Hot Spot Power Yoga of St. Johns
60 Shops Blvd #30
St. Johns, Florida 32259
Opening Date? Our Grand Opening weekend is August 29-30, 2020. Regular schedule classes kick off Monday, August 31 at 6am.
What kind of classes will be offered?
All 4 Hot Spot Power Yoga studios are Baptiste Affiliate studios, which means that we provide classes in the style of Baptiste Yoga, a rigorous vinyasa, or flow, practice made popular by Baron Baptiste. The majority of our classes take place in a room heated to 90 degrees, though we will also offer some restorative, less intense but still very beneficial classes, which will not be in a heated room.
What is hot yoga? How is it different from regular yoga?
Heat, or tapas, is one of the 5 pillars of Baptiste yoga - the other 4 being breath (ujjayi), gaze (drishti), core stabilization (uddiyana bandha), and flow (vinyasa). The purpose of heat in Baptiste yoga is to facilitate warming up the body both from the inside and out, allowing for greater flexibility and a deeper practice. Heat brings an additional level of rigor to our yoga practice, loosens the muscles more quickly, and works together with breathwork to bring focus, clarity, and ultimately, physical and mental transformation. By learning and practicing these skills on our mats, we are better equipped to go out into the world and put them to use in our everyday lives.
What are some of the physical and mental benefits of yoga?
Yoga is a beautiful and varied practice, and its benefits are vast. Physically, practitioners gain strength, flexibility, and stamina, bringing their heart rates up, toning the muscles, and strengthening the core. Mentally, yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety, providing a time and space for individuals to breathe, move, and meditate. We often talk of taking our yoga off of our mats and out into the world. We learn so much about ourselves through our yoga practice, in terms of reactivity, expectation, and self worth. Yoga teaches us to be kinder to ourselves, that we don’t have to be perfect, and how to approach difficult situations.
What makes your yoga studio unique?
Without a doubt, Hot Spot Power Yoga stands out because we are a COMMUNITY. We are a safe space where everyone is welcome and no one is judged. You can come as you are and know you will be accepted, whether you’ve practiced yoga for 25 years or it’s your first class, whether you’re wearing high-end yoga apparel or just picked up some leggings at the bargain basement. That doesn’t matter. We’re just happy you’ve joined us, and we want to support one another. We are all connected, and we embrace that connectivity, celebrating one another’s achievements, and holding each other up in times of difficulty. Often times, people come in to the studio to practice yoga, and they leave feeling part of something bigger than themselves.
Why did you decide to start the business? Also, why St. Johns?
I discovered Hot Spot Power Yoga when I was looking for a studio to practice in after my daughter was born 3 years ago. I needed time to myself to breathe, to move, and to de-stress from mommy duty. I showed up looking for a hot, sweaty workout, and I found so much more. Over time, my schedule changed such that I wasn’t able to get to classes at the existing HSPY studios, and I nearly cancelled my membership, as I just couldn’t make the commute anymore. While I am well aware that there are far greater decisions in life, I really struggled with this one. Ultimately, I was in yoga class and had the realization that if there wasn’t a studio close to where I lived, I should make it happen! I credit yoga for showing me this possibility, and empowering me to go for it! I took the next step and contacted Leah Hansen, the founder of Hot Spot Power Yoga, and I asked her to partner with me on this adventure. From day 1, she has been a steadfast support to me and to opening this 4th studio location in St. Johns, for which I will be eternally grateful. We both see great things ahead.
How has yoga transformed your life?
I have practiced yoga for over 15 years. After the birth of my son 8 years ago, yoga helped me through a difficult bout of postpartum depression (in addition to the care of my physician). At that time, I would go to yoga class for that hour of stillness to clear my mind, but after class, I would return to life as normal, not yet aware of how to carry yoga into my everyday life. When I began practicing at Hot Spot, I continued to show up for that hour of peace, but little by little, the lessons I learned on my mat started to translate into my way of thinking, communicating, and being. Just like when I would confront a pose in my practice that challenged me, I learned to respond instead of react to difficult situations in my life, and take the process one step at a time. Similar to when I would fall out of a pose on my mat, I gained the perspective that if and when I don’t meet up to certain expectations in life, I can always try again, and value the effort. And in the same way that I return to my breath when I feel winded or defeated in class, I can come back to my breath when life inevitably overwhelms me. These practices and skills have changed my life for the better, and I want to share them with anyone and everyone.
What did you do before owning your own business?
I am a licensed and certified Physician Assistant. I have a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences from George Washington University, and I worked for 6 years in Boston, MA and Washington, DC as a Neurosurgical Physician Assistant, specializing in the treatment of the brain and spine. When my son was born, I chose to stay home to care for him, and I have, without regret, been a stay-at-home mom ever since. I always planned to go back to work eventually, and now that my son is 8 and my daughter is 3, I’m starting to spread my wings again, though in a different direction, as this opportunity to open a yoga studio presented itself to me at just the right time.
When you have time off, what is your favorite thing to do with your family in St. Johns?
When I have time off, I like to practice yoga! Besides that, though, we love spending time with family at the beach, and feel blessed to have both my parents and my brother and his family nearby (he and his wife own and run Ridgewater Show Stables, an equestrian training center in St. Augustine). We love to travel to visit my husband’s family in Connecticut, where we get our taste of fall, winter, and lots of cousins, and we cherish our annual family ski vacations to Colorado. Beyond that, I’m a huge fan of trips to the spa, relaxing with friends, and a good brunch.
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