December is the month when holiday cookies and festive dinner parties wage war against the waistline, while seasonal traffic and hordes of last minute shoppers test the sanity, leaving many of us feeling somewhat worn and weary as we approach the New Year. Thankfully, Bradenton’s Three in One Yoga (5203 Cortez Rd) provides a healthy rejuvenation alternative in the form of hot yoga.
A hot yoga class at Three in One ups the exercise ante on traditional yoga, and can work wonders in relaxing the mind, easing tension in the body and burning calories all on in one fell swoop — but be prepared to sweat.
“When people think of yoga, they often think of is as a low-cardio, gentle form of exercise that stretches the muscles. The added heat and more vigorous poses of hot yoga make for more of a workout, all the while maintaining the relaxation benefits of regular yoga,” explained Three in One instructor, Jessica May.
During hot yoga classes, the studio is heated to approximately 102 degrees, creating a hot and humid environment that is conducive to deeper stretching as the body sweats out toxins and builds strength, balance and flexibility and endurance through poses designed to challenge the body, both physically and mentally.
“When you walk out of a hot yoga class, you should be able to really feel the impact of the workout — and you definitely sweat enough to show it. There’s a definite feeling of accomplishment that comes from completing a class,” May said.
May added that hot yoga shares many of the same benefits as sitting in a sauna such as flushing toxins, relieving joint pains and muscle aches, promoting skin health and improving cardiovascular performance, as well as the physical and spiritual benefits of traditional yoga.
“Yoga itself is such a personal journey,” said May. “Even after coming in just a handful of times, you can truly see and feel the improvement as your muscle memory adapts to allow you to go deeper into a pose or hold it for a longer period of time.
Three in One Yoga originated as a Christian faith-based yoga studio in May, 2010 under the ownership of Kim Dumas. In January, 2011, Dumas sold the studio its current owner, Steve Moore.
Moore, who has been practicing yoga for 12 years, was laid off from his job as a Manatee County government employee in 2011. With the New Year came a new and sudden inspiration: To own and operate a yoga studio.
“I woke up the day after New Year and thought ‘What am I going to do today? Perhaps I’ll go do some yoga,’” Moore said. “That day, I found out that Kim was planning to sell the studio, and long story short, two days and two phone calls later, I committed by buying it.”
For the most part, Moore maintained status quo at the studio, although he made two significant changes. Under Moore’s ownership, Three in One opened its doors to all faiths, and also added additional classes to accommodate a broader range of clientele — including a broader selection of hot yoga classes. Moore said that to his knowledge, Three in One Yoga is currently the only studio in Bradenton that offers hot yoga classes.
The studio currently has three instructors who offer a variety of hot yoga, basic yoga and restorative yoga classes. Moore is currently working to complete his Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) certification and will become the studio’s fourth certified instructor in March.
Moore said that the studio hopes to introduce Pilates to its lineup in the future to appeal to a more diverse selection of clientele. In the more immediate future, the studio plans to introduce deals on deal-of-the-day networks such as Living Social and Groupon so that more people have an opportunity to check out hot yoga and see if it’s a fit for them.
“Like with any workout, people need to find a niche with their fitness routine,” said May. “Some people like spinning, some enjoy Zumba — but I think a lot of people are hesitant to try hot yoga because of the heat. For a lot of people, though, once you try it once — you’re hooked.”
For those looking for a no-commitment and cost-friendly opportunity to try hot yoga, May teaches a donation-only class every Tuesday evening at 7pm — but be sure to come early, because the class fills up quickly.
“As popularity builds, I think it’s becoming obvious that hot yoga isn’t just another fitness trend,” said Moore. “People love it. It’s definitely here to stay.”
The studio is closed for the holidays on December 25 and 26, as well as December 31, but will resume typical business hours on Monday through Thursday and on Saturday mornings, beginning on the first of the year. For more information about the studio and class schedules, visit the Three in One Yoga website.