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 honored to present Kris Larrison, who owns Kris’ Hot Yoga in Iowa. We have been working with Kris to outfit her studios with infrared heat for a couple years now and are privileged to feature her studio on our blog.
- Tell us a little about your background in yoga. When did you start and how did you progress to where you are now? I started shortly after my second child was born over 14 years ago. At the time there was only one studio in our area. I had heard about hot yoga which the closes studio was about 2 hours away. I did some training in the hot yoga and decided this was something I wanted to pursue and teach.
- What inspired you to start a yoga studio? The gym I was teaching at had a small studio space that I would crank the heat (although it was a smelly, dry heat from the furnace). Eventually the manager decided she did not want to pay for me to turn the heat up for an hour a day anymore (a decision I’m sure they now regret). So, I decided it was time to journey out and start my own hot yoga studio – it was gaining in popularity at the gym and was still very, very new to our area and many people had never tried yoga let alone hot yoga – I was charting new territory so it was very scary and also very exciting.
- What do you think makes for a good yoga session? Always teaching a foundational practice is the best way to go. A yoga class should always include mind, body and spirit.
- Your studio obviously offers hot yoga. What are some of the benefits to practicing yoga in a hot environment? The muscles get warmed up immediately, you don’t have to wait 15-20 minutes into the practice. Starting to sweat before your practice begins is good for increased flexibility. Increased metabolism, increased cardiovascular in a heated environment as opposed to room temperature yoga. Increased sweating which releases toxins from the body through our largest organ the skin. Helps to increase lung capacity and rejuvenates and relaxes the body.
- What advice would you give to perspective students who are on the fence about trying yoga or making the switch to hot yoga? There are so many types of yoga. Keep trying and find the one that connects with you. Also, find a certified instructor and again an instructor that you connect with you . Yoga is not about going in and being good at it right away, take your time, enjoy the journey and be grateful for every step you make.
- What are some characteristics you look for in a studio? Warm color tones, music, wood floors, no mirrors! It’s not about comparing yourself to others, be in your own body and observe without seeing.
- How did you go about planning and designing your space? I enclosed our yoga studio space so there is no windows, no mirrors, it’s like a cocoon. Many of my students call it the womb. It’s a warm, safe place
- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced with your studio? How did you overcome them? Getting the word out – that was challenging since we were one of about 3 studios now by the time I had opened. Hot yoga was not on peoples radar, and really yoga in general was not. It took us several years to build clientele. We struggled with heating issues as well – from floor heaters, to humidifiers. I researched radiant heat and came across Heating Green – soooo lucky we found this type of heat – it’s been perfect!
- If you had to do everything again would you make any changes? HA – absolutely! Don’t even get me started. Hind sight is 20/20, but always looking forward!
- What has been the most rewarding part about the experience? Obviously the clientele. It’s amazing to hear their stories – the accomplishments since starting yoga. What yoga has done for them physically and mentally.
- Looking ahead, what are some of the goals you have for your studio? Continue to grow. We are a teacher training studio now and love helping new instructors learn.
- Is there anything else you would like to share regarding yoga, your studio or Heating Green? So glad we found Heating Green. The heat is amazing, it really gets deep into the muscles, it’s hot, it’s not dry, it’s very reliable. We now have them in 4 studios – 2 yoga studios and 2 barre studios. It was a lifesaver for us!