If you judge a yoga studio by the greeting you get at the door, True Hot Yoga in North Scottsdale had me at hello. Nicole, the smiley brunette behind the desk gave me an ear-to-ear grin and a warm welcome which was seconded by Patty, my instructor and the owner of both True Hot Yoga locations: Scottsdale and Arrowhead.
True Hot Yoga isn’t Bikram, but it’s close. The 80-minute class combines free-flowing chaturangas and balancing poses (and music!) in a 105-degree room. For the most part it’s a set sequence, although each teacher adds their own individual flare. Patty brought a lot of personalized attention and positive encouragement, which I needed. I can power my way through a power flow, but as soon as you slow things down¾as soon as I have to hold a pose for more than 10 seconds¾I mentally panic. Yes, the heat helped me focus on the here and now, but it was mostly Patty’s patient and positive guidance that muted my monkey mind.
And even though I was super focused in on my own practice, I couldn’t help but notice my fellow sweaty Betties and Bobbies. There were powerhouses who looked like they’d done this a million times and newbies who took it at their own level. It truly was an all-levels class that you can make as easy or as tough as you want. Want more? Crank out some pushups? Want less? Regroup on child’s pose. I did a bit of both.
The benefits of hot yoga are many. Yes, it can make you look good (picture six-pack abs and buns of steel), and it can make you feel good. You’ll release toxins, relieve stress and leave with an oxygen high. But True Hot Yoga brings a third benefit: a strong sense of community. They take the time to learn your name, answer your questions and make you feel comfortable. No wonder many of the class regulars have been going strong since the studio opened in 2005 – and why Patty added a second room with heated vinyasa flow. It’s a yoga family!