Feel the Heat
Owatonna’s first ever hot yoga studio, Sollid Yoga, opened on July 1. Yoga participants, both novice and experienced, enjoy the heated activity and all its benefits to body and mind.
“I’ve had so many people come up to me after class and say it felt so good and that they are glad we are here in the community,” said Katie Sollid, Sollid Yoga owner and teacher.
Hot yoga is a form of yoga characterized by a hot and humid conditions. Sollid Yoga’s studio is kept between 85 and 90 degrees and 30 to 60 percent humidity. Yoga in its self has a plethora of physical and mental benefits, but the high temperatures of hot yoga lead to even more merit.
The warm conditions allow yoga participants’ muscles to heat up, making stretching easier and harder poses more obtainable and safe. High levels of sweating promote healthy skin and rids the body of toxins. Hot yoga can help heal injuries, as it allows the muscles to stretch further in a safe way.
Sollid admits that she is not a flexible person, but she found that the heat in hot yoga allows her to do poses with ease that would otherwise be difficult.
“I think people just need to try it because even if you don’t like the heat outside, it’s much different when you are in here,” Sollid stated.
She fell in love with hot yoga a few years back after undergoing back surgery. The doctors told Sollid that she would never be able to do physical activity again, but after one and half years she was miserable and needed an active outlet. The deep stretching that a hot yoga studio in Austin offered was her answer, and it was there that Sollid found her calling.
“I just felt so much better, and I wanted to share that with people,” she said.
Leaving her job at a large marketing corporation, Sollid began taking classes in Austin through a program out of Devanadi Yoga, a nationally renowned school of yoga and wellness located in Minneapolis. She will graduate from the program in November and receive her Registered Yoga Teacher 200, or RYT 200.
A building on West Bridge Street underwent a transformation, going from gutted walls to a tranquil studio. Sollid worked hard to turn the building into a peaceful and friendly environment.
“I wanted everyone to feel welcome and just feel good,” she stated. “Not like they have to look or be a certain way.”
One way that Sollid accomplished that wish was by forgoing mirrors in the yoga studio. She did not want people to see reflections and worry about appearances and external factors, as yoga focuses on inward awareness.
With one month of successful business down, Sollid is excited to see what the future holds. She hopes to eventually outgrow her current studio and possibly open up a second location. With 150 customers in the last three weeks alone, expansion is looking likely.
“You always have to have goals,” Sollid commented.
Since she now owns her own business and is about to graduate, her next goal is obtaining her RYT 500. Opening up her own business may have been a scary venture in the beginning, but Sollid is thankful for taking the chance and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“Every day I walk in here, and it’s still a shock,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s really happening.”
She is thankful for the other teachers at her studio, as well. Three other certified yoga instructors work at Sollid Yoga, and Sollid feels lucky to have them on board.
Having four instructors allows for a wide variety of classes. Sollid Yoga offers Vinyasa, Hatha, Flow, Sculpt, Barre, Yin, Restorative, and Gentle classes. In addition, there are workshops for beginners and 50+. Mindful flow and meditation classes are offered periodically, as well as a monthly hot yoga detox class given in a room at 105 degrees and 60 percent humidity.
Sollid encourages people to call or email the studio to chat about which class fits each individual best. She wants to make sure that each customer feels comfortable in the class that they are in.
“We want you to enjoy your experience,” she said. “You may think that yoga is yoga, but it’s so much more than that.”
Not only does yoga have depth in its types, but in its focus. The physical activity emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and breath, which helps to calm the nervous system. Sollid frequently has people comment on feeling deeply relaxed and cleansed after attending one of her yoga classes.
“You feel like you are leaving everything on the floor here when you leave,” she said.
Peace may be a commonly felt emotion, but every yogi is encouraged to make the classes their own. It can be mental or spiritual, but it is completely their choice, according to Sollid.
“You can come in here and believe anything and just take away what you want from it,” she stated. “Yoga is just about feeling good!”
Whether you can touch your toes or not, Sollid urges people to give hot yoga a try.
“Just get ready for an intense workout where you can let it all go in the heat.”