What benefits were you hoping to receive from your yoga practice?
At first my motivations were pretty simple, I just hoped to get in great shape. My girlfriend had been practicing hot yoga for years and had developed amazing muscle definition as a result of hot yoga and I wanted the same thing for myself. Plus I thought it would a great activity for us to do together.” – Mark H.
How has yoga and your practice exceeded your expectations?
My first class was with Darlene and it was amazing but it also pushed me to my absolute physical breaking point. I had to lie down several times to slow my heart rate down and recover. It was a very humbling experience.
When people ask what hot yoga is like, I tell them that physically it’s like running a half marathon in a sauna and mentally, it’s even harder.
Overcoming that mental hurdle though, has delivered incredible benefits that I never expected. I’ve learned to control my breath, and my heart rate but also my emotions and composure when faced with extreme situations. The classes are still just as challenging as they were when I started but they feel easier and even more rewarding because I’m different now and I’ve learned to control how I react to the heat and the postures. That part of me that has become different, that has become better, extends outside of yoga as well. I never expected it, but yoga has become a life changing experience for me.” – Mark H.
How has yoga benefitted you off the mat?
At Radiant Hot Yoga you learn to look inwards and get more connected to your physical body and your feelings. You learn that you are in control of your mind and body even when your surroundings are working against you. It’s not just talk, for me it was a real transformation that I had to make in myself in order to work through challenging postures and flows in the heat and humidity. I have been able to extend that internal focus and strength to my professional and personal life.
I run a global healthcare business for work and sometimes deal with difficult situations.
Just like in yoga, I now breathe through those situations while staying calm and focused and remember that I’m in complete control of how I react to the situation. I feel not only physically stronger than I ever have before but mentally, emotionally and spiritually stronger than ever before.
It’s a profound difference that my colleagues and loved ones have noticed and have told me they appreciate.” – Mark H.
Do you notice a change in your physical, mental, emotional and or spiritual body from a regular yoga practice?
The physical change after coming to Radiant Hot Yoga and making yoga practice part of my daily life was dramatic and happened faster than I thought it would. I have gained muscle definition all over my body but also developed leaner, longer looking muscles. Nothing beats the flexibility though!
When I started I could just barely touch my toes with my legs straight. Now I can hold my legs straight and put my elbows on the ground! Mentally and emotionally the change has been even greater. In yoga class you clear your mind of the outside world completely for 60 to 80 minutes a day and focus on your internal self.
I can’t imagine life anymore without taking that time for myself. That one hour a day I take to focus on myself has made me a better, stronger person to all those around me for the other 23 hours.” – Mark H.
Have you tried other styles of yoga? What makes Radiant Hot Yoga your preferred place of practice?
I briefly practiced hot yoga at two other studios before coming to Radiant Hot Yoga. I can’t emphasize enough how unique a place Radiant Hot Yoga is and the amazing energy created by the students and teachers. When you are in a class you feel absolutely inspired by the incredible people around you. The teachers and the students create an energy in the room that makes you want to give everything you have and push yourself to the absolute limit in every class.
I owe so much of my growth to the amazing energy and strength of Radiant’s teachers and students. It’s truly an environment of incredible people doing amazing things together as a family.
A special shout out to teachers Adham and Erica and the whole Radiant family, you are amazing and inspiring!” – Mark H.