Just like everyone in DC, I thought I could never do a 90 day challenge because my work schedule was crazy, my family life was crazier, and I was afraid of making the commitment. But I then considered the many benefits of Bikram—adding flexibility and getting rid of toxins as well as growth through daily practice. And I was right! By the 30th day, I realized my day was not complete until I had shut out the world and spent time on my mat. I've seen substantial improvement in postures, I'm more relaxed and not as rushed or stressed as before. I've also noticed I’m more accepting and tolerant of people and their differences. I feel empowered and confident! Bikram has also helped me as a cyclist because it keeps me flexible and my hips loose enough to tackle hills complete long rides. And I've also lost a lot of weight, which made my doctor happy and say “keep doing what you’re doing!”
While in law school, I started taking classes at Hot Spot Dupont. I never predicted that I would attempt and survive a yoga challenge that has so positively impacted my mind, body, and spirit. The teachers at Hot Spot Dupont are amazing and the studio is welcoming.
The 90-day challenge pushed my body to new limits and helped me regain my strength and flexibility. A few years ago, I developed arthritis in my back and hips that made me suffer constant pain, it was difficult to tie my shoes and some days I could barely walk. In 2014, I was diagnosed with ankylsing spondylitis—a form of rheumatoid arthritis with no cure. I started doing Bikram yoga. Towards the end of the 90-day challenge, I finally started to feel “normal” again—pain-free and mobile! Ready Lauren's Yoga Blog >>
In the decades before I started practicing the 26&2 series at Hot Spot Dupont, I had tried several yoga classes, but nothing ever engaged me. They all seemed like stretching classes and I was so inflexible. I could not see how any of those classes could loosen me up. And, I was bored. A colleague encouraged me to accompany her to a Hot Spot Dupont class and I knew right away it was something else. The sheer physical challenge of getting through class engaged my competitive side and after that first class, I vowed I would conquer Bikram yoga. I was hooked—I could see and feel the changes in myself. 10 Years later, I still look forward to practicing several times a week. I understand now that yoga isn’t about “conquering” anything, other than my ego. It’s a lot like life in that way. Throughout this journey, Carolan and the Hot Spot Dupont staff have been there every step of the way. They run a great studio and have created a vibrant and caring community. I travel extensively and practice at studios around the world. I love that I have a consistent exercise and meditation experience and am instantly part of the broader Bikram community when I walk into a new studio. I am always happy to be home and back at Hot Spot Dupont.
It would be hard to overstate the physical, mental and emotional benefits I have experienced by practicing at Hot Spot Dupont. My overall health improved, I lost weight, I started sleeping better and chronic problems such as life-long neck pain and carpal tunnel in my hands (for which I was told I needed surgery) disappeared. When I started classes, I despised the heat. Now I look forward to being in the heated room, and am less affected by hot weather. Additionally, Carolan is a compassionate and wise teacher who has become a dear friend to me and many of the people who practice at her studio. My only regret is that I didn't discover Carolan and her studio sooner.
I've been to yoga studios all over the U.S. and this remains one of my very favorites. The practice is wonderful, the teachers highly trained, and the heat detoxifying and relaxing - but it's more than just that. The director of Hot Spot Dupont, Carolan, is such a loving person. She makes her yoga studio feel like a home, a community, a place to learn, share and grow as a person. When I first started going to Hot Spot Dupont, my partner would say "You go to yoga and you never come back." It's true, I would just stay and connect with the supportive community (he soon started attending class too and understood!). It feels so good just to be there. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself!
After a near-death car accident, I was in a coma for six weeks and had to learn how to walk and talk again. I had damaged vertebrae, nerve damage, my left femur was almost destroyed, and I had fatigue and constant pain. I was on pain killers, narcotics, and sleep aids, but nothing worked.
Ninety minutes in the hot room quickly became the best moments of my day. Throughout the 5 years of doing hot yoga at Hot Spot Dupont, my body has transformed; my ailments and pain have virtually ceased and my practice has become a necessity. I attend 4-6 days a week, and I don't take pain-killers or sleep aids any longer. I am the healthiest I 've ever been in my 45 years of life. The result of my practice is visible in my pain-free state, in my happiness being out from under the thumb of constant discomfort, and the real vigor that accompanies a regular practice.
I was apprehensive to do Bikram Yoga in fear that it would make my chronic neck pain worse as I had heard stories of how “militant” Bikram was. When I showed up for my first class, Yasmin, one of the long time teachers, immediately made me feel extremely comfortable. I was given some great tips and the freedom to push only as far as I’m comfortable and to lay down if needed. Hot Spot Dupont is really a welcoming community and doing yoga there has changed me for the better. It’s a must for me in my life.