Short answer: constantly!
We want Home to feel like... home! That means it's got to be super clean and super safe, so you can focus on your yoga practice and connecting with your community. We've always cleaned a LOT, and you can expect us to keep doing that.
Our Home team does routine cleaning at the start, middle and end of every shift-- plus, we're now bringing in the pros for regular deep-cleans. Following weeks of tireless research into the best practices supported by science, we've up-leveled how we clean and the products we use! Our standards for choosing products or processes are:
Below are a few of the main tools we're using to keep our safety levels top-notch.
Force of Nature
Force of Nature is the multi-purpose cleaning product on EPA’s List of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. It's totally natural and super cool if you're into science!
This product uses electricity to change the chemical composition of salt, water and vinegar into a powerful cleaner & disinfectant. There are no harmful ingredients, residues or fumes. We love that.
At Home, we spray Force of Nature multiple times a day on all high-touch surfaces (including hard floors) until wet, let sit for 10 minutes, then let it air dry or wipe it with a clean cloth.
Flotex flooring is an antimicrobial, non-porous waterproof specialized flooring. Unlike carpet, the fibers are plastic fibers which stick straight up rather than loop. This means there is nowhere for germs or viruses to hide, and nothing soaks in! Everything sits on the fibers where it either evaporates, dies in the heat, gets sucked up by our vacuum, washed out by our water extraction cleaner-- or destroyed by our new hydroxyl generator.
Newaire Hydroxyl Generator
Hydroxyls (HO•) are molecules created naturally outdoors when the UV rays of the sun react with oxygen and water vapor. It's a natural process that constantly occurs in our atmosphere, cleansing the air.
Hydroxyls don't appear naturally indoors, so the Newaire machine mimics nature by safely generating hydroxyls, which find and kill a wide range of bacteria, mold and viruses both on surfaces and in the air. Hydroxyl generators are safe to use in occupied areas, while still being effective against a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
Today is International Yoga Day! (Of course, every day is “yoga day” around here.)
Too many people see yoga as a luxury item -- something to be disposed of when finances or schedules are tight. If there’s one thing I want you to know today, it’s this:
Practicing some form of yoga is not only essential to having a meaningful life, it’s absolutely necessary for a large number of us to practice if we’re going to create and maintain a peaceful, just society.
Practicing yoga is not like other forms of “self care” it tends to get lumped in with. Yoga is not like getting your nails done, taking a bubble bath or even having a massage (though I’m not knocking those things!)
Yoga is not about yoga postures.
When you practice yoga (raja yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, mantra yoga and hatha yoga-- which Bikram Yoga is one style of-- are the 6 main types of yoga) you cultivate Faith, Self-disicipline, Determination, Concentration and Patience within yourself.
If you’re doing hatha yoga, you’ll get pain relief, increased flexibility and strength and a litany of other physical health benefits too. You’ll improve the quality of your life. Which is amazing! But that’s not all you do.
The ultimate goal of any yoga practice is Self-Realization.
That’s Self with a capital “S.” Your highest Self, the greatest version of who you are. The word realize (v.) means "bring into existence," from French réaliser "make real" (16c.), from Middle French real "actual.")
Self-Realization means then, bringing your highest Self into existence.
When you practice yoga, you become able to pull the BEST version of yourself out of your pocket when you need it most:
If you keep practicing yoga, that Best Version of You appears more and more frequently. Eventually, the way you live begins to align itself with your full potential. You behave like your Self more often than not. Your Self is the part of you most in tune with nature. It’s the part of you which is connected to all other parts of you, which feels connected to all of humanity and even all of the cosmos.
Yoga comes from the word “yuj” meaning “to yoke together.”
When you access a place inside yourself where everything is united: mind, body and the rest of the world, that is Self. Because you become aware of the connection between you and all of humanity, Self is where your compassion for others lives.
If you still think that yoga is something to do:
How would this Father’s Day have been different for George Floyd’s family, if Derek Chauvin had been able to access the Best Version of himself for 8 minutes?
Yoga is not about yoga postures.
When you step on your mat today-- remember that the important work you are doing inside yourself has the power to change the world.
I've been writing this for 2 weeks, trying to get it just right. But (like yoga) done is better than perfect when it comes to speaking up. So here we are.
Racism and injustice are NOT new.
But it's true that (while these issues have always been important to us) we’ve never used the studio's platforms to speak out in a significant way about them before.
(That's about to change.)
Before I go on, I want to (1) acknowledge that we know we are late to the party, and (2) to ask that you please do not congratulate us for saying something now. We don't deserve any kudos (though we would love to listen to any feedback you have about how we can do better!)
At Home Hot Yoga, we support the Black Lives Matter movement.
If you've been to the studio, you know: we welcome and respect all people of all colors and backgrounds. We are firmly anti-hate, anti-racism, anti-injustice and anti-harm.
Which is why I'm writing, to add Home's voice to the sea of voices who've just starting chiming in, because it's better late than never:
Black lives matter. They have always mattered. For too long, they have been treated as if they don't.
And that's why it needs saying now. Over and over until someday it hopefully won't need saying anymore because it will just be something everybody understands.
We know that no email, no post on social media, no sign we put in our window can "fix" the atrocities inflicted on human beings because of racism.
Demonstrating our support is important, but on its own cannot stop the terrible injustices which are still going on today.
We understand that action is needed. One of the first actions we need to take is to begin intentionally engaging in respectful, open-minded conversations about the issues of social justice and race.
Talking to each other is the place to start. We're committed to having those important talks.
IN FACT... keep your eyes peeled for a super special event coming SOON that is all about just that...!
Some resources for now:
If you don't know a lot about race issues yet, it's time to start learning. We're so lucky to live in a time when resources are EVERYwhere. Here are just a few:
What does this have to do with yoga?
Stay in your lane, right? We are.
We started a business because we know that business leadership is the most important leadership of our time, and we wanted to make a difference.
We chose to build our business on Bikram Yoga because we know that not only can ALL people practice and benefit from Bikram Yoga, but this yoga has the power to bring people together like nothing else around.
Yoga means "union," and we are all about super-sizing the amount of unity in the world.
Our work in the hot room (and in our online classes) gets us closer to this end.
You can now expect to see us putting our yoga into action "off the mat" even more from here on out. We're so excited for you to join us on this journey.
If you have any ideas about ways that Home can be of service in the cause of racial equity, please reply to this email or reach out to us by phone at (503)505-9805.
Tools for you
Got any questions about this stuff, or anything related to reopening? Check out our FAQ here.
When you practice at a studio, you benefit from the watchful eye of a trained instructor. But when you start doing yoga at home, it’s up to you to make your own corrections and look out for any less-than-helpful habits.
Here are several common mistakes to avoid when practicing on your own:
Mistake: Tweaking your neck to see the screen
Why you do it: If you take an online class with video, especially if you are a visual learner, you’ll be tempted to look up at your screen. That might be to check your alignment, check out that cute puppy crawling on your yoga buddy’s savasana, or see if your technology is working correctly.
Mistake: Pushing too hard
Why you do it: Overexerting yourself during a home Bikram Yoga routine is something to watch out for, especially if you’re an experienced student. If you’re used to being strong and flexible in the hot room, you may tend to push yourself at home. Remember that your intensity needs to account for the fact that you’re not as warm. Take it easy.
Mistake: Getting kinda lazy
Why it happens: It can be challenging to stay motivated when you practice on your own. There are so many more distractions at your house than at the studio! And you don’t have the heat to demand that you focus on the present moment. You may find yourself “going through the motions” or even skipping the poses you don’t really enjoy. The problem with that is, the poses you dread the most are likely the ones you need the most! Bikram Yoga is a balanced full-body physical practice, and skipping the same poses repeatedly may aggravate asymmetries, tightness or injury.
Mistake: Allowing Interruptions
Why you do it: If you don’t architect an environment that supports your yoga practice, distractions will abound: kids, phone calls, Facebook notifications, pets, the list is endless! Without a reserved time and space for yoga, there is always something vying for your attention.
Why you do it: When you’re not joining others in-person, it can be challenging to hold yourself accountable.
Excellent news for Bikram Yogis regarding COVID-19 has emerged:
It turns out humid air may be a useful tool in slowing coronavirus spread!
Scientists are finding that dry air makes it harder for your lungs to clear out respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Not only that, but dry air may also make it harder for your immune system to fight it off if you do get infected.
According to Yale immunobiologist Akiko Iwasaki, the virus seems to survive and transmit best in dry indoor environments.
On the flip side, the research reviewed by Iwasaki and her team suggests that a relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent may make it harder for the coronavirus to take hold. (Guess what range we keep the humidity at in our hot room? ;)
Iwasaki collaborated with Swiss physician Walter Hugentobler. They had noticed that pilots and flight attendants seemed to catch the flu a lot, even if they were generally healthy. Their study linked this to the constant exposure to extra-dry cabin air. Following up that research was this review of other studies, to see if this finding applied to COVID-19 as well.
In another study, MIT engineer Hazhir Rahmandad looked at why COVID-19 was spreading more rapidly in some regions than others. He noticed that the warmer, more humid parts of Iran, India and South Asia saw lower rates of the virus, even though the population density and traffic with China should have made those areas hot spots of infection.
Rahmandad and his team found that infection rates start to drop big-time as temperature rises above 77 degrees and humidity goes up.
It’s important to remember that just because the humid air of the hot room (or summer in Portland!) may help slow down this virus, it’s not an excuse to start French-kissing the handle to the yoga room, coughing all over your neighbor’s mat or not wearing your mask to the store.
Social distancing and the other precautions we’re taking around the studio (and around town) are still important and will help us lessen spikes in infection or outbreaks as we move back into drier weather this winter.
Find out more about the research here.
Booking online is now required for all in-studio classes. Check out these quick tutorials we made on how to do it:
Booking online "101"
How to book from your computer:
How to book/ cancel using the Mindbody app:
If you can't make it to a class you have booked/ waitlisted?
A 12 hour minimum notice is required for all cancellations to avoid being charged a fee.
(This policy doesn't apply to Virtual Yoga classes, only in-studio ones!) Late Cancels will be charged a $15 fee, and No Shows will be charged a $20 fee. Check out the details of our policy here.
If you have trouble booking online and this post didn't help you, feel free to reach out at (503)505-9805 or email us and we'll do our best to assist. See you at Home!!
Yogis. As you may have noticed, we’re still not open for in-person classes. :(
So, what’s up with that??
First, the GOOD news:
Some guidance was finally released last week by the Governor about reopening yoga studios! We're really excited as our industry was the LAST to receive these guidelines of all the industries included in the first phase of our state's reopening. We have been waiting with baited breath to know what our reopening could look like.
And now we know.
Let’s back up a bit though:
Oregon is reopening for business in a “phased” plan, where restrictions are lifted slowly and carefully so as to avoid disaster. The details of this plan tend to be more conservative than the Federal guidelines for reopening.
(We think slowly and carefully is a good way to go!)
Oregon is giving certain counties permission to open before others, based on many factors involving their preparedness and how much COVID they’re dealing with.
31 of the 36 counties in Oregon have now been approved to begin Phase 1 of reopening, which began on Friday, May 15. Multnomah County is not one of them, which is to be expected because of our population. We expect to probably be the last county to open.
Multnomah County officials have said that reopening the Portland metro area is at least several weeks away, and possibly more.
So that’s the sad news.
Look. We’re in the business of helping people save their own lives.
So while we KNOW you miss the hot room (and we miss you!) we'll be in no rush to reopen, until it seems reasonably safe to do so. This means, even when we are allowed to reopen, we might not open right away. Your safety and the safety of our team are our highest priority.
Ya can't get to radiant health and wellbeing if ya don't feel safe!
There is so much we still don’t know about what reopening will look like. But yogis have been asking, and we hate to leave you hanging.
Here are a few things we do know at this time:
What was the “bad news”?
No bad news.
Our community is alive and we are getting through this together. We are going to come back to our studio, and we’re going to do it as safely as we can.
Meanwhile, we get to do yoga online together!
If you have any questions this email didn't answer, please check out the Closure FAQ on our website. We’ll update it whenever we get new info.
And of course keep following us on social media and in your email (drag us over to your inbox!) so you don’t miss out on any Home-coming (hint hint) 🕺🕺 plans...!!
Until we meet again: wash your hands, hug on your loved ones, and keep living your days in a way you can be proud of. We'll see each other again in all our sweaty in-person glory, sooner than it feels like.
Hey everyone, it's Stacy and I'm thrilled to be writing this post. I appreciate the little pockets of "creative outlet" I can find in this whole new normal we're living in.
Let me share a little about myself so you can catch my perspective. I'm a wife, a mom of 3 kids, we have a bunch of little animals at our house (7 chicks, a dog, and a bunny! - and yes, you can come to our urban petting zoo when this is all over!)
We are one of the families impacted by the astounding lay-off statistics which happened to account for 95% of our family's income. We have 2 school aged children and are navigating distance learning for the long haul, our other child is in the medically vulnerable population, and we're just doing our best to live life and be happy and make this whole crazy thing work.
We're happy, worried, soaking in all the family time and utterly exhausted by the end of each day all at once.
On top of that, I'm also trying to make sure I am taking care of myself by doing things that fuel my soul and make my body happy - one of those being Bikram Yoga.
I am no expert... at, well, any of this. I am not a long-seasoned yogi. I am certainly no expert at managing a life and a household during a global pandemic. I mean, is anyone? But I do want to offer a couple ideas that have been extremely helpful in finding peace, balance, and time to practice yoga.
First, let’s chat about peace.
It almost seems like a taboo topic right now. Peace? In the middle of all this?? Isn’t that completely neglecting the reality of the world right now which feels pretty full of unrest? Are you actually being a toxic-positive person?? Yikes. No, definitely not. I don’t know about you - but I cannot just sit and soak in sadness and despair. It’s already here, I don’t have to do anything else to help it exist.
Don’t get me wrong, I could get completely caught up in the endless amount of news floating around, but my peace would suffer. Right now I must keep my peace for my own sake and also for my family’s sake, since we are cooped up together 24/7. So how do you do this when you’re busy and being pulled in a thousand directions from your kids, spouse, life, etc.
You must decide you are deserving and worth it and peace is as essential as water and air to live and thrive and you must must must make it happen.
Finding peace looks different for every single one of us. It could mean dedicated quiet time, exercise, laughing, reading, napping, fresh air, praying, meditating, journaling, painting, creating, the list is endless. Whatever it looks like for you, do it. Do it as often as you can. I'd love to say I carve out pockets of peace every single day, but I don't... I wish!! But I do the majority of the time. And in my life, majority rules.
After peace, I try to create a little balance in our day.
Ah, the great "balancing act." I can’t possibly fit in everything I want and need to do every single day in our busy household, but I can find a sense of balance that makes me feel like I’ve got a (small) sense of control to what’s going on around here.
Even though we are not going out as much, I notice feeling just as busy (if not more) at home! Kid's school work, house projects, Zoom meetings, the endless amounts of cooking and cleaning, getting in some exercise, carving out time for yourself and/or your partner, and each kid, and walking the dog... did I mention cooking and cleaning yet? Don’t forget you need to rest! And and and… am I right? It’s a lot!
And it’s totally ok to feel like it is, because hey: IT IS. I mean, there have been multiple days where I had planned all the things, and then just sat around, re-dried the same load of laundry 3 times and ate snacks all day.
Well, I quickly learned that was not going to work for me, and just as quickly realized balance is possible. Thank goodness, too!
Here’s what works for me, and if you’re struggling to “fit it all in,” maybe this can help you feel less overwhelmed with it all:
1. Make a list of "non-negotiables"
These are things that are absolute musts for yourself and your family. Family dinner, time outside, breakfast together, quiet time… what are they in your life? This list doesn’t have to be long, but I encourage you to evaluate all the things you are busy doing, and pull out those key things that keep your household functioning and moving forward.
2. Set a schedule
Don’t you feel better when you know what is coming next? This schedule doesn’t have to be strict or even down to the minute, but more so a guideline to what and how you will move through your day. A rhythm. The rest, listen closely: IS OPTIONAL. I know… I know! Give yourself, your family, and your day the grace it needs and deserves to be fluid enough to feel good. It's called balance
3. Do yoga
Ahhhhh... yes, the yoga. My brain already feels a sense of calm coming over it just thinking about it. How do I fit this in? Like seriously, I can barely take a 10-minute shower without interruption let alone dedicate 90 whole minutes to myself, inside my house, with all these people and animals.
Before, I could go to the studio, I could shut off all the things, the hot room was a sweet and sweaty escape, I could "hide" away and just... do something for myself. Yoga looks pretty much the opposite of that right now in every way, except that it is still yoga - and it's for me - practiced by me - and the benefits are all mine.
Having to practice at home has uprooted all the "feel good" things I love about yoga and has forced me to a realization that yoga is so valuable to my life, even without all the frills of the studio environment.
Is my space hot? No. It's a little hot with chaos some days. Do I have a mirror? Also, no, not really. Does my toddler mimicking me count? Can I get it humid enough? Not nearly. But sometimes, I have a couple kids or a dog breathing right in front of my face and it feels a little humid... (kidding. not kidding.)
Do I get to focus and meditate completely? Ehh... not entirely. And by entirely, I mean not at all. Am I able to complete an entire 90 minutes, uninterrupted? Negative. I don't even always get a chance to complete 90 minutes at all.
I have learned that in order for me to have a successful home practice, I had to reconstruct what the word "successful" means.
I often practice in the middle of the living room floor, or when it's nice out, I throw a mat down outside. Always, I have a couple kids bopping in and out and lying down next to me, or on me, or trying to crawl through my legs, a dog rolling around on the floor thinking it's playtime, or kids taking their own sweet savasana on top of me while I'm in one too...
The commotion is endless.
But the yoga is timeless.
I've learned to let go of my idealistic perfect yoga experience, and realize that yoga IS the experience.
Some is better than none, and I've had to adjust my mindset from tolerating that, to celebrating that, and remarkably I can say that my body and mind are still reaping the benefits of a "not-so-perfect" yoga practice. My family and I are better for it, and I’m really glad I decided to just get over the fact that yoga is different now, and get to doing it for any amount of time, at any time of day.
The truth is, some of us haven't been in a good habit of practicing yoga since the stay-home orders have been in place. That's ok... kind of. If it's truly just not for you, not important to you, and yoga has not been a positive impact in your life, then sure, it's ok to not be practicing
But some of us need to check our yoga-egos (I know I did) at our own front door.
We need to realize that the benefits of practicing at home, an imperfect practice in a less-than-ideal environment, win out by far over the consequences of not practicing at all.
And here's the good news: it's a practice. This is quite possibly the only time we will be forced to practice peace, balance, and yoga in a world that looks like this, in a home space that exists like this, and in a mindset that feels like this.
I for one am optimistic for my future self - that I will have learned so much during this time in a way that I never would have before. I mean, can you even imagine how good my savasana will be when we get back into the hot room after all this practice with my kids jumping all over me? Ha!
So here's to you, and me, and all of us. Making an attempt for joy in our life, through the practice (and grace!) of peace, balance, and yoga.
See you at Home!
Your exercise routine has most likely been turned on its head in the last few weeks. Gyms and yoga studios around the world have shut their doors indefinitely, and even many parks and trails are closed.
So, is it time to collapse on the couch with a bag of Cheesy Poofs and mope about not having an ab-roller?
Nah. It's time to do yoga.
Starting a yoga routine at this time will not only help you stay in shape-- it will also help you cope better with stress and keep your anxiety levels under control. The best part is, there's no equipment required for yoga! You can do it at home. All you need is a spine and your breath. (Some expert instruction is highly recommended though!)
In a recent American Psychiatric Association poll, 36% of Americans said the current pandemic has already had a serious impact on their mental health. The rate of coronavirus infection is still much lower than 36% of us, and we're taking that pretty seriously now. We need to take our mental health seriously, too. It is not going to get better on its own, and social distancing itself poses a threat to your mental health.
Look. Keeping your physical body healthy is important for sure. But taking care of your emotional stability and mental clarity is often put on the back burner during times of crisis-- which is actually when we need to keep our wits about us, the most!
Here are 4 major reasons you need yoga now more than ever:
When you practice yoga, you:
There is no time like today to start creating benefits like these for your mind and body. And thanks to technology, accessing yoga instruction from the comfort of your home is easy. There are many options out there, many levels and many styles.
Home Hot Yoga's online classes are open to everyone, no experience necessary. Heat is not even necessary (though it helps!)
Are you ready to start a yoga practice? Join any of our online classes here.
Boss lady, yoga-doer and life-lover, Kay D.