Tapasya literally means 'to be with intensity for the sake of transformation'.
Tapasya isn’t just about hot yoga, it’s about leaning into those uncomfortable edges, where the ego sits.
It’s about transforming the ego or “inner critic” and getting to the root of who you truly are at your core.
Implicitly woven into the practice is a philosophy, informed by Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, there are specific alignment and timing principles designed to offer the practitioner a transformative experience with remarkable physical, physiological, and psychological benefits.
Although each studio has branded their Hot classes differently, Tapasya Hot-Hatha + Hatha-Vinyasa inspired classes and teacher trainings are being offered in the UK, Europe and Canada.
In this space my mind shuts off, my thoughts become the background, and my breath and connection to my body, the foreground of the experience. Pre-existing agitations and stresses are burned away in the fire of this transformative practice. I leave feeling well tested and well rested, completely rung out and reset.
The intensity of the environment takes me to a grounded place. If you meet the intensity with intensity, you burn out.
The practice teaches right use of energy, self-regulation.
The heat and intensity, calls me to be extremely focused, to be present and from this it becomes meditation in motion. It wasn't always like this for me though. In the beginning I was very distracted, fidgety, and reactive to the experience. With time and experience, I realized that my reactions and distractions were only expending energy that I could be putting into my practice.
I have been teaching Hot Yoga since 2000 and I am passionate about the transformative potential of the practice.
I got hooked on Bikram yoga back in the late 90s. My approach to hot yoga at that time was fierce, as the setting in a Bikram class can often promote. This resulted in me having some repetitive stress injuries. I came to realize that it wasn’t the yoga causing my injuries, it was my approach. Yoga should not hurt!
Around that time, I was introduced to the Anusara Yoga and the Universal Principles of Alignment™. I started incorporating these principles to my practice and the pain and instability I was experiencing in my lower back, psoas and SI joint miraculously disappeared. It wasn’t only the application of these alignment principles that transformed my practice, it was my approach. Through the Tantric teachings offered in an Anusara class, I discovered that “alignment” is not limited to the physical body, how you align yourself spiritually is equally, if not more important. The attitude or intention that you come to your mat with informs how and where you place yourself. If how you show up and approach your practice doesn’t match your intention for being there, you are out of alignment.Through this awakening, I became much happier and softer.
From 2002-2010, I owned a studio called NeoAlpine Yoga in the ski resort town of Whistler BC. I taught Bikram Yoga for eight years, along with Power Vinyasa and Yin. Just as my approach to the practice was shifting, so was the way I was teaching Bikram yoga, and there was incredible receptivity from my students.
I saw a need for a mindful, alignment-based style of hot yoga so I created one.
In 2008, I took Bikram Yoga off the schedule and started teaching what I called Hot Fusion until I partnered with YYoga shortly thereafter. Hot Fusion morphed into YHot, and in 2012 I launched Tapasya Hot Yoga which is based on a set series that is a creative synthesis of over 22+ years of yogic study in several established Hot and Hatha yoga styles; Bikram, Baptiste Power Vinyasa, and Anusara (which has its roots in Iyengar and Tantric philosophy).
• Heat: 40 Celsius, 40% humidity. (average core temp is 37C)
• Why is this temperature an integral part of the practice?
o Sweating, leaving you feeling physically and mentally wrung out, cleansed from inside out
o Svadhyaya /Self-study: watching one’s mind in an environment that could be uncomfortable or unfamiliar
o Muscle warmth and opening
• Opening and closing breath practices
• Few linking poses. Postures are static with longer holds rather than flowing (taking the risk out of transitions). Why are static poses important?
o Dynamic feeling through stillness
o Invitation for silence
o Teaches you how to be with yourself, therefore very meditative
• Specific timings for poses, not breath led
• Set sequence offering a firm structure and consistent sequencing leaving the practitioner feeling safely well tested and well rested.
• Wrist light with mostly standing poses (limited arm balances, and surya namaskar)
• Spine focused, movement through all 3 planes (flexion, extension, and rotation) to strengthen and open the spine
• Safe and empowering practice
• Introspective, improves concentration (dhyana), meditative (dharana)
• Accessible, inclusive, great for beginners/all levels, something for every-body
• Non – dogmatic practice. Although Tapasya Hot Yoga comes from a Tantric view, this is implicitly woven into the practice. It's not necessarily taught but we can use this lens to hold our students in the space. We let the practice speak for itself. Students leave feeling cared for, uplifted and better about themselves than when they arrived.
• Safe, empowering, and transformative. The practice confronts personal limitations / boundaries
• There are little peaks and valleys, each posture is followed by a resting pose (Tadasana when standing) which is akin to interval training. Teaches stamina and endurance, how to find calm within the intensity.
• There is a specific, logical, and progressive order to the sequencing, it is whole body focused.
Please contact me if you cannot find an answer to your question
It is my honour and privilege to be in service to you from the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, in the territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation).
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