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benefits of hot yoga

Congratulations to All Our Healthy Habits Challengers!

By News

Our 21-Day Health Habits Challenge just ended, but the power of establishing a healthy habit lasts!

We’re proud of everyone who signed up and make the effort toward reaching this goal. 

But we’re especially proud of these nine students who consistently showed up and made time for at least 21 classes this month!

Madison Brooks, 34
Angela Norris, 23
Mendy Bornfleth, 22
Alfie Fowler, 21
Bridget Wells Duke, 21
Danny Miller, 21
Nancy Taylor, 21
Tricia DeVaughn, 21
Windy Hocutt, 21

We’ll celebrate everyone this Friday, April 8 after the 5:30 p.m. Happy Hour hot yoga class.

Everyone who completed the challenge will be entered to win a drawing for these prizes: a one-hour private lesson with the teacher of your choice; gift cards to Taco Mama, Coffee Monster and more!

Of course everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special T-shirt and have the opportunity to sign the challenge wall.

Plus we’ll enjoy food provided by Ollie’s Mediterranean Grill.

Congratulations to everyone who made the effort to create healthy habits in 2022!

Nicole Purdie’s First Love Is Fitness, But She’s Married to Yoga

By Testimonial

Nicole Purdie loves a good Pilates, CrossFit or HIIT workout, and it shows. Though strong and muscular as a result, she struggled with pain from a car accident and needed to make a change.

“I had my first car accident, went to the chiropractor and was told I’d have to have surgery on my back if things didn’t change by the time I hit my 50s,” she said, “so I searched for a non-surgical solution.”

That change led her to Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness in 2018. Though she’d never practiced yoga until she joined the studio, she’s found exactly what she was looking for and more.

“Practicing yoga has significantly impacted my mental focus/clarity, mobility, stress management and overall physical health,” Nicole said.

She chose Sterling primarily for the heat, which may help the body to feel more flexible and also reduce the risk of injury.

“The key was the heat,” Nicole said. “I normally work out alone, so I attempted it and the pain was unbearable without the heat.”

The improvements she began to notice were important, but she said the reason she keeps coming back to Sterling is because of the teachers. 

“The atmosphere of the studio and the knowledge of the teachers keeps me coming back,” she said. “Listening to the dialogue of each teacher, I realized that each of them brought something unique and beneficial to each class. I listened intently and I got better with each class.”

Starting something new isn’t always easy, but being met with encouragement goes a long way in sticking with it.

“My first class was with Danni. She made me feel comfortable and OK with my inability to execute the postures,” Nicole said. “She even mailed a postcard to my residence full of encouragement. I still have that postcard which further reiterates the awesomeness of the teachers.” 

True to her first love in fitness, Nicole envisioned doing more Pilates classes at Sterling when she started, but she found an even better solution. 

“I had read the book by Joseph Pilates Contrology,” she said. “His story of healing the spinal issues he faced was phenomenal!

“But the true medicine for me was and still is in the yoga classes. Although Pilates, CrossFit and HIIT workouts have always been my first love when it comes to fitness, metaphorically speaking I am married to yoga! I will be doing yoga in my 80s if I am still able to do so.”

Nicole knows firsthand that everyone begins their fitness or yoga journey at a different place, but the beginning isn’t what’s important.

“It’s not how you start, but how you finish,” she said. “If you put in the effort you will improve and become a healthier version of yourself.”

There’s only one way to get started, exactly where you are today! Join Nicole and others in our Sterling community with our new member special. It’s just $39 for one month of unlimited classes. Click here to purchase!

Kayla Gatlin’s Yoga Practice Helps Her Navigate COVID-19 Stress

By Testimonial

Kayla Gatlin is a respiratory therapist at Mobile Infirmary, and her job has become understandably more stressful during the COVID-19 pandemic. But she made a change a year ago that’s made all the difference. 

“When I moved to Midtown a year ago after some big life changes, I wanted to improve myself, body and mind,” she said. “[Starting my yoga practice] was the best thing I could have done for myself during that time.”

Kayla was never a big fan of going to the gym, and she never participated in any sports because she felt like she was too uncoordinated. But she didn’t let that keep her from trying yoga.

“I was very nervous about my first class, but after I arrived I was glad to see people of all ages, sizes and skill levels there. I was unable to do many poses, but I wanted to keep coming until I could do them all,” she said. “The staff at Sterling was so welcoming and encouraging, I couldn’t wait to come back.”

In the year that she’s been consistently practicing, Kayla has physically gained muscle tone and flexibility and mentally greater focus and more clarity and peace.

“I keep coming back because of the change it has made for me mentally and physically, and because of the staff and new friends I’ve made there,” she said. “I like mixing it up with Pilates and Iron Hour strengthening in addition to the regular vinyasa and Bikram classes. Going to the gym was never for me, and the classes help me to push myself further than I thought I could.”

Kayla used to feel “too uncoordinated” to participate in sports, but even that has changed through a consistent yoga practice.

“What I’ve learned is that with patience, practice, consistency (and a lot of hydration) anyone can be good at yoga,” she said. “It feels good to see how far I’ve come in my practice.”

Kayla is grateful for Sterling’s selection of day, evening and online classes that have made yoga accessible even with her 12-hour shift work schedule and the stress of the COVID pandemic, as well as Sterling’s continued commitment to safety at the studio.

“The staff at Sterling is exceptional. They are very understanding and accommodating to personal needs, work schedules, etc.,” she said. “During the COVID pandemic, they went the extra mile by offering online streaming classes and taking extra precautions by disinfecting the studio after each class and taking temps at the door so we could continue our practice safely, which I greatly appreciate.”

Kayla vividly recalls her first class and understands that trying yoga, much less hot yoga, for the first time can seem intimidating. But she wants to share some wise words with anyone considering a class.

“At some point in time, it was everyone’s first time in yoga. Everyone in the room around you has fallen, but they got back up. Never be afraid to try something new. Your practice is unique, don’t compare yourself to others, but strive to do your best in the body you brought to class,” she said. “The heat is not as overwhelming as it seems, and the more you practice the more you crave it.”

If you’re inspired to take your first yoga class, you’re welcome to join us! Every class is beginner-friendly, and we want to help you find relief from pain, anxiety, stress or whatever is prompting you to consider yoga.

You can get started for just $30. That gets you 30 days of unlimited practice with us to try all of the classes we offer. Take the first step and sign up here!

Myrtle Delgado Describes Sterling as Fun and Life-Changing

By Testimonial

When Myrtle Delgado took her first class at Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness two years ago, she admits it wasn’t at all what she expected.

“Wow, this yoga thing is really hard!,” she said thought at the time. “I think I was expecting to just suffer through an hour of some boring stretches.”

But the changes in her life that Myrtle has experienced in the two years since is anything but boring. 

“If someone had told me a year ago that doing the classes at Sterling Hot Yoga was going to make a real impact on my daily life, I’d have been skeptical,” she said. “But, that was when I was largely a runner and felt any workout wasn’t really complete if running wasn’t involved. Now a full year into Sterling classes, call me a convert!”

Physically, Myrtle was looking for relief from long-standing sciatica and hamstring issues, which she attributed to her routine of “basically all running and NO stretching,” and it got to the point she was in physical therapy for it. 

“Over the past year this has all but disappeared which I have to attribute to the continued practice of varied yoga classes,” she said. “True, I’d cut down and almost out all running, but that was only because I realized I could feel totally spent and yet rejuvenated—simultaneously—with these classes and without the painful aftermath!”

Myrtle is a dedicated regular at Sterling, most often in Iron Hour and Inferno Hot Pilates, which are great ways to build core strength. But she also takes yoga and yin, both of which improve flexibility. 

She attributes all of the classes with the benefits she’s experienced from a regular practice, including better flexibility, less stress, an overall feeling of calm and faster recovery with running. But she’s been most surprised by one thing. “I can now find a stillness that I never recognized,” she said. “I’m still working at this, but I am proud of my progress!”

Myrtle said she loves that there is always something happening at Sterling, such as the “fun, motivating” challenges like bingo that help her stay consistent, or the “perks” of free sushi offered once a month after the Happy Hour Yoga With Friends class.

While those are great reasons to come back and practice regularly, Myrtle is most drawn to the studio for one thing: the people. And they made an impact from the first day she walked into the studio.

“Sterling immediately felt warm (no pun intended) to me and welcoming,” she said. “No one ever made me feel that I shouldn’t be there regardless of my complete lack of experience. In fact, I found the complete opposite with kind words and encouragement.”

That continued sense of belonging and of course the ongoing challenges of each class keep her coming back.

“It is really addictive to walk in the room and immediately relax in that heat!,” she said. “But more than that every single class is a challenge in its own unique way, and I love the people—the teachers and students are filled with a positive energy—I always leave invigorated (and sometimes pretty sore), and I just love it!”

Yoga is more than practicing postures on your mat, and Myrtle said she realized that during a recent surgery experience. 

“My ‘aha’ moment from a mental standpoint was from an oral surgery I recently had which lasted almost three hours,” she said. “In the past, I’m pretty sure I would’ve opted for the anti-anxiety medications offered (as pretty much anytime I drool or have a dental procedure it make me nervous), but instead I was able to close my eyes, focus on breathing and body position, and got through it calm and relaxed (of course having a fantastic surgeon also helped!).”

How does Myrtle sum up her experience at Sterling?

“All this to say that the classes are challenging but also fun and fabulous on multiple levels and really can have a significant impact on your life,” she said. “As one of our instructors Mandi likes to say “how you do anything is how you do everything,” which I do believe. So ask me today about Sterling—I say pass the punch, I’m all in!”

To experience what Myrtle said she’s experienced, she encouraged first-timers to just be willing to try classes at Sterling, and it may take more than one class to find something that clicks.

“You must try it to feel the difference it can make,” she said. “There are so many positive benefits both physically and mentally, and the beauty of Sterling is that if you don’t particularly care for one type of class there are plenty of others that are all so different to try as well!”

Ready to give yoga and Pilates a try? We offer a great new student special of just $30 for your first month. For a dollar a day, you can start to experience just a few of the life-changing benefits. What a deal! Sign up here!

 

One 90-Minute Class and Teddy Ward ‘Was Hooked’ on Hot Yoga

By Testimonial

Benefits of Hot Yoga Yoga Testimonial Sterling Hot Yoga MobileIn October 2010, Teddy Ward took the original 90-minute hot yoga class for the first time at a new studio in town, then called Bikram Hot Yoga Mobile. He’d practiced vinyasa and slow flow for about 10 years prior, but he’d never experienced anything like the 90.

“After my first class, I was drenched in sweat, my forearms, wrists and elbows hurt, and my heart was beating so fast and my face was flushed. I didn’t think I’d ever cool down. I was worn out,” he said. “But I noticed an hour and a half later and even into the next day I had such focus and energy. I was able to cook dinner, complete tasks and prepare for the next day in a flow state. I went back the next evening for my second class.”

In the almost nine years since that first class, Teddy said some of the many benefits of his practice have included increased flexibility, balanced strength, joint comfort, peace of mind, weight loss, increased aerobic stamina and improved posture.

It was much more than he expected when he first considered trying yoga. “I needed to lose weight, and I needed to stretch,” Teddy said. “Prior to yoga, I did a lot of weight lifting but no stretching.”

Choosing what is now Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness was easy. “Sterling was and still is the first studio of its kind in Mobile,” he said. “I had never experienced the 90-minute heated series before my first class and I was hooked.” 

It didn’t take long for Teddy to consider becoming a teacher. About a year after he took his first 90, he was signed up for Bikram’s Yoga Teacher Training in Fall 2011. 

After all this time, the 90 is still Teddy’s favorite class. “It’s so complete, he said. “It’s a workout for my mind, body and spirit. When I’m done, I feel so relaxed and complete energized at the same time.”

But even more than the physical, mental and emotional benefits of his practice, Teddy said that, most surprisingly, the discipline he learned through yoga changed his life.

“Sometimes practicing yoga is like a storm that must be weathered. At times my egoic mind wants to go places my body is not ready for, and I have to take a step back and take a breath and continue on and do the things so can do with precision and intensity,” he said. “The things I can’t do…I can attempt. It’s more about the experience of the attempt than any particular outcome. I focus more how I feel on the inside rather than how it looks on the outside. 

“This has translated off my yoga mat and into my life. The experience and the work of life is the reward itself,” he continued. “In that respect, everything is yoga to me.”

Teddy, who also enjoys a career as a hairdresser, is able to stave off neck and shoulder pain, and discomfort in his wrists, hands and hips—the typical aches that come with the profession.  

“The second part of awkward pose even takes care of my toes,” he said, “so I’m able to stand on my feet for longer periods of time without cramping.”

As a teacher, Teddy is often asked advice on where beginners should start. “My answer is always the same: start where you’re at and go from there. Just START!” 

The 90-minute class is a great place to begin as it includes two sets of each posture, allowing students more time to become familiar with the postures. Plus, everything is within the natural range of motion. 

“I think the thing to overcome is not the heat or the teacher or the postures, but all the thoughts and reactions and things we tell ourselves about it,” he said. “Just get your ass to yoga class! The longer you wait, the more time you waste.”

Take Teddy’s advice! Sign up for our 30-day new member special here. It’s just $30, and it includes all of the classes we offer—including the original 90-minute class! 

 

Dot and Phil: One of the Studio’s First Power Couples!

By Testimonial

Hot Yoga Benefits Client Testimonial Sterling Hot YogaNot many students can say they’ve been with Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness since the doors opened. But Phil Purpura and Dot Small can.

Dot actually was one of the very first students to practice at then Bikram Hot Yoga Mobile before it was officially open!

“My first class was on then-owner Lucille Moran’s wedding day,” Dot said. “The studio was not finished, and we had no heat and air. It was August, so I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like with heat.”

Dot and Phil’s yoga journey began when Dot met studio founders Lucille and Bill during their search for a home in Mobile.

“We immediately became friends,” she said (which should come as no surprise if you know Dot and/or Lucille!), “and I felt I had to try the yoga even though it didn’t appeal to me at the time. Turns out it was just what I needed most, and I’ve been practicing here ever since.”

For years, Dot said her chiropractor had been encouraging her to try yoga to address the chronic neck pain she had “from hitting too many bad golf shots.”

But that wasn’t what prompted her to start her yoga practice. So what finally got her and Phil in the hot room?

Dot says, “Lucille,” and Phil says, “Dot!”  

Like Dot, Phil had never practiced yoga, but once the studio was officially open, he’s been here faithfully too, and his regular practice has paid off and keeps him coming back.

“I noticed an improvement in flexibility and also it improved my golf game, strength and coordination. I sleep better too when I practice regularly,” Phil said. “All the benefits I’ve received are enhanced when I go consistently, stretch more and become better at the postures.”

That neck pain Dot was experiencing? It was better within a few weeks, according to Dot. After not going in for her regular appointments, she ran into her chiropractor, and when he asked where she had been, she said, “I told him I was doing yoga, and I was cured.”

But the other benefits Dot experienced were just as significant.

“The breathing was the biggest change. I thought I knew how to breathe, but I didn’t,” she said. “Another significant thing I noticed was that I could handle difficult situations better without becoming upset. The mental aspect for me was as great as the physical.”

Like many students, Dot and Phil found their first class to be challenging. Dot said, “If this is 90 minutes without the heat, I’m in trouble!” Phil said, “I was glad I made it through.”

But, as many students who keep coming back find out, Dot and Phil know practicing consistently is worth it, and the results can even be surprising.

“I am stronger than I thought and more coordinated than I imagined,” Dot said. “I love the heat!”

Though everyone in the room had different physical abilities, Dot was aware that everyone did the poses as best they could. She also noticed how much she had to focus during class.

“I had to focus on myself because if I looked around, I would lose my balance and I thought everyone else probably felt the same way,” she said. “I didn’t feel self conscious. “

Phil said he was surprised by how much flexibility and strength he could gain and how much he could grow in quieting his mind. “I thought I was pretty strong and in good shape,” he said, “but hot yoga showed me I have plenty of room to improve.”

Phil recently completed the 21-Day Healthy Habits Challenge at Sterling, which meant completing 21 classes in 21 days. Research shows it takes about three weeks to set a new habit.

“It exposed me to different classes, instructors and students, doing yoga at different times of the day, and I found there’s even more to all of the offerings at Sterling than I had previously experienced,” Phil said.

Several things have changed since Dot and Phil started practicing at Sterling. Of course, the name was different in 2010, but class offerings have changed as well.

“When I started and for the first few years, we only had 90-minute Bikram-style classes,” Dot said. “Then came Iron Hour, the 60-minute express hot yoga, vinyasa, Inferno Hot Pilates. I found that using the weights in Iron Hour and building my core in Inferno Hot Pilates made the regular hot yoga easier.”

Dot said she enjoys all the classes, but it’s the community she really loves.

“The Sterling instructors and the other students are like my family. They encourage me to come more, and it’s not just good for me; it is fun,” she said. “Even when I go to one of the classes that is not my norm, I know the instructors and everyone is friendly.”

The best thing a first-time student can do is just try, according to Phil. “It’s probably different than your preconceptions,” he said. “There are half a dozen different classes, each with different benefits for your body and your mind. You can’t get a feel for it until you try it.”

In short, said Dot, “It’s life-changing.”

Ready to try hot yoga and experience what it can do for you? Sign up here for our new member special, and get 30 days of unlimited practice for just $30!