Bikram Hot Yoga studio set to open in December

Bikram Hot Yoga Redmond is scheduled to open in December at 16541 Redmond Way. Owners Jenny and Todd Anderson are newlyweds who met through a yoga class where she was his instructor.

Bikram Hot Yoga Redmond is scheduled to open in December at 16541 Redmond Way. Owners Jenny and Todd Anderson are newlyweds who met through a yoga class where she was his instructor.

Jenny was a professional bellydancer before she started teaching yoga. Todd was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and is now a Kirkland firefighter.

What’s so hot about Bikram Hot Yoga?

There are lots of so-called “hot yoga” studios in Seattle and the Eastside — where yoga workouts are performed in a room with a very high temperature. But only instructors like Jenny, who were trained by the founder Bikram Choudhury himself, can officially call their yoga practice Bikram Hot Yoga.

The 90-minute yoga sessions are performed in a room heated to 105 degrees. The intense heat is said to increase circulation, loosen tight muscles and cleanse the body of toxins through sweating.

Jenny spent three months training with Choudhury in Los Angeles — 500 hours, two classes a day, every day for nine weeks. The training room was somewhat jokingly referred to as “the torture chamber,” she commented.

She won second place in a Washington state yoga competition in 2006 and taught classes in Seattle, New York and San Francisco before deciding to open a Bikram Hot Yoga studio in Redmond.

“We did research on the demographics and Redmond’s population growth is high. The Eastside is good for hot yoga because people care about their health and have money to spend on it,” she said.

Todd added, “The Seahawks practice hot yoga and many firefighters do.”

That sounds a bit intimidating. But the couple said classes at Bikram Hot Yoga Redmond will be suitable for people of all ages and all fitness levels.

“They can have been really buff or out-of-shape,” said Jenny.

But 90 minutes of exercise in a 105-degree room?

Newcomers should “know that it’s hot, but they don’t need to do everything. They can take breaks, take it easy,” Jenny replied. “And we encourage them to drink lots of water.”

Todd said that when people start out, “they think everyone is looking at you, but they’re not.”

And yes, they will have showers, so students won’t have to worry about venturing out, drenched in perspiration.

Bikram Hot Yoga proponents, including the Andersons, say the practice also can relieve or reduce medical challenges such as back problems, breathing problems, arthritis, rheumatism and more. And Jenny said that many people like it because there’s no requirement to meditate or have a particular spiritual belief while practicing. It’s more about listening to instructions and focusing on physical fitness.

Is it safe for anyone? The Andersons said yes, although a local physician told the Redmond Reporter there are pros and cons of hot yoga, depending on the individual’s health.

Dr. John Kaschko of Redmond’s Group Health Medical Center said stretching at high temperatures is great for muscle relaxation.

However, “the downside of doing anything vascular is that it could lead to heat exhaustion or could cause people’s blood pressure to drop. They could faint and hurt themselves. This is especially true for people with heart conditions,” Kaschko explained.

He’d encourage participants to stay well-hydrated and suggested, “Young and healthy persons would probably be okay but an older person, or if they’re on heart or blood pressure medication, is at higher risk.”

If in doubt, check with your doctor before starting this or any new exercise regimen, said Kaschko.

Classes at Bikram Hot Yoga will be offered seven days a week. You can pay for a single class, sign up for multiple classes or purchase monthly or yearly plans. Information about a New Student Special and other details are on the Web site, — or call (425) 883-0200.