Going through the motions for better health: Fire+Embers Hot Yoga opens in Turners Falls – The Recorder

Posted: January 5, 2020 at 5:45 am


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TURNERS FALLS Hot yoga, in theory, is the same no matter where you do it. The classroom studio is heated to about 105 degrees, and every class session runs through the exact same positions in the exact same order, the same way every time.

Even people who love it admit that it may not be for everyone, said Mishel Ixchel, the owner and instructor of Fire+Embers Hot Yoga at 142 2nd St. But the people who get hooked say it gives them something they cant get any other way; or, at least, something that is very hard to find.

Ixchel got her first taste of hot yoga the way most people do, she said: a studio offered a ridiculously low introductory price, and after she tried it, I was starving for more.

That was almost 15 years ago, when she was living in New York City. She quickly moved on to a nine-week training course, and was soon teaching.

I dont know how much of this has to do with my zodiac sign, but when I commit to something, I focus my energy and I go right in, she said.

Fire+Embers opened Dec. 21. Preparation took a bit longer than expected, Ixchel said. The studio is on the upper floor of a repurposed old house. Along with construction of the studio itself, the building also needed new insulation to make a 105-degree yoga studio workable.

Almost every contractor I brought in thought I was out of my mind, Ixchel said.

What makes hot yoga unique, other than the intense heat, is its twenty-six and two sequence (usually written as 26+2), Ixchel said. Every class follows the same program of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, presented in the same order every time, no matter who the teacher is or where the studio is. On paper, every class is exactly the same.

The repetition is the point, partly, Ixchel said. The more you commit to it, you start integrating the sequence. You know what to expect. You can work with it and get better and better. Youre fine-tuning these postures.

What changes is what the student brings to it each time, Ixchel said: how much sleep they got that night, what stressors they might be dealing with, how they feel about the weather that day.

So youll never have two classes that are the same, even though every single class sequence is the same, she said.

And then theres the magic the brilliance of how these postures were laid out, she said. One thing leads you to another thing leads you to another thing. So youre moving systematically through your body in a healthy, safe way.

The results are apparently hard to put a finger on. Ixchels students, getting ready for a class on Tuesday morning taking off snow boots, hanging up coats, figuring out the yoga mat situation talk about it in superlative terms: its rejuvenating, its a full-body cleanse, theres nothing like it.

Its the one time in my life, when Im in here, that in my mind Im present, said Faith Diemand, one of the owners of Diemand Farm in Wendell. Work isnt running around, the kids, the car broken down, blah blah blah. Tapping her head, she added, Its hard for me to quiet whats up here.

The magic of the 26+2 sequence is what it does for the spine, Ixchel said. Most of us go through our day-to-day lives chronically abusing our backs in little ways leaning over a desk, bending to pick things up, not paying attention to posture. What people love about hot yoga, she said, is that it takes away those little pains that distract us even when we may not realize it.

Once your body starts feeling good, which this practice does, it ripples out to every aspect of life, she said. You can focus on the things you want to focus on because youre not in pain. You have more patience in your relationships because youre not in pain.

She emphasizes that anyone can do hot yoga, regardless of age or physical fitness. You dont need to be especially strong or flexible. And because every class is the same, its easy for beginners to get going.

Classes at Fire+Embers Hot Yoga are 90 minutes long, Monday to Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., with more times to be added later. For new students, there is an introductory rate of $40 for two weeks unlimited access, or $111 for 30 days. A full list of prices and membership options can be found at fireandembers.com.

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 261.

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Going through the motions for better health: Fire+Embers Hot Yoga opens in Turners Falls - The Recorder

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January 5th, 2020 at 5:45 am

Posted in Yoga