What is Wellness Forum Hot Yoga?

Wellness Forum Hot Yoga is a series of poses performed in a heated room (105 degrees) with 40% humidity.  The brand is our own, and represents the combined knowledge of many experts in the health and fitness field, including medical doctors, osteopaths, physical therapists, personal and athletic trainers, and yoga instructors. Our focus is on helping the new student to begin a solid yoga practice, and on helping experienced students to make continued progress without injury.  The yoga is athletic and designed to help healthy, fit people to maintain their health and fitness, and to help people who are out of shape and/or have injuries to regain their health and fitness.


What makes Wellness Forum Hot Yoga special?

There are lots of places to take yoga classes, and many even offer heated classes.  Yoga classes are not, by themselves, special.  What makes us special is that we do a common thing (offering yoga classes) uncommonly well.  Our philosophy is based on the very important premise that practice does not make perfect; practice makes permanent.

Most people think that if they just do the same thing over enough times, they will get better at it, but this is not true.  This is certainly not the case with yoga.  Posture, alignment, and doing the poses properly are very important.   If you do not receive the right instruction, you may not get better; instead your bad habits will become permanent and you can even injure yourself.  The more often you come to class and do things incorrectly, the more likely you are to suffer an injury.

At Wellness Forum Hot Yoga, we focus on providing detailed individualized correction in order to make sure students are safe and that they learn to do the postures correctly.  Our curriculum is very structured and our teacher training program is among the best in our industry.

There are many potential benefits of yoga including the opportunity to build flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, and yoga can even help to resolve injuries.  But it will result in none of these things if the poses are not performed properly.  Our teachers will help you to learn the basics of how to practice yoga correctly and safely; to build a foundation for practice for life; and to help you to progress and develop better skills.

The studio is owned by The Wellness Forum and operated by Dr. Pam Popper, one of the world’s leading experts on nutrition, health, and medicine.

Our guarantee to you is that if you attend classes regularly and follow our directions carefully, your yoga practice will improve, you will notice discernable and positive changes in your body, and your risk of injuries will be minimized as much as possible.


Why is the room hot and humid?

It is easier to stretch in a hot, humid room, particularly for people who are not flexible.  The heat also leads to faster gains in endurance and strength


Will I have trouble with the heat?

Some new students need an adjustment period to get used to the heat.  But everyone eventually acclimates.  The key to getting used to the heat is just staying in the room, even if you have to sit down for much of the first few classes.  You’ll learn from watching others, and you’ll eventually be able to pace yourself so that you can participate in the entire class.  The key to success is being patient with yourself and making a commitment to continue to attend classes until you gain skills and endurance.


What if I’ve never done yoga before?

It doesn’t matter.  Many people have taken their first yoga class in our hot room.  No experience is necessary.


Why don’t you offer beginner’s classes – I’m afraid I might be self-conscious.

Every class includes a wide variety of students, ranging from newcomers to experienced students.  Everyone is focused on themselves and their own practice, and no one (except the teacher) is paying attention to you.  You’ll get better at your own pace – yoga is not a “competitive sport” – the goal is for you to improve based on your own individual experience.


How to know if you are going to a “good” yoga studio?

There are many great yoga studios in Columbus, but some are clearly better then others.  Here are the elements of excellent yoga instruction:

Teachers walk around the room and offer individual correction – lots of it.  If the teacher stands at the front of the room and spews dialog into the air, there is no way for you to know if you are doing the poses correctly, or to make the right adjustments.  You can do yoga at home without driving to a studio or spending money and get the same result.

Teachers have been trained over a long period of time in small groups.  Some yoga certification courses include hundreds of teachers training at the same time.  Since it is almost impossible to pay much attention to anyone, the concept is that continued repetition will make them competent.  But research shows that this is not true – that people who become experts at anything, whether the job is teaching yoga or practicing medicine, do so by getting lots of “deliberate practice” under the supervision of someone who is an expert, not just by rote repetition.

Teachers get regular and ongoing instruction and training.  In any profession, particularly for newcomers to a field, regular, intense, ongoing training is needed.  It takes lots of time, practice, supervision, training, and more training for teachers to become experts at both correcting mistakes and helping students to progress.

The class is quiet, controlled, and disciplined.  Learning yoga is like learning any other skill.  It requires focus, concentration, and effort.  This is almost impossible to accomplish while people are fidgeting around, walking in and out of the room, starting and stopping poses whenever they want to, or engaging in other distracting activities.  A teacher who is not in control of the room is engaging in babysitting, not teaching yoga.

Students are encouraged to participate in other physical activity.  Any yoga teacher who says that the only activity needed for fitness is yoga is misleading students.  Aerobic activity and weight training are also needed, and yoga is not a substitute for these activities.

Students are given assistance and offered programs that address nutrition and other aspects of health.  Placing more demands on a malnourished and/or dehydrated body will not result in improved health. Our studio’s parent company is the largest company in the world that provides instruction on how to improve health outcomes with dietary excellence and optimal habits.  The Wellness Forum’s principles are featured in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives and are best-selling authors on the topic of nutrition and health.


How can one get hurt in yoga class?

Any pose performed improperly can result in an injury, but here are the most common causes of injuries

  • Shrugging the shoulders up to the ears during poses – this inhibits movement and places addition stress on the shoulder and neck muscles
  • Arching the lower back or throwing the middle body forward
  • Placing the arms too far behind the ears, which juts the head forward, causing neck injuries
  • Weight too far back in the heels in any balancing pose on a straight leg, resulting in injuries to knees, hamstrings, and Achilles tendon
  • Knees crossing forward over toes can injure knees
  • Pigeon toes in any pose
  • Rounded back, which pulls the shoulders and can exacerbate scoliosis
  • Hip misalignment

In addition to causing injuries, these postural mistakes can result in your making no progress toward getting better at yoga.  While we recognize that most students are not going to make careers out of yoga, or to enter competitions, we believe that most people who attend regular yoga classes want to get better at yoga and our goal is to help them do so.