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Studio Closing Sunday May 12

By Closing

It is with great sadness and apology for the short notice that I must announce that Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness will close its doors permanently on May 12, 2024. The final class will be Yin Yoga at 4:30 p.m. Until that time, the studio will remain open and there will be a regular schedule of  all of the different styles of yoga and Pilates classes. I sincerely hope that everyone takes advantage of these classes as you are able and available.

Without your dedication, commitment and ongoing membership, there would not have been such a special community of like-minded people dedicated to improving body, mind and spirit. It truly has been a journey that while it included some difficult situations, especially most recently, left an indelible positive impact on my life. I sincerely hope that holds true for all of you who make Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness such a special place.

14 years in Midtown Mobile means there is a rich history, before the studio became Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness. Former studio owner Lucille Allen offered some history of how hot yoga came to Mobile and her tenure as studio owner. Please take a few minutes to read her remembrances before I offer my own closing thoughts:

From Lucille:

When Bill and I walked into the building at 2540 Old Shell, he asked me if I could envision a yoga studio here. I said that I could. Amid old shopping carts and shelving, I saw where the front desk would be, where the lockers rooms would be built, and I saw a great, beautiful hot room where people would improve themselves bones to skin, inside and out. It took us six months to build out the studio, and while under construction, many people came in – they asked us when the church would open, they asked us how long it would be before we would be serving yogurt, and others came in super excited – letting us know that they have been waiting for a hot yoga studio in Mobile and they were thrilled to begin practicing with us.

Even before we were officially open, we held a class there – on our wedding day, with mirrors propped against the wall and the flooring rolled out, we practiced with friends and family – it was the best way to start out the best day of my life.

We opened the studio in mid-October, 2010. I can’t remember the exact date. Liana taught the first class of the day and we had 11 people in the room. That’s a good number – the number that kept popping up to me when I was in Mobile. I took it as a sign of approval from my mother, who died years before on November 11. I taught the afternoon class and thus began the first day of Bikram Hot Yoga Mobile.

We had visiting teachers; some stayed a while, some were here and gone. Visiting teachers who stood out were Tori Young, who taught me so much about grace and presence on the podium. She was stellar in every way. Then there was Jeremy Marcott, who with charm and an easy going perspective, wowed many of us – some in more ways than one. Teddy Ward was our first teacher who went to teacher training. I’ll never forget his first class – he did such a great job and we were all so excited when he finished. He was, and is, outstanding. Teddy stayed with Nicole Tryboyevich Davis in our little apartment on our property and they quickly became fast friends. When it was time for Nicole to open her own studio in Pensacola, Teddy went with her.

Arwen Rice and Brian Evans represented Mobile in the National Yoga Competition. Imagine getting on a stage in New York City half naked and being judged on their form! EGADS – the bravery of those two!

In 2014, we changed our name to Sterling Hot Yoga Works. I loved that name; I still do. We held a class on New Year’s Eve and dozens of people joined us to learn how we came by it and we sweated our way into a new year and a new era of the yoga studio.

When we realized that we could not, in good consciousness, send people to the Bikram teacher training any more, my partner Jodi Chmielewski and I started our own Hot Yoga Teacher Training. Between Jodi’s background in sports coaching and my experience in instructional communication, we developed a comprehensive four-week training. We held the training in Puerto Morelos, Mexico (on the beautiful Mayan coast) twice a year, and today, there are more than 250 Sterling yoga teachers out in the world. I am so proud of that accomplishment. Anna (Percy) Parks was Mobile’s first Sterling graduate. She was a shining example of what we could do. I will always love her for her trust in us.

While I was gone, Julie Jeffress was a reliable, ethical, clever and wonderful support to me and to the studio. I would not have been able to leave the studio without her!

We learned to pivot – we added 60-minute classes; we added other styles of yoga and despite the patches of slow periods, we held strong.

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. My focus shifted from the studio to my own health crisis. The support of the community was overwhelming – the love and encouragement from so many in Mobile brings tears to my eyes even to this day. But I had so much fear about the diagnosis – was the water accelerating it? Was it the food? Frankly, the fear was unreasonable, but that doesn’t make it any less real. When Bill suggested we go back to California, in part, so we could live near his grandchildren and start a new life in a new place, I agreed it would be a good idea.

It broke my heart to leave the city that had embraced us wholeheartedly, but when David Roberts stood up and offered to take the reins of the studio, it helped to make the transition easier. When we opened in 2010, we were the first hot yoga studio in Alabama; when Bill and I drove out of town in 2017, there were five hot yoga studios within driving distance from Sterling.

David took the studio, which frankly had been running on fumes, and got the wheels moving again. He adjusted the schedule; he brought in coaches, he got new teachers with different skills, he offered different services – David poured his heart and soul into Sterling. Major kudos to David for staying afloat during COVID – there was nothing easy about maintaining a small business that required social distancing and masks! But he did it, and he did a great job.

But despite all efforts, running the studio has taken its toll on David, and it’s time. Sterling will soon close its doors. It makes me sad, but I’m so very grateful for the support, for the love, for the good times, and for the challenges. Those are the things that make us all Sterling, and for that I will carry a Sterling piece of Mobile in my heart…always. It’s been an honor, a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of your lives.

From David:

After several years of regular running, including four marathons, two half marathons and many 10K and 5K races, I took a rather long hiatus from any physical activity.

I moved back to Mobile from Florida and some personal challenges and work schedule left me very much out of shape physically and mentally. I finally looked at myself in the mirror one night and did not like what I saw at all, and knew it was time for a change.

In December of 2011, I walked into Bikram Hot Yoga Mobile, and was greeted by studio owner Lucille Allen. “You’re awesome and you’re going to be even more awesome” All I knew was, if this woman had that kind of enthusiasm for someone she didn’t even know, I wanted what she was selling!

And so my yoga journey began. After nearly 13 years, I have taken almost 2300 classes of various styles at the studio we call home. If it became an addiction, it was the right kind of addiction, something that has yielded so many positive results in body, mind and spirit.

So many memories of those first years, countless doubles and an occasional triple class practice the same day. Several 30 and 60 day challenges, rewarded with a t shirt and signing the famous Sterling Challenge Wall. I honor all of you who have done the same.

There are fond memories of staying after class on Friday evenings and doing extra work with other teachers/students like Teddy Ward, Nicole Trboyevich Davis, Becky Kopec, Amber Ramsay and several others. We all worked hard at what we did and felt great afterwards!

It became inevitable that maintaining a high level of practice, attending an intensive workshop in Mexico in 2014 and having the opportunity to be mentored by yogis much more accomplished from a physical perspective deeply embedded this beautiful routine deeply within me. The real beauty is that, no matter my level of physical ability, I was never judged in a light anything less than doing my best, and my best is good enough. Remember that, it’s true for you too.

In 2016, I made the decision to leave my previous career in media sales to attend Sterling teacher training. 30 days of intensive training and mentoring by Lucille Allen, Jodi Chmielewski, Debbie Vojik, Aaron Pappas and 18 other students prepared me to learn how to teach this yoga. Thanks to each of you for your guidance and continuing friendship. Spending an entire month in a yoga “bubble” forges friendships that are unique and special. It’s something I encourage anyone wanting to explore yoga at a deeper level to undertake.

The decision to take over as owner of the studio took place in October, 2016. As aformentioned, Lucille and Bill made the understandable decision to return home to California. Filling the shoes of someone like Lucille Allen was a huge task, but something I felt honored and excited to undertake.

The studio was renamed Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness, and I’m proud of the excitement of new classes that were introduced, 30 and 60 day challenges, workshops, community classes, community partnerships with Mitchell Cancer Institute and Veterans Recovery Resources.

The studio was voted Best Yoga Studio by Lagniappe magazine in 2019, a testament to your support. Of course, that recognition would not have been possible without the hard work and expert teaching that has always existed at Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness. There are currently six Sterling teacher training graduates on staff in this order: Michelle Ryan (2015), David Roberts (2016), Tyloria Crenshaw (2017), Sue Bruno, Maryella Matthews (2018). Other current teachers who have made an invaluable contribution to the studio are Allan Grajek, Manja Podratz, Bridget Reiter, Tori Lubecki and Chanda Washington. Much gratitude and love to each of you for making Sterling such a special place. Please take the time to thank these dedicated yogis who put so much time and effort into their craft.

While I could go on with many more words on my experiences and remembrances of the past seven and a half years, I think it is best to close with the most important thoughts that I truly believe. Each and every one of you are owed a deep expression of gratitude from me for what you brought to Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness. You brought yourselves into this space, in countless cases I witnessed personal transformation and improvement in body, mind and spirit. You created a community that is unique and meaningful in so many ways. Thank you for that, it means more than I could ever have imagined.

Peace, light and love,

David

26 & 2 Posture Clinic

By Events

Original Hot Yoga Posture Clinic Sessions Begin This Month!

Wondering if you’re doing your yoga postures correctly? Ready to take your practice to the next level? During our Original Hot Yoga Posture
Clinic Series, you can! This month, Michelle Ryan will lead the first of five sessions that will cover proper alignment, breathing, corrections, guidance and personalized feedback in each section of the 26 and 2 series as follows:

All sessions will be from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. in a heated room. Be prepared to participate as you would in class, so wear regular yoga attire. Bring your mat, towel, water and questions! Cost for the series is $120 for all five sessions, or $30 for each one you attend.

About Michelle
Michelle stumbled upon yoga while residing in Savannah, Ga., in 2011 and has been practicing ever since. She completed Sterling Hot Yoga Teacher Training in Summer 2015, and has also been certified to teach many other styles, including: Yoga Sculpt, Yin, Inferno Hot Pilates, Vinyasa, Chair Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and more. Michelle has studied with Bernie Clark, Bryan Kest, Esak Garcia, Lucas Miles, and Scott Lamps and Ida Jo, the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. In addition to the hundreds of hours of in-person workshop and ongoing study since her Sterling training, she has taught at studios in Huntsville, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, Houston, Texas, Lexington, Kentucky, and Baltimore, Maryland. Michelle, who also holds an oncology yoga certification, regularly volunteers her time teaching yoga to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at USA Health’s Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Thai Yoga Workshop

By Events

BOOK YOUR CLASS BELOW

Relieve Tension and Awaken Wellbeing: Explore the Art of Thai Yoga

Ever dream of giving and receiving a relaxing bodywork that doesn’t require oil or undressing? Join this exciting workshop and discover the magic of Thai Yoga, an ancient therapy combining yoga-like stretches, gentle rocking, and mindful touch to ease common aches like head, neck, shoulder, and lower back pain.

No prior massage experience is needed! In this fun, partner-based workshop, you’ll learn fundamental Thai Yoga techniques to release tension, improve flexibility, and boost your well-being. Imagine grounding yourself and your partner, exploring assisted stretches, twisting together while fostering compassion and kindness. This workshop is about more than just massage; it’s about building connection, trust, and communication.

Leave feeling open, relaxed, and energized with newfound skills to soothe common aches and pains in everyday life.

Partner-assisted, so bring a friend, a spouse or family member. You can choose to take the workshop solo and be partnered with another solo student. No massage experience necessary – everyone is welcome! All participants must register, $95 tuition is per student.

Wear comfortable clothing. Please bring multiple yoga mats for padding, blankets and cushions/pillows.

Originally from Toulouse, France, Muriel now calls Pensacola, Florida, home, where she nurtures well-being through her private massage practice. Her background in running and yoga ignited her fascination with the human body and its potential. This passion led her to yoga teaching and, in 2009, she discovered Thai Massage while undergoing her first yoga teacher training.

Inspired by the profound connection between body and mind, and its impact on holistic well-being, Muriel dedicated herself to refining her skills. She honed her expertise in Thai bodywork through the Vedic Conservatory and for the past 13 years under the guidance and the mentoring from David Roma, LMT, RomaThaiYoga. Her dedication to continuous learning saw her travel all over the United States and internationally, including studying at the Sunshine Massage School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2013.

Muriel’s commitment extends beyond personal growth. In 2019, she returned to Thailand to assist with a Thai intensive retreat, sharing her knowledge and supporting others. Throughout 2023 and early 2024, she further deepened her practice through immersive experiences like assisting her teacher David and studying Osteo Thai & Dynamic Thai massage with Flo Bisogno.

This summer, Muriel will delve deeper into Osteo Thai in France, learning from internationally acclaimed teacher Arno L Hermitte. Additionally, she holds the designation of an approved Florida State Board of Massage Therapy Instructor.

Michelle Wilson finds the variety of class offerings appealing

By News

Michelle Wilson knew after her first class at Sterling that she had found something that was exactly what she had been trying to find. “I was thrilled, an hour in the heat and I realized I was moving and stretching muscles I hadn’t thought about moving in years.”

Michelle had tried a few studios starting in 2018, but about a year ago some friends gifted her with a three month membership to Sterling. The mix of different class styles and an accommodating and consistent weekly class schedule were appealing and made it easy to get to the studio for classes.

After a short time, she realized that yoga and Pilates provide a great workout for any level of fitness. “As long as you keep trying, you get better. Even if you can never touch your head to your feet, you will feel better and more flexible with every class you take.”

“This is a wonderful studio. Thank you to all the great instructors who make every class energizing and enthusiastic. I know this isn’t easy, but you all make it look that way.”

Michelle knows that her Sterling practice will give her results that go beyond increased flexibility. She has improved her sleep habits. An inclination for snoring has all but disappeared, something that her husband certainly appreciates!

Take 30 days to check out the classes at Sterling Hot Yoga and Wellness for one low price!
Get unlimited classes in your first month for just $39.
Just see how much you can surprise yourself too!

Weatherby George finds better health from her very first class

By News

Weatherby George had never taken a yoga class before joining Sterling only two months ago. In those eight weeks, she has noticed many improvements to her physical and mental well-being. She also signed up for the Summer Bingo Challenge right after joining AND completed the game!

While her first class was physically challenging, it left Weatherby curious to further explore how yoga and Pilates can improve flexibility, create more energy and reduce stress. “I’ve always thought of myself as a worrier, and did not think there was any changing that. But in just a few short weeks, I am noticing a calmer mind. I’m becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable!”

“I wanted to get healthier and form a consistent workout routine. The convenient location and variety of classes and times were important in my decision when I was looking for studio.”

Weatherby keeps coming back because of the encouraging instruction and welcoming community she receives. We’ve all experienced the feeling that the hardest part of practicing is showing up for class. “Just commit to making it happen and I’m sure you will find it to be a very enjoyable experience!”

Take 30 days to check out the classes at Sterling Hot Yoga and Wellness for one low price!
Get unlimited classes in your first month for just $39.
Just see how much you can surprise yourself too!

Spine, Hips and Knees with Kim Tang

By Events

May 29, 2020
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Join Kim Tang, an accomplished yoga student, teacher, studio owner, yoga champion and much more, at Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness! Kim will (virtually) lead a comprehensive and powerfully effective drills clinic to help you gain a better understanding of the relationship between the spine, hips and knees in Spine Twist, Tree Pose, Lotus Pose and Full Spine Twist. Everyone is welcome to join!

Pre-registration is required, and the recommended donation is $25. 100% of the proceeds from this clinic will benefit Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness for Covid-19 Studio Support. Sign up here (link to above link) and you will receive the Zoom link via email 24 hours before the clinic.

BOOK NOW