With a new floor, a new name and plenty of new faces in the studio, Ridgefield Hot Yoga is feeling as refreshed as someone who just completed a 75-minute class.
And that’s kind of the point.
“I got into yoga because of an injury I suffered when I was a runner in high school,” said Wendy Boscia, who teaches power classes at Ridgefield Hot Yoga — formerly known as Bikram Yoga Ridgefield.
Boscia has been practicing for more than 25 years.
“Yoga helped change my whole perspective,” she said. “A lot of people come in for healing and they leave here feeling better both physically and spiritually. ... It’s very therapeutic.”
The newly-branded business put in a vinyl concrete floor made from Limestone in the middle of May. The new floor is better equipped to handle the high heat and humidity from the studio’s two types of yoga practices — Bikram and power.
The floor is also a lot easier to clean.
“The other floor was special for Bikram,” said Boscia, who brought power classes she previously taught at Buddhi Mat to Ridgefield Hot Yoga. “This new floor fits both styles — Bikram and power, and it cleans a lot quicker.”
In Bikram, the humidity is used as a tool to loosen up the body. The typical class runs 90 minutes, utilizing 26 fixed postures and two breathing exercises.
“The only thing that changes is the body,” said Leah Bey-Wagner, who teaches Bikram classes.
“The heat makes you stay present,” she added. “The 90-minute classes focus on the balance of the breathe. Everything else draws you within. The goal is to forget about the outside world — forget about the grocery list or the AP exam that’s coming up.”
Power classes are not as hot, with temperatures of about 92 to 94 degrees.
“Both styles use heat as a pillar,” said Boscia. “It helps cleanse you ...
“In power, sometimes less is more,” she added. “Every posture has a modification and you can find space in it. You don’t want to push yourself to a point of discomfort, and that’s why there are verbal cues. It’s physical and mental.”
Bey-Wagner and Boscia both teach for Maritza Johnson, who has owned the studio on Main Street for eight years.
Where there was once only one type of practice, there are now two — and the cultural diffusion has emerged fast.
“We joined the two styles together under one roof, and the results have been wonderful,” Johnson said. “Power people are doing Bikram and Bikram people are trying power. It’s fun to see. ...
“We’ve learned about our differences and learned so much from each other,” she added. “And one of the most important lessons I learned is that we both have so much in common.”
Boscia credits Johnson for creating a perfect union.
“She was so open-minded to forging the two practices,” Boscia said.
“Maritza really welcomed us in when Buddhi Mat closed and she opened up her business to our power crew,” she added. “It’s a great feeling of community.”
Whether it’s a parent looking for a quick 60-minute meditation after putting the kids on the bus or a high school student looking to take a break from studying, all of Ridgefield Hot Yoga customers have one thing in common: they’re looking to release stress in their lives.
“People come in for a break,” said Johnson. “They’re looking to off-load stress.”
In addition to parents and students, the studio serves athletes of all kinds.
“Golf, tennis, people who are training for triathlons — you name it,” said Boscia.
“We’ve had college athletes who’ve come in because they have to do it as part of their offseason training,” she added. “There are plenty of high school teams who have come in to practice. The mental and the physical aspects of yoga — and how it opens them up —really help their performance on the field.”
Ridgefield Hot Yoga will be offering specials to celebrate the business’ “reopening.”
There will be a Bikram beginners series, as well as two weeks of unlimited classes for $29 for new students.
The three Ridgefield women are encouraging new practicers to sample both types of classes.
“They both offer a lot to you, spiritually and mentally,” said Bey-Wanger.
As for the loyal yogis who have been practicing for years, Boscia, Bey-Wagner, and Johnson are excited to see familiar faces react to their new, sleek looking place.
“Same great classes, whole new look,” said Boscia.