Boiler House Bikram Yoga Brings Hot Yoga to Providence
Friday, November 16, 2012
Owner Derek Stout, Director of Operations Eric Lembke, and Treasurer Connie Weimer run the studio, located in the Boiler House Courtyard of Rising Sun Mills. Stout discovered Bikram Yoga at the age of 16 after being diagnosed as morbidly obese, and never looked back. Many years later, he is a happy and healthy certified instructor of both Bikram Yoga and Unnata Aerial Yoga.
Stout and all instructors of this yoga method are personally trained by Bikram Choudhury, the pioneer of hot yoga and creator the sequence of poses known as Bikram Yoga. The poses work together in sequence to heal the mind and the body through mediation and breath. The heat of the room improves flexibility and helps students sweat, which cleanses the body of toxins. Each class makes for a full-body workout that is popular with numerous celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher, and Beyoncé. However, "fitness is a result, not an objective," emphasizes Stout. "Meditation and cleansing is the goal. Getting fit and feeling stronger is a natural result."
While hot yoga studios have been a fixture in Rhode Island for a few years in towns such as Cranston, Pawtucket, and Newport, Boiler House has the advantage of being only 1-3 miles from several college campus and downtown Providence. The proximity makes the studio the perfect place to de-stress after a long workday or for college students to get off campus and get a workout in.
90 minutes, 26 poses
Each 90-minute class at Boiler House consists of the same 26 postures in the same order, which is designed to create fresh blood flow as well as to warm and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the correct order. Stout believes the consistency works in tandem with their philosophy of the student being their own teacher because "while the poses and postures are the same every time, you're not. You change and feel differently every day." The studio's mirrored yoga room reinforces that the focus should be on the self even as the instructors provide encouragement, guidance, and challenge students to push their limits on their spiritual journey. "Yoga is a process. There is no destination, and this process can start at and work through every stage of life," says Stout. "Yoga is a practice that constantly evolves to meet the demands of the student."
Boiler House Bikram Yoga gives only one warning: yoga is addictive, with side effects ranging from union of the mind, body, and soul, to radiant fitness, to spontaneous outbursts of joy.
Boiler House Bikram Yoga is located at Rising Sun Mills, 166 Valley St. BHC #201, Providence.
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