A yoga business is hoping to inspire holistic healthy lifestyle changes through the discipline following the opening of its second studio.
Anne Marie Gordon and Koreen Clements, who launched Hot Yoga Sheffield in 2014, have opened a second site in the city to cater for increasing demand.
However Ms Gordon, who specialises in hot yoga – a form of the ancient practice which takes place in a heated room – is also looking to help members unlock the philosophical elements associated with yoga.
The new studio on Edgedale Road will allow Hot Yoga Sheffield to deliver 20 more classes a week.
Ms Gordon told The Yorkshire Post: “Instead of 30 classes a week, we can now offer 50. The second location has similar facilities as the first – we have showers and changing rooms. We also have a vegan cafe in-house called Wild Leaf.”
The second location also has another yoga room, where Hot Yoga Sheffield offers yoga trapeze, a form of aerial yoga, and non-hot yoga based on the teachings of Sri Dharma Mittra.
The yoga instructor is aiming to create a “well rounded membership based community” of people who love and live yoga.
“We want to educate people about the benefits of yoga, benefits of vegan eating and how important it is to take care of yourself,” Ms Gordon said.
Increasing numbers of people are turning to yoga, says Ms Gordon, because they are looking for inner happiness.
“They don’t want the same old-fashioned social construct where they have to work in a job that they hate, have a certain lifestyle that they hate and feel unhealthy for everything that they do,” she said. “Yoga teaches us that happiness comes from within.”
All sorts of people are taking up yoga, according to Ms Gordon, with Hot Yoga Sheffield’s eldest member being 78.
The yoga instructor, who is originally from New York, says that there is more to yoga than just the physical postures.
“There are a large portion of people teaching yoga as a workout,” says Ms Gordon. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing but the postures are the only physical thing you can see about yoga. The rest is internal. It’s in your mind.”
Ms Gordon gravitated towards yoga herself while she was living in New York.
She said: “I’m very passionate about yoga because my lifestyle in New York growing up was very stressful. I ate junk food, I smoked cigarettes, I drank coffee and alcohol.
“I was very stressed and unhappy. When I first came to hot yoga it was a very powerful practice.
“It helps clean out the body. It does help you detoxify all round and I started practicing all the time.”
Ms Gordon then went to yoga master Sri Dharma Mittra, who taught her the “principles behind the movements”.
“He is somebody who embodies yoga as a path to self-fulfillment,” she says.
The number of different yoga styles is increasing and discussions are taking place around what yoga really is.
The qualified instructor was inspired to set up Hot Yoga Sheffield because the city is “very active” but there was “nothing encouraging people to think about the way they’re living their lives and how it impacts the world”.
Ms Gordon originally came to Sheffield as a student studying English literature. She spent a year in the city before heading back to Buffalo, New York to complete her degree. In 2011 she got married and moved to Sheffield.
Ms Gordon believes yoga teaching will become more competitive in the UK in the future with official credentials raising standards. “You have to have credentials and you need to know what you’re doing,” she says.
The heat is on in classes
Hot Yoga Sheffield’s new studio will also offer Hot Vinyasa, Hot Hatha, and Hot Yin classes, all different types of yoga.
The studio will also offer massage treatments, yoga trapeze, private yoga classes and charity sessions.
The business secured £10,000 of funding from the Government-backed Start-Up Loans Company for the expansion.