Skyler Dearen can take the heat.
At just 15-years old, our nation’s youngest Yoga Alliance-registered hot yoga instructor treks a bold, heart-guided life path.
A yogi since age 7, Dearen’s passion for the fiery practice was inspired by her single mother, a yoga teacher-turned studio owner in Newport Beach, California.
Yoga totally changed our lives. We’ve had hard times. Hot yoga offers…
an amazing emotional release. You get in to that hot room, sweat it out and let it go,” says Dearen, who completed a teacher training in 2013 at her mom’s Radiant Yoga studio here.
We trained in 105 degree temperature for weekends on end. I didn’t think I could physically and mentally do it, but jumped in,” says the ninth-grader.
Though nervous her first time teaching a group of forty,
I walked in there and gave it all I had. You have to go for it and stay fearless to be that vessel for your students,” says Dearen.
Over time, Dearen’s combined style of Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga and Bikram classes took shape. She currently teaches six to eight weekly classes, a feat made possible by another gutsy life choice.
After a family exploration trip to Thailand last year, “I decided I wanted to be homeschooled so I could do more yoga,” says Dearen, whose mom supported the switch.
Dearen now virtually attends an online, self-study program through Brigham Young University. She says she’s able to pull in A’s and B’s, while taking or teaching yoga twice daily and has transitioned easily to her new routine.
All of my school friends come to my classes and we still hang out. I’m very close with everyone at my studio. We’re a huge family,” she says.
Dearen chronicles her love of nature and sense of adventure on Instagram, posting, “When I find a beautiful place and want to stop and take a cool yoga picture,” she says. Her online following has grown to 2000.
Up the road, Dearen dreams of opening up her own Radiant Yoga studio and hosting yoga retreats worldwide.
She plans to inspire more teens to try yoga, too.
“It’s such an amazing gift,” she says.
Those new to hot yoga often have these two questions when considering taking their first Hot Yoga class. Hot yoga originates in the warmer more humid climates of southern India where for centuries yogis have practiced yoga postures in a naturally heated and humid climate. Hot Yoga has hit the western world and to duplicate a warm and humid environment, studios all over the western hemisphere are adding heaters and humidifiers to the yoga experience. After practicing hot yoga for over 10 years, I’ve found that each time I take a class, a new benefit to practicing Hot Yoga is revealed. In fact, there are thousands of reasons to practice yoga and even more to practice Hot Yoga. To simplify, here are 8 top reasons Radiant Hot Yoga adds heat to yoga:
1- Strength: In yoga we use our own body weight as resistance. No need for lifting metal! Yoga offers a low impact way to build muscle strength. In a heated environment, we challenge our bodies as we build muscle strength which brings us to….
2- Cardio: In a Hot Yoga environment your heart will elevate and yes you will burn the same kind of calories you would running a mile. You can expect to burn 700-900 calories in an 80 minute class. As a result, you will boost your metabolism and continue to burn calories outside of your Hot Yoga practice as a result of strength resistance and muscles balancing and contracting in a heated environment.
3- Flexibility: Hot Yoga is not about being flexible and it is not a prerequisite. However, in practice you will gain more flexibility in time. The heat allows you to safely reach new levels of flexibility as your muscles, joints and ligaments are warmed up within minutes of entering the hot room.
4- Breath: I like to call the breath “your most valuable tool” in your yoga practice. Learning to control and concentrate on the breath will not only send the oxygen needed to your muscles but also to your brain to help you relax and meditate in challenging postures. And guess what? The Yogi breath will help you relax and meditate in challenging positions you find yourself in off the mat as well. You won’t make it through life not breathing and this certainly is true of Hot Yoga. Breathe deeply………
5- Detox: In a heated environment our muscles, glands and organs are detoxing which means releasing (through sweat) the things our body does not need. Hot Yoga accelerates the detoxing process and you will leave the class feeling purified and cleansed.
6- Concentration: In the Hot Yoga room, you are stepping into a secluded, safe environment where you can leave your worries and troubles outside. The heat will help you concentrate of healing your body and listening to you body. You will never be so aware with what your body and mind needs!
7- Healing: Adding heat to yoga provides a therapeutic environment where past injuries can be healed and new injures prevented. In addition, Hot Yoga has shown significant improvements in asthma, high blood pressure, stress levels, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and obesity.
8- Back pain: Strengthening the spine is a key focus of each yoga posture. We call the spine, the “Life Line” to which all is connected. Without a healthy, flexible and strong spine, nothing else matters. A regular practice of Hot Yoga will alleviate back pain and prevent you from the need to take pain medications, live at the Chiropractor’s office and getting back massage after back massage. You will now be in charge of the health of your back!
Now for the second question…How hot is HOT?
At Radiant Hot Yoga, we like to keep the temperature between 102 and 105 degrees. You body will acclimate to this kind of heat faster then you can imagine if you are consistent in your practice. Once you have acclimated to Hot Yoga (usually takes about 5 classes), you will become what we call a “Heat Seeker” and you won’t be able to turn back….
See you on your mat at Radiant Hot Yoga in 2013!!!!
Author: Lisa Ashton