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Gravity Yoga Pop-Up Sunday, Aug. 28, Workshop Series Begins Sept. 11

By Events

Feeling stuck in your practice? Maybe it’s a stiff back, locked-up hips, tight hamstrings or tight shoulders.

If so, join Michelle Ryan on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m. for a new type of class that will help you utilize the science of passive stretching to effectively change your body, improve your posture and increase your range of motion.

Gravity Yoga is a mat-based, targeted mobility training method that has helped students all over the world improve their flexibility and move better.

The pop-up class offered in the studio and via livestream (if there is interest), and it will be designed to introduce you to this style of practice before the next workshop series begins on Sunday, Sept. 11.

The pop-up class is included in active Sterling memberships, but drop-ins welcome at a special rate here.

Please reserve your spot as this class will be limited. See you then!

Who’s Already Thinking About a Fall Challenge?

By Announcement

We’re already looking ahead to fall with anticipation because we’re putting together another challenge just for you!

This challenge will be a new twist on our typical challenges, but we can’t spill all the details just yet.

You can expect some fun themed classes and seasonal favorites as we help get you excited for Halloween!

That’s all we can reveal for now. Stay tuned for more details. We’ll announce when challenge cards will be available at the front desk.

We hope you can’t wait for fall AND the fall challenge!

Sterling Hot Yoga Provides Everything David Rubey Needs

By Testimonial

David Rubey took his first hot yoga class at what is now Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness about 10 years ago. Though he wasn’t able to begin practicing consistently at the time, he says he never forgot his experience at Sterling, and that’s part of the reason he came back.

“When I moved back to Mobile after establishing a yoga practice at the downtown Birmingham YMCA, I needed to find a studio here,” he said. “I picked Sterling because I had my very first yoga experience there and it was close to my house in Midtown.”

David resumed his yoga practice in Mobile during the COVID lockdown, and he said Sterling came to the rescue with virtual classes that helped him ease back into a routine after being out of it for several months. Though the online classes served their purpose, he was glad to get back into the hot room.

“There’s nothing quite like it,” he said.

David had mostly practiced hot vinyasa, but at Sterling, he has found everything he needs in the combination of instructors and classes offered.

“I can work on strength training in my yoga sculpt class or mindfulness meditation in yin yoga. I can work on flexibility in the 26/2 hot yoga class or go for a balance of strength, flexibility and meditation in my vinyasa flow class,” he said. “I don’t need any other memberships to the gym or other health clubs. All I need is the Sterling community of instructors and students and their hot yoga room. Overall, my decision to join Sterling has been a huge upgrade to my personal wellness.”

With consistent practice, David has noticed changes in mood regulation, body weight regulation, core strength, and flexibility which helps him avoid injuries during high impact activities like playing soccer.

“I have the ability to stay focused, present and be a good human even during the difficult times in life,” he said.

All it took for David to get hooked on yoga was to accept a friend’s invitation to take a class, and the result has been life-changing.

“Practicing yoga is one of life’s hidden gems. If you put effort into your practice, the benefits are priceless,” he said. “It is like a long-term investment in your mind, body and spirit that you will never regret.”

David has experienced firsthand how important and powerful the physical and mental benefits of his yoga practice are, and that’s something he says he will treasure forever. 

“My yoga practice has been an investment in my physical and mental health as well as my spiritual well being. It has helped me overcome addiction, recover from losses of loved ones and generally keeps me in a mindful and healthy lifestyle,” he said. “My yoga practice is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

How could yoga change your life? There is only one way to find out! Sign up for our 30-day new student special here so you can experience all the classes and benefits Sterling has to offer you!

2020 Challenge Update: July Challengers Still in the Race!

By Announcement

Even in the midst of such unusual times, a regular yoga practice has remained a constant for our 2020 Renew You challengers. No matter whether you’re participating in this challenge, a regular yoga practice is a great way to stay grounded, centered and focused!

These yogis have been showing up on their mats regularly now for over half of 2020. What an accomplishment!

Congratulations to the following:

Robert Carlock, 42
Sheri Granberry, 27
Audrey Williamson, 26
Mendy Bornfleth, 24
Paula Brown, 22
Candice Cravins, 20
Michelle Ryan, 21
Tyloria Crenshaw, 20 

Everyone who completes (or averages) 20 classes a month in 2020 will be entered into a drawing to win the grand prize of an annual membership or one of two Fitbit fitness trackers we’ll be giving away. We’ll also be awarding all 2020 challengers a long-sleeved Dri-Fit pullover featuring the studio and challenge logos.

If you’ve gotten a late start on the challenge or you missed a month here or there, there is still time to get in on some great prizes! Anyone who completes at least 20 classes a month will receive an entry into a separate drawing. That’s one entry for EVERY month of at least 20 classes!

Keep up the great work, everyone!

 

Haley Hall Loves Sterling Classes Because They’re Different

By Testimonial

Haley Hall had taken several barre and Pilates classes over the years, but she hadn’t really practiced yoga before she came to Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness nine months ago.

Her busy lifestyle prompted her to consider fitness options that would help relieve stress. “As an educator, my days are often rushed and very busy,” she said. “I was looking for a workout that not only helped my body physically, but mentally as well.”

Haley found the “engaging group fitness class” she was looking for at Sterling, but the studio offered other bonuses as well. “I chose Sterling because of the convenient location, and I had heard great things about it!”

Not only did original hot yoga, vinyasa flow and Inferno Hot Pilates provide the stress relief she wanted, but they’ve helped her get stronger and “always have a feeling of being more calm and centered after class,” she said.

It’s that feeling that keeps Haley coming back to practice consistently. 

“Carving out a specific time for yoga provides me with the opportunity to slow down, relax deeply, and simply focus on the moment,” she said. “As an educator, I consider myself a lifelong learner. I appreciate yoga being a constant practice rather than a final outcome.”

But more than that, Haley said classes at Sterling are just different compared to other workouts she’s done.

“I have found that yoga calms my thoughts, and I focus on my body and my breath during class, and I block out the other thoughts,” she said. “In other workouts, I find myself going through my mental checklist of the day, rather than focusing on what I am doing. Sterling classes are different when it comes to the mind-body connection.”

Like most students, that wasn’t the first difference Haley realized. Sterling classes are hot(!) to help the muscles stretch more safely, working to restore and maintain natural range of motion. But getting acclimated to the heat is usually one of the biggest adjustments new students have to make. 

“When the class first began, I thought there is no way I will make it through this heat!,” she said. “But after it was over, I felt amazing!”

Haley admits she isn’t always one to try out new things, so she has been pleasantly surprised how practicing consistently has given her the courage to do that.

“Sometimes I am scared to try new things, such as a new pose I’m afraid of, but since practicing yoga, I realize we are all practicing and no one is perfect,” she said. “So I would say it has encouraged a willingness to try new things!”

Haley had to overcome some fears even to just get started, but now she said she craves yoga when she’s away from it.

Her advice to first-timers? “Just do it! You won’t regret it,” she said. “I never considered myself a flexible “yoga” person, so I was always afraid to try yoga. Then I realized yoga is for everyone!”

Everyone is welcome to join us, and like Haley said, you won’t regret it! 

“The people at Sterling is one thing that makes it so special. It is a great community of people who are very positive and encouraging!,” she said. “Classes are Sterling are often the highlight of my week, and I always leave the studio feeling better than when I walked in.”

We want to be the highlight of your week too! You can get started for just $30 and get 30 days of unlimited classes. Click here to join or sign up at the studio when you take your first class!

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!

 

Katie Turner Discovers Yoga With a Little Help From a Friend

By Testimonial

Katie Turner discovered yoga three years ago after being “dragged to a HOT 90 class by a friend” in Birmingham. 

“I had never been very flexible and I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I survived and I loved it,” she said. “I signed up for a membership after that and have been hooked ever since.”

Katie described herself as a regular in Hot Pilates and Buti yoga classes after surviving the HOT 90, so when she moved back home to Mobile about a year ago, she was determined to continue her practice. That’s when she discovered Sterling.

“The Hot Pilates classes are my absolute favorite, and I saw that they were offered at Sterling,” she said. “I signed up for the initial $30 for 30 days and loved it.” 

Katie has experienced many benefits from her yoga and Pilates practice, such as injury recovery and improved energy levels.

“The biggest benefit that I have experienced would have to be complete relief from lower back pain that had plagued me for years from a previous injury. I’ve also noticed that when I keep up a regular routine of yoga/Pilates, my energy levels are up and I feel capable,” she said. “Amongst other things, this leads me to wake up earlier, to be more productive at work, to put more effort into my relationships. I function at a much higher level in all aspects of my life.”

But the most satisfying reason Katie keeps coming back is reaching new levels in her practice.

“I come back to practice because I love how yoga/Pilates makes me feel. There is nothing more satisfying than my body doing something that it was not capable of months before,” she said. “Also, the lavender towels at the end of class do not hurt.”

Katie took her first Pilates class—and first class at Sterling—in September 2018. Though she said it was obvious to her that she hadn’t practiced in months, she said she “was excited to see how strong I could become.”

Looking back over her consistent practice, Katie is most surprised by her changed mindset and how much she is able to accomplish.

“Before yoga, I had never really had a workout practice or consistent routine. Never in a million years would I have pictured myself being able to do some of the things I do now,” she said. “I am really proud of the endurance that I have built up to be able to get through some of these classes because they are tough!”

Getting to this point in her practice didn’t happen all at once, Katie admits, so she encourages new students to be patient as they work toward the results or goals they have in mind. 

“Flexibility and endurance are not built overnight,” she said. “Any sort of goal is worth putting in the work!!!”

Practicing in the supportive environment that Sterling offers has made putting in the work a little easier for her.

“I have loved coming to Sterling Hot Yoga since day one! The instructors and staff have been so supportive and kind. They really push you to work towards the best version of yourself,” she said. “I can’t wait to see where my practice will take me!”

You can join Katie at Sterling and work toward your goals together! We offer a $30 intro special for new students that includes 30 days of unlimited practice. Click here to sign up. There is no better time or deal to take the first step to a healthier, happier you!

 

Mandi Cameron Finds Transformation in Yoga, Inferno Hot Pilates

By Testimonial

Yoga Pilates Transformation Before and After Workout Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile ALMandi Cameron admits she was unhappy, but she was more determined to make positive changes in her life. When she saw that Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness was offering an open house almost three years ago, she “jumped at the opportunity to try two free classes.”

“After the birth of my youngest daughter, I was extremely unhappy with not just my appearance, but my overall health,” she said.

It didn’t take long for her to decide she wanted to commit to Sterling. After the first class she took during that open house weekend, Mandi said, “I went straight to the front desk to sign up!”

That was almost three years ago, and her progress has been significant—in many ways.

“Most people probably don’t remember when I first became a member at Sterling,” she said. “I had not worked out consistently in years. I had just had my second child and my body was most certainly not in shape.

“I was so unhappy,” she admitted. “I hated taking pictures and I feared seeing anyone I knew out. I wanted change.”

Mandi found the change she wanted—and a lot more—by consistently practicing Inferno Hot Pilates and vinyasa flow.

“Honestly, a consistent practice at Sterling helped me to believe in myself. Every class, I try to take the opportunity to be a little better than the class before, stretch deeper, let go, push harder,” she said. “I never considered myself to be athletic, but Sterling has brought out the fitness fanatic in me!”

Sterling was an easy choice for Mandi. It’s only a couple of minutes away from her house, and the benefits she’s experienced—overall improved mood, greater flexibility that enhances her weightlifting, and ability to focus and stay in the present—are worth it!

When asked what keeps her coming back to practice, she sums it up in one word. “Um…sanity! Well, that was what kept me coming at first…that and sheer determination!,” she said. “The quick results you see sure help your drive to come as well. I absolutely love the feeling of sweating everything out— toxins, bad energy, a day that didn’t go right. I ALWAYS feel better after a class. I’ve never regretted taking a class for sure!”

If the process seems too easy, Mandi assured that it hasn’t been. “It was hard. There were a lot of early mornings in the cold, late nights rolling out my sore muscles, begrudgingly making healthier choices,” she said. “But I completely finally fell in love with working out and—MOST IMPORTANTLY—I fell in love with my own skin. Working out wasn’t a chore, but an opportunity to prove to myself what my body—what I—am capable of.”

For that, she credits Inferno Hot Pilates, one of Sterling’s most popular classes that is a bootcamp style, high intensity interval workout, for making her “absolutely fall in love with working out.”

“That hour I carved out for myself where I didn’t have to think about my to do list, what I needed to do for everyone else, just an hour to push myself to the limits while barely hanging on—it was everything I never knew I needed. And it didn’t stop there!,” she said. “Everything I had ever tried before at the gym that I hated? I started loving it. I can’t stop trying new lifts, new classes, learning new things.”

It should come as no surprise that Mandi is now an Inferno Hot Pilates teacher. She pours her heart and soul into every class, just like she does as a student, and everyone loves her and the challenging, but rewarding workouts she leads.

Because of her own journey, Mandi encourages others to try yoga at Sterling. “I think a lot of people are intimidated by the heat. I tell them to embrace it and use it to detoxify their spirit,” she said. “Also, everyone is so encouraging and that there are all levels in every class. You’re so focused on your personal practice that  no one is looking around, so don’t feel embarrassed or like you’re being scrutinized…. We’re all just trying to make it through, I promise no one noticed you fall out of a pose!”

Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness offers a new member special, $30 for 30 days of unlimited practice, to encourage everyone to experience all of our classes. But don’t expect the change you want to happen right away.

“Transformation is a slow journey. Real change is not a quick fix, but day after day of consistency, hard work and commitment. It’s also not linear. Everyone gets in a rut—we’re human!

“Honor yourself, make time for yourself every day, and if you’re unhappy like I was, make a decision right now to do something about it,” Mandi said, “or better yet, come try a class with me!”

For just $30, you can take a class with Mandi or any one of our other great instructors at Sterling. Click here to sign up and take the first step of your own transformation!

 

Flora Thompson Finds Balance, Flexibility and Friendship

By Testimonial

 

Flora and Sheri - SHYWFor Flora Thompson—and many others—Sterling Hot Yoga & Wellness is more than a place to practice yoga. Sure, that’s how it begins. But alongside this healing practice, friendships are forged as well.

Three-and-a-half years ago, Flora made the decision to try yoga. “I noticed a pattern among older people of my acquaintance. Some died of dread diseases, but more often it seemed that they died after experiencing a fall, then another fall, and then a life of incapacity and decline,” she said. “The best weapons against falls are balance and flexibility, and those weren’t things I could start working on at age 70.”

Flora admits she didn’t do much research on yoga studios in the area, but there was one she passed regularly on Old Shell Road. “It was the only studio I knew about when I decided to give yoga a try,” she said.

In the three-and-a-half years she’s been at Sterling, Flora has been a faithful member of “The Breakfast Club,” the affectionate term for the 6:15 a.m. yoga crowd, because it’s the only one that fits with her work schedule.

“I am one of the least athletic people you will ever meet, and my joints seem to be unusually stiff and inflexible, so it was extremely humbling to suddenly find myself in a class with people 30+ years my junior who can move their bodies in ways that make you wonder if they’ve had bones surgically removed,” she said.

But with a consistent practice, Flora has experienced improved balance, flexibility and posture, and she said she continues to see results, especially now that “The Breakfast Club” meets four times a week. In particular, improving the flexibility of her hip flexors has been beneficial for RLS, a neurological problem she has.

Flora readily admits that she is not a morning person. In fact, she has been most surprised by the fact that she has been faithful to an early morning exercise regimen after failing so many times before.

“I have said many times that the fact that I’ve stuck with a 6:15 yoga class for almost four years is clearly the work of the Holy Spirit because the two things I hate most in life are getting out of bed and exercising,” she said. “I’m not sure why this is the one that finally clicked for me after all these years, but I am grateful.”

The results keep Flora coming back to practice, but it’s also the “kindness, encouragement and support of the instructors and others in ‘The Breakfast Club,’ especially Sheri and Chad,” she said.

“When I first started, my instructors, especially Anna and Michelle, would make a point of saying something encouraging to me during class. I confess that my initial thought was, ‘They’re just glad I haven’t died on their watch,’” she said. “Then one day a few months in I was doing Bow and finally managed to grab both of my ankles at the same time. It never occurred to me that anyone would notice, but Anna started applauding; I think she was more excited than I was.

“It really drove home how deep the connection and commitment is among those of us who are taking this journey together,” Flora continued. “Our class is a place where we are able to celebrate each other without comparison or competition. That’s a rare gift.”

When Flora first started yoga, she was hoping to improve her balance and flexibility. Along that journey, she made a special friendship with Sheri Granberry—a faithful member at Sterling since the first week the studio opened!

“One of the great blessings I’ve gotten from Sterling is becoming friends with my Yoga Buddy and Official Conscience, Sheri Granberry,” Flora said. “Sheri has been doing yoga since she was in her 20s, and is a poster child for correct posture and perseverance.”

Sheri is also a dedicated member of “The Breakfast Club,” and she and her tea cup are fixtures in the front right-hand corner of the hot room.

Sheri’s practice has included everything from Iyengar and Ashtanga to Baptiste and Anusara. When she began her Bikram practice, there was no studio in town, but she bought a Bikram book and “practiced at home for years,” she said.

Soon after Flora began practicing, she realized she’d need the help of the ballet barre, which runs along the back right-hand side of the hot room.

“We don’t have assigned places in class, of course, but most of us have preferred spots and I took up residence behind Sheri in the back right-hand corner by the barre,” Flora said. “We had a speaking acquaintance after class, but didn’t really know each other.”

Sheri did take notice of how being by the ballet barre helped support Flora’s practice, especially when someone would set up near it before Flora could get there.

“Sheri is usually the first one to arrive each morning, and after watching me struggle without access to the barre a few times, she started placing her towel in “my” spot to save it for me,” Flora said. “I was incredibly touched by her kindness, and made a point of texting her if I knew I wasn’t going to make it to class so she wouldn’t have to save my place.”

Then, as Flora said, a funny thing happened.  

“What began as an act of kindness on Sheri’s part morphed into accountability for us both. On mornings when rolling over seemed an irresistible temptation, I’d think, ‘No—gotta go. Sheri saved my spot,’” she said. “When she was tempted, she would come just to help me out by saving my place.

“I had enjoyed the class and was committed to it up to that point, but felt fairly anonymous,” Flora said. “Once we made that connection, however, the practice became more enjoyable and my commitment deepened knowing that I was sharing the experience and was accountable to someone else—my wonderful Yoga Buddy.”

Sheri said she is just as inspired by Flora to show up on those early mornings to practice. “Let’s face it, some mornings it would be easier to roll over and go back to sleep instead of getting up for early yoga,” she said. “But I know my peeps, especially Flora, will all have made the effort to get up, so I roll out and make it there.”

Sheri referenced the unspoken pact that they have to show up for each other as a way to stay accountable to themselves. “I’m always glad once I get to the studio,” she said. “Flora inspires me to keep up my steady practice because we are official Yoga Buddies!”

In addition to the balance and flexibility she wanted, Flora found inspiration and motivation in the hot room that she needed. That’s a far cry from her thoughts after her first class—“hoping that I had listed the correct contact information for my next of kin,” she said.

Now she encourages others to try yoga too. “Give it a try,” Flora said. “You haven’t sweated until you’ve sweated in Sanskrit.”

To explore the benefits, friendships, inspiration and motivation you could find at Sterling, try our intro special, and get 30 days of unlimited practice for just $30. Sign up here!

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!