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Boiler House Bikram Yoga Brings Hot Yoga to Providence

Friday, November 16, 2012


Ready to sweat? Bikram Yoga, a series of 26 poses performed in a 105-degree room, comes to Providence in the aptly named Boiler House Yoga Studio.

As we brace ourselves for the cold months here in Rhode Island, Boiler House Bikram Yoga remains a perpetual state of summer. The budding studio opened its doors in late September and practices Bikram Yoga, a 90-minute sequence of 26 traditional Hatha Yoga poses and 2 transitional breathing exercises done in a hot room. How hot, you ask? The yoga room is kept at 105 degrees, and sometimes even a little hotter.

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.

Bikram 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."

Boiler House

Reach for it: Boiler House's "Yogi of the Month," John Abernathy, works through his poses at the studio.

Boiler House Bikram Yoga provides a welcoming, eco-conscious school with friendly instructors that are dedicated to helping students achieve their highest potential and beyond. The studio consists of a private entrance, clean facilities including showers and ladies'/men's changing rooms, a spacious lounge and common area, an athletic boutique, water and other drinks for sale, and of course, the yoga room. Natural light fills this room through windows and skylights. Although the temperature is high, the room gets continuous fresh airflow. The floor covering is flowtex anti-microbial, no-slip, and eco-friendly.

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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