Throughout the years we have had the privilege of working with hundreds of yoga studios that have helped shape our business and become a part of our story. We want to give back to the yoga community and open up the floor for studios to share their stories with us. To do this we’ve launched a Yoga Studio Spotlight section on our blog. We will select a yoga studio we have worked with and invite the owners to share their story.
If you’re interested in having your studio featured please email [email protected] This week we are excited to present Bill O’Connor, owner of Hot Yoga Burlington in Burlington, VT. Bill came to us after multiple years of frustration with other heating systems. He is now the proud owner of Vermont’s first far infrared hot yoga studio!
- Tell us a little about your background in yoga. When did you start and how did you progress to where you are now? I’ve had a passion for yoga for over 14 years now after my wife forced me, screaming and kicking, into my first class. I exclaimed “yoga is for girls” It was not until I saw what they could do and I, a gym rat, could not. After a period of time practicing, the yoga studio owner encouraged me to start a men’s class and I became excited about sharing my passion with others.
- What inspired you to start a yoga studio? I was practicing at a Bikram hot yoga studio while I was teaching Vinyasa. I thought I could combine the heat with my movement style teaching and decided to start the first hot Vinyasa studio in Vermont though little did I know it was already a big deal elsewhere.
- What do you think makes for a good yoga session? I firmly believe the body was made to move and a complete yoga session includes rhythmic movement as well as strengthening, stretching and stillness.
- Your studio obviously offers hot yoga. What are some of the benefits to practicing yoga in a hot environment? I know heated practice has a lot of physical advantages, but I just love the heat. It’s very cold in northern Vermont for long periods of time.
- What advice would you give to perspective students who are on the fence about trying yoga or making the switch to hot yoga? My qualifying question and one that I rely on is “how do you feel about sauna?” If is get a so/so answer or even an “I don’t like it” I gently suggest they try another studio I teach at. You must love the heat and there are more than a few who do not.
- What are some characteristics you look for in a studio? Clean, neat and tidy with good lighting, ventilation and an open feel to it.
- How did you go about planning and designing your space? I was able to work with the landlord while he was renovating the space. It was a marriage of ideas using what was available to create the space. Heating Green and Jeff were instrumental in helping with the layout, number and type of panels and advice on humidifiers.
- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced with your studio? How did you overcome them? The heat has always been a challenge. For the 5 years I have been running Hot Yoga Burlington, Vt I think I have finally arrived at a solution using Heating Green products.
- If you had to do everything again would you make any changes? Change is constant and I have to remember to learn from my expected mistakes. I’m happy to share some pointers to those who want some advice.
- What has been the most rewarding part about the experience? Now finally I can enjoy the completeness of the studio. My patrons really enjoy the space and its’ very rewarding to share their pleasure. I’m only in my second week of finalization of the remodeling, panel installation and lobby completion.
- Looking ahead, what are some of the goals you have for your studio? Too soon to tell. I want to be here now for a while.