga, sterling hot yoga

Muscles of the Diaphragm

The more I learn about the body, the more impressed I am with the original series that brought me to Mobile.

A while ago, I came across a 3D video of the diaphragm in action. (Take a look by clicking here or on the photo to the right.)

When you inhale, the diaphragm lowers, providing space and a vacuum in order to draw air into the body.

When you exhale, the diaphragm rises, to create positive pressure enough to push the air out of the lungs. It seems very simple, but truly, there’s nothing simple about it.

There are many muscles involved in the act of breathing.

We talk a lot about the intercostals, the muscles in between the ribs, but that’s really a simplification of the process.
muscles of the thoracic wall, breathing, hot yoga, sterling hot yoga

Muscles of the Thoracic Wall

Suffice it to say that there’s a lot involved in taking a breath. Check here or on the photo to the right for a nice primer.

Think about Pranayama Deep Breathing.

Think about how you are conditioning the muscles involved in breathing.

Think about how you are stretching and strengthening the very important elements that allow you to do the one thing that you MUST DO to stay alive! What a wonderful thing to do!

When we tell you “Breathe—everything else is optional,” we truly mean it!

If you or anyone else you know can come in and take a couple of deep breaths, that’s REALLY important! That’s all you need to do!

Because once you get the systems required to breathe down, everything else will come more easily.

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Kangen Water Is Now Available!

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kangen water health benefits sterling hot yogaAs many of you know, after Lucille was diagnosed with breast cancer, she incorporated a number of holistic therapies to improve her body’s immunity system and thus her overall health. A.J. Krause immediately stepped up to help (a million thanks, A.J.!) and provided her with Kangan water.

Cancer thrives in a low-pH (acid) environment and does not like a high-pH (alkaline) environment. Kangan water changes tap water, which usually has a pH of about 7, to a pH of 9.5. But it does much more than that!

Lucille says she feels so much better since incorporating Kangen water in her diet, and Bill also enjoys the benefits it provides! Now you can too! Many diseases have been linked to a lack of oxygen and a build up of toxic acid waste in our bodies.

In today’s world, most people’s bodies tend to be more acidic and oxygen-deprived due to environmental toxins, poor diets, nutritional deficiencies, stress and sleep deprivation, which leads to all kinds of health challenges including cancers. Kangen water promotes health by balancing our internal environment with the following properties:

1) High anti-oxidation: The presence of a great amount of active hydrogen ions in Kangen water contributes to its high anti-oxidation, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.

2) Micro clustering: The size of ionized Kangen water molecules are up to 5 times smaller than non-ionized water, allowing for better penetration, absorption and hydration.

3) Alkalinization: Helps to neutralize acidic waste and alkalinize body fluids for optimal health.

We will make Kangen water available at the studio for you in three ways so you can enjoy all of these benefits:

  • Fill up your bottle before and after class for $1
  • Fill up a gallon bottle for $2
  • Get unlimited water for $20/month (less than $1 per day!

Got questions? A.J. Krause will discuss the benefits of Kangen water with a short demonstration during the following dates and times:

  • Before and after evening classes on Monday, March 14
  • Before and after morning classes on Tuesday, March 15
  • Before and after morning classes on Saturday, March 19

How Hot Yoga Transformed Tom Palmer

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Tom Palmer Before and After Weight Loss Hot Yoga

Tom’s transformation since 2001 (with his son, Josh) has resulted in better overall health, discipline and more with a consistent hot yoga practice.

In 2001, Tom Palmer was in rough shape. He weighed 245 pounds and was on the verge of a physical breakdown.

His organs were starting to fail, and he was most certainly approaching a diabetic diagnosis.

Today, though, he stepped on the scale and was pleased to report that he has lost more than 100 pounds! Today he’s a fit and healthy 140 pounds!

Tom found yoga in 2007, which almost immediately helped him to shed significant weight.

But a continued practice helped him to gain discipline, dedication, focus, determination and, most importantly, self-respect.

Those characteristics allowed him to eat healthy and maintain a lifestyle that kept him healthy over the long run. Isn’t this what we all want?

Want to learn how Tom did it?

Come to Sterling! Sign up for our 30-day introductory special, and start your own journey to better health!

You probably didn’t even recognize our own Teacher Tom!

Mobile’s Homegrown Hot Yoga Studio a Community Investment

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Bill Moran reflects on five years of running a hot yoga studio in Mobile, Alabama.

Bill Moran reflects on five years of changes while running a hot yoga studio in Mobile, Alabama.

Rewind the clock to April 2010. The U.S. was just coming out of a serious financial crisis, investment in new business was not advisable, and the discouraging news of the Air Force tanker contract being pulled away from Mobile was on everyone’s mind.

However, in those days of uncertainty Lucille Allen from Sacramento, California and Bill Moran from Houston, Texas purchased a residence and moved to Mobile, Alabama, and in June 2010, a blip in the business section of the Mobile Press-Register reported that a commercial lease had been signed on the old Naman’s grocery store at Old Shell and Florida, and furthermore it was going to be a “hot” yoga studio.

Mobile, and for that matter the entire state of Alabama, had never heard of such a thing.

It was recommended to us to use preferred vendors that were not local to Mobile, but our homework and commitment to using local vendors and products took us in the direction to keep our money “at home.”

After a few conversations of “you want to build WHAT?”, we engaged a local architect and construction contractor, obtained all the necessary permits and licenses, and so our investment in Mobile began.

In October of 2010, we opened as Bikram Hot Yoga Mobile at 2540 Old Shell Road. It was a humble beginning, limited class schedule, only Lucille and one other teacher and only a 90-minute class.

Business is an evolving landscape; products improve and change. I am old enough to remember rotary phones; and though now I have a smartphone, its roots are in that old rotary phone. My new phone is miles from that old device, and indeed the whole communication industry is something completely different. Owning a yoga studio is not much different. You have to change and evolve.

In January 2014, we changed our name to Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile and began offering a 60-minute class.  Then in January of 2015, we developed and began offering the Sterling Iron Hour.

Simultaneously in June 2014, Sterling Hot Yoga Teacher Training was founded, and we have graduated six of our teachers. As a side note, Sterling Teacher Training has trained nearly 100 teachers in the past two years from all over the world.

The feedback from studio owners as to the quality of the graduates and their podium readiness has earned Sterling TT the preferred teacher training program for many studios, and that number continues to grow. All Sterling teachers are Yoga Alliance certified and are required to obtain continuing education hours.

At Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile, we are proud of the fact that we are a homegrown studio; a fun fact is that Lucille and I are really the only transplants on staff.

What does it mean to be a homegrown studio? It means we are a committed part of the community. That commitment includes community outreach, supporting causes, assisting those in need with discounted or free yoga and, yes, even dog rescue and adoption.

It means that Mobilians, your friends and neighbors, are on the podium as first-rate qualified teachers. It means that we scour the industry for trends, new class offerings, take feedback from our clients to make SHYM a studio for Mobile.

It means that our revenue is spent in Mobile for teacher salaries, rent, utilities and even our personal living expenses, and we contribute to the tax revenues for the city and county of Mobile, as well as the great state of Alabama.

This is what Sterling is all about, and all we can say is thank you for supporting five great years of providing a top quality yoga program to the city of Mobile. With Airbus coming in, downtown revitalization and a renewed sense of community pride, we believe our best years are ahead.

Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile is truly a “homegrown” business.

Jenna Zoghby Joins the Sterling Team

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Jenna ZoghbyWe are pleased to welcome Jenna Zoghby to the Sterling team as the studio’s very own registered dietitian and nutrition consultant!

She will be offering some wonderful services soon, but in the meantime, get to know Jenna and take note of her healthy holiday eating tips.

Jenna, a Mobile, Alabama native, attended St. Paul’s Episcopal School and graduated as Student Government Association president.

At the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, she developed a strong interest in the healing abilities of a healthy lifestyle. In 2013, Jenna received a degree from the College of Human Environmental Sciences in Food and Nutrition.

After college, Jenna worked for the Mobile County Health Department, educating pregnant women and new mothers in healthy nutrition.

In 2014, Jenna was accepted into Priority Nutrition Care Distance Dietetic Association. She worked with local dietitians in Mobile, Alabama to complete an internship focused on the business of nutrition.

In 2015, Jenna passed the Registered Dietetic Exam and became a Registered Dietitian. She is currently registered and licensed in Alabama working at the Mobile County Health Department. She works with adults and children practicing medical nutrition therapy to improve lives with healthy lifestyle modifications. She specializes in weight-loss counseling.

“I became interested in nutrition when I realized that combining healthy physical activity and healthy eating can decrease the risk of many life-threatening diseases,” she said. “At age 13, I was told that my asthma would probably never go away, but after I changed my diet, I no longer needed any medication.”

“I was introduced to Sterling Hot Yoga over the summer. I had done yoga before, but not like this,” she said. “The healing effects and mental clarity that the classes provide are very powerful. I love it! This type of physical activity does more than contribute to weight loss; it helps me be a happier me! I’m thrilled to be part of the Sterling team!”

As the holidays approach, and your kitchens and work space fill with candies, baked goods, and all types of tempting treats, keep these healthy tips in mind:

  • Make a list, make a list, make a list. I cannot say it enough. During the holidays, manufacturers spend big money to sell you things you really don’t need. If you plan ahead for what you need and only buy those things, it can really help.
  • During the holidays, our normal schedule changes. We have more errands, family in town and plans to keep up with. Keep healthy snacks in your house, the car and your purse so that you’re not tempted to grab junk food all day.
  • If you have time off, add extra workout sessions (like Sterling Hot Yoga!) that you aren’t able to normally attend. Your body will thank you!
  • When you sit down at the table, remember to keep half your plate full of fruits and/or veggies. If your usual holiday meal doesn’t have at least one non-starchy vegetable that’s not loaded down with butter and sugar, you might be the person to start the tradition. Try a fresh green salad or roasted broccoli instead.
  • Treat yourself! Have whatever delicious dessert your Aunt Jane brought. The problem arises when you take a few pieces home. After the holiday meal, get rid of the leftover sweets in the house. Give them away or throw them awayjust get them out!

Thank you, Jenna! We look forward to your Sterling guidance!

Studies Note Yoga Benefits for Cancer Patients

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yoga benefits for cancer patients breast cancer awareness hot yogaThe world turns pink around this time of year, signaling renewed focus on breast health and breast cancer awareness.

Pink ribbons, pink hair, even pink football gear worn during NFL games serve as a subtle reminder that annual preventive care screenings, early detection and treatment are the best defense against breast cancer.

But many in the yoga community would add something else to that wellness regimen: their yoga practice.

Whether they’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or were undergoing treatment, so many women at studios across the country credit their hot yoga practice for helping them manage their anxiety, regain their physical strength, and heal their bodies and their spirit.

Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile owner Lucille Moran was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer and already she can feel the positive benefits of her yoga practice.

“In sorting out a plan for health, I have learned that breast cancer has very high rate of cure,” she wrote in a client newsletter. “Every year there are more breakthroughs in therapies, and women and men are gaining more options.

“I’m lucky because the tumor was caught early, is isolated in one location and is very slow growing,” she continued. “I am convinced that our yoga has kept my body as healthy as it could be.”

Some physicians are even starting to recognize yoga’s therapeutic benefits for cancer patients.

In 2008, Dr. Timothy McCall, a physician specializing in internal medicine and the medical editor for Yoga Journal magazine, detailed some of these yoga benefits for cancer patients in the medical journal Oncology.

Among them, reduced anxiety, longer and more restful sleep, better mood and lower levels of fatigue.

McCall praised yoga as being part of a cancer treatment regimen for its adaptability based on a student’s diagnosis and overall level of health.

Because so many forms of yoga existfrom gentle to more vigorous sequencesthere is something accessible to nearly everyone.

In light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the close-to-home reminder that yoga can have a profound impact on one’s health, Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile invites you to begin your practice today.

Now is a great time to invite friends who’ve never tried yoga or encourage someone to come back to the hot room!

Saturday, Sept. 19 kicks off Mobile/Baldwin Yoga Week as part of National Yoga Month. From Sept. 19 – 26, anyone can donate five pieces of canned or dry food (Thanksgiving type) in exchange for a free class at SHY Mobile and other participating studios in the area.

All donations will go to the Bay Area Food Bank to help families in the central Gulf Coast enjoy a healthy and fruitful Thanksgiving holiday.

If you’d like to donate and give the gift of a free class, bring in some canned food yourself and get a free class card to hand out to interested yogis in the future.

And remind them that it’s good for their health!

Sterling Celebrates National Yoga Month in September

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sterling hot yoga, natural awakenings magazine cover, national yoga monthSeptember is recognized as National Yoga Month, and the 5th Annual Mobile/Baldwin Yoga Week will be celebrated this month as well.

Sterling Hot Yoga is participating in several activities related to both!

To commemorate this occasion, our local edition of Natural Awakenings magazine reached out to the Mobile/Baldwin yoga community for a photo shoot.

September’s issue highlights some of the amazing mental and physical benefits that yoga has to offer.

If you’ve seen the magazine, then you might have recognized some of your favorite Sterling yogis featured in the September issue, including Sprite on the front cover! Click the photo above to see the entire issue, as well as other photos from the shoot taken by local photographer Brock Larsen.

Brock chose Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile for the site of the shoot largely because of the “incredible transformation process that it’s currently undergoing,” he told Natural Awakenings. “Rather than destroying the beautiful old buildings and putting in new, Mobile Airport Authority Is honoring its history through renovation. I think this is very much in line with yoga philosophy–improving is great, but it’s just as important to be happy where you are now.”

Hopefully, we can inspire people to give hot yoga a try this month!

yoga life fairYoga Life Fair

On Saturday, September 19, Sterling will be part of the Yoga Life Fair! Starting at 2:30 p.m., at the Fairhope Pier Park, join us for healthy refreshments, live music and a full schedule of yoga classes from beginner to advanced, chair yoga, aerial yoga, meditation, paddleboard yoga and more!

Sterling will have a table at the event and Anna will lead a hot (in all sense of the word) class! Be a part of it! For more details, visit www.YogaLifeFair.com or find the Yoga Life Fair page on Facebook.

bay area food bankYoga Month Food Drive

Have a friend who’s interested in coming to Sterling? Make it a win/win!

As part of yoga month celebrations, from Sept. 19 – 26, donate five pieces of canned or dry food (Thanksgiving type) in exchange for a free class!

All donations will go to the Bay Area Food Bank to help families in the central Gulf Coast enjoy a healthy and fruitful Thanksgiving holiday! And if you don’t have someone who wants to come that week, bring in some canned food yourself and get a free class card to hand out to an interested yogi in the future!

For more information about solving hunger, www.bayareafoodbank.org.

SHY Mobile Welcomes Lanie Hearn, New Iron Hour Teachers

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Lanie

Lanie Hearn

Lanie Hearn has been a regular practitioner at Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile, and now we’re so excited to announce that she is joining our Sterling team!

Lanie has an extensive background in body building, fitness training and even yoga, so she is going to be an ideal Iron Hour teacher.

She will be leading the Iron Hour classes on Tuesdays and Thursday at 8:15 a.m.

Please give her a nice Sterling welcome!

Last weekend, Serritta Walker from Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington spent some time in Mobile leading an amazing Iron Hour training for our newest teachers.

Along with Lanie, now Anna, Michelle and Sprite will be on the podium during Iron Hour!

Congratulations, everyone!

 

Samantha Finds Self-Acceptance On and Off the Mat

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samantha physical acceptance determination sterling hot yoga benefitsMany students try Sterling Hot Yoga for the physical changes they hope to see—a trimmer waistline, toned arms and legs, and improved balance, strength and flexibility.

But an even more profound change, in many ways, that comes with a hot yoga practice comes from within.

Samantha Wells knows that firsthand. She started practicing at Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile just a few weeks before the 30-Day Spring Challenge began, having never tried hot yoga before.

“I avoided it like the plague,” she said of the heat.

Putting those former notions of hot yoga aside, she quickly committed to completing a 20-class goal to keep her newfound practice consistent and relied on her teammates to help hold her accountable.

What Samantha found on—and off—the mat was not what she expected.

Through sweat, patience and determination, she found a physical acceptance she didn’t realize she needed.

“The things I struggled with, I didn’t realize it,” she said. “But apparently I am. I didn’t realize it was an issue until it got better.”

About halfway through the challenge, Samantha posted this incredibly emotional account of her personal breakthrough on Facebook:

“This is me. This body is mine. It may not be what society tells us is ‘beautiful,’ but I am learning to love it,” she wrote. “What most people can’t see when looking at this picture is this body feels so much better than it did two months ago, it looks better than it did two months ago and it’s mine. And I’m proud of that.

“As I type this, tears are in my eyes. I’m afraid not everyone will see this body the way I have come to, but with everything I have I’m posting this so that other people can start to see their bodies as beautiful, too.”

Samantha’s new perspective on hot yoga was reinforced when she recently revisited her vision board to reflect on past goals and set new ones. She was struck by the irony of one of her posts that incorporated a popular hot yoga saying about the practice’s physical effects.

“I started hot yoga so I could ‘sweat like a pig and look like a fox,’” she said. “Two months in and I’m seeing that there’s so much more to it!”

Gradually, she said her negative self-talk was replaced with a positive, encouraging voice “telling me that I am strong, that I do have a lot to show for my hard work, that the results I’m looking for will come—with time.”

That self-acceptance gave way to a more determined Samantha during a recent kayaking experience. Despite typically avoiding such activities because of her weight, she decided to give it a try.

“The more I fell out, the more determined I was to do it,” she said. “This is a new concept for me. I usually give up, but that day I did not!”

Perhaps that resolve to overcome challenges outside of the hot room was strengthened by her resolve in it. Not only did Samantha meet her 20-day goal commitment, but she exceeded it by four classes!

During that time, there were physical changes, too, she said, that included increased flexibility, regulated blood sugar, improved muscle tone and a feeling of balance.

But most importantly hot yoga made her believe and accept that she is beautiful from the inside out, and she is eager for others to experience their own internal and external transformations.

“Join me if you’d like,” she said. “I’ll come with you to your first class, and we can be beautiful together!”

Come practice with Samantha and get started on your own yoga journey with our 30-day introductory special!