When one thinks about going to get a solid workout in, they may think going for a couple mile run, or hitting the gym to lift some weights will do the trick. But what about those other options, like haute yoga — an hour long workout including music, dynamic lifts in 107 degree heated room. Sounds fun, right?
Sophomore Hannah Steffen currently leads about four sessions of a class called sculpt and shred. It’s not like your regular yoga class with a number of poses and a zen environment. The session includes an upbeat playlist with a variety of squats, lunges, planks and weights, and according to Steffen, it’s more fun this way.
To shake things up, Steffen doesn’t follow any certain outline as to how to run her sessions. She even creates her own playlists for each class.
“I kind of just make it up as I go to be honest,” Steffen said. “So no two classes are the same.”
One would probably wonder why anyone would ever want to put themselves through a workout like this, especially in that heat. But for Steffen, it’s always something that has really grown on her being a dietetics major and all.
“I’ve always been super like passionate about well-being,” Steffen said. “In high school I got really into fitness in general. I was a dancer and I did CrossFit and just got really into that.”
Now, for some this form of maintaining a healthy well-being may not be the right fit, but for Steffen it just made sense.
“For me, yoga helped be the transition between my mind and my body and living a more well-balanced and healthy lifestyle,” Steffen said. “Which I think is a really big struggle and I’ve just become passionate through that.”
While Steffen finds it to be a good well-being workout. Some just see it as another way to sweat out of calories besides running, which is the case for avid runner, senior Reba Aberle.
“I like it. It’s really hard. All I ever do is run so I am so sore afterwards because it’s a lot of repetition,” Aberle said. “It’s like a workout. Not like ‘oh you are a tree now’ or ‘sad baby or whatever.”
For Aberle it isn’t even the style or the way in which the session goes, it’s just the working out in general that is the most satisfying.
“Dropping sweat, I love it,” Aberle said. “It makes me feel like I accomplished something.” Everyone that hears of haute yoga, has mixed feelings about it, but according to Steffen, it is all in the eyes of the beholder.
“I think one of the biggest things is you get out of it what you put into it.” Steffen said. “I know there’s a lot of people that are like ‘oh gosh I couldn’t do that, go into a hot room’ but it’s something you could just take at your own pace and like you see that improvement.”
While Aberle may prefer to go on longer runs than participate in a mix of lifts in a hot room, the few times she has gone to sessions, she has seen the improvement that Steffen talks about.
“I remember the first time being like a train hit me. I didn’t know what was going on,” Aberle said. “And I don’t think I go regular enough, but I could tell that I could do the exercises compared to the first time. I very rarely have to take a break.”
While it may sound like a completely physical form of working out, Steffen sees hot yoga as more than that.
“I know for me personally the strength that I have developed through it, not only physically, but mentally it’s just, it challenges you,” Steffen said. “It challenges you in both aspects.”
According to Steffen, if you look at the mental and physical strength you receive from these workouts, that is only the half of the benefits one receives from these sessions.
“I always end my class with like 3 to 5 minutes of cool down meditation type thing and I think it’s really important to have those couple of minutes where you let your mind relax,” Steffen said. “Especially with being a stressed college student, so for me that’s a benefit. It’s also something that makes people super uncomfortable cause we suck at not thinking and like laying there.”
Even though it may be hard to just be in the moment during a session, one of Steffen’s favorite parts of instructing is helping people work through that.
“My actual favorite part is being there,” Steffen said. “That might sound stupid, but what I mean by that is you see those people that come over daily and weekly and then it turns into months and they are excited and I think being a part of that journey. Yeah that sounds really cheesy but yeah I really enjoy that aspect of it.”
Steffen’s classes that she instructed have been taking place in the basement of of Edge Fitness and every Tuesday is college night where students only have to pay $5. But starting Nov. 11 they will be moving to a new building on 52nd over by Frank’s lounge where they will then be called Haute Yogis. In the words of Steffen, for the grand opening, “They are making a big shin-dig of it.”
is planning to graduate May of 2017 from Concordia College working toward a double major in Communication Studies and Multimedia Journalism.