When I found yoga, I was primarily a runner. I was training for 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons and struggling to keep up my training in the heat of summer. I had a couple of friends who had raved about hot yoga, and there was a studio just a couple blocks from my house, so I decided to give it a shot and see if hot yoga could help me endure my summertime runs more easily. My very first class was with the amazing Kathleen Lloyd (who later led my first teacher training), and it changed my life.
I loved the predictability of the hot yoga sequence, which provided an opportunity to track my progression from day to day. I had been working on flexibility before starting yoga and gained it quickly in the heated room. My teachers were great with noticing and commenting on my progression, which made me feel seen and less self-conscious. It wasn't long before I was making space for a nearly daily practice . . . and backing off of all of that running!
As I gained experience and confidence, I started to expand my practice to include other styles. I also got curious about teaching yoga. Just like I started my practice with hot yoga, I started my teaching with the same format. I appreciated being able to memorize a set sequence and add my personality through my music and eventually via themes. It also allowed me to really focus on a specific set of poses and get to know them well.
Today, I teach several styles of yoga and group fitness, but I love coming back to my roots. Hot yoga remains the style that I teach most frequently, and it's where I'm most comfortable. I often encourage beginners to try a hot class, as I believe it's accessible, predictable, and beneficial for folks just starting their relationship with yoga.
I'd love to hear your story of how you found yoga and whether you stuck with that style through the years. Please comment below!