After falling in love with yoga, Hye Jin Kalgaonkar got her yoga certification and began teaching all over the world including Mexico, Canada, Asia and Europe. When her family moved back to Indianapolis in 2012, she opened a yoga studio that aligned to her values. The Hot Room, which includes hot yoga, heated fitness and meditation, was founded in Indy in November 2013, and this year they are celebrating 10 years in business. The state-of-the-art studio offers a luxury experience that welcomes all.
“I wanted to create a studio environment where anyone, no matter their age, shape, size, color or ability level, felt welcomed and supported,” says Kalgaonkar, chief executive officer and founder.
Keeping in mind that some people might find yoga intimidating, she and her staff help people feel inspired. Their primary mission is to build a diverse community where everyone feels safe, to heal and strengthen their bodies and minds. Students include young, healthy athletes who are looking to elevate their performance, as well as 70-plus seniors with double hip replacements who are seeking relief from joint pain.
The room temperature stays between 95 and 105 degrees with 40% humidity. Although it’s toasty, the benefits of heat during yoga are multifold. First, your muscles are more warmed and your joints are more lubricated, which enables your body to move with greater ease. “People who are super inflexible, have injuries, or struggle with limited range of motion immediately feel better in hot yoga,” says Kalgaonkar.
Second, the heated environment creates a mental challenge that builds resilience. “You learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable, then when you face challenging moments in your life, you are the calm one and not the one freaking out,” says Kalgaonkar.
Third, hot yoga burns more calories.
“A lot of people assume that they have to do cardio to get their heart rate up, but with the heat, your blood vessels dilate and there’s more blood flow throughout your body,” says Kalgaonkar. “People in our hot yoga classes experience cardiovascular benefits that they have never experienced in any other type of yoga class.”
Although students admit that it’s challenging, they also say that after a few classes, they can’t imagine doing the workout without the heat.
“Runners and athletes in general love that they can heal themselves through hot yoga,” says Kalgaonkar. “Not only do they feel lighter and less stiff, but they also build their stamina and endurance in a more low-impact way. You don’t have to beat up your body to achieve higher athletic performance. In addition to the Fishers studio, Kalgaonkar has opened locations in downtown Indy, northside Indy, Bloomington, and Chicago’s North Shore.
Every Hot Room studio has a beautiful boutique where people can find the best yoga gear and athleisure wear. Kalgaonkar also leads wellness retreats around the world.
“It’s a chance to do something good for the body and mind while connecting with community in some of the most beautiful places in the world,” she says.
They have teacher trainings and are big on coaching female leaders. Therefore, their managers are predominantly women.
Finally, they have a nonprofit arm called the Breathe Foundation, through which they provide teacher training scholarships to BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) yoga practitioners who are looking to deepen their yoga practice, and gain the skills to lead inspiring classes in their community.
“It’s like cleansing your body from the inside out,” Kalgaonkar says of the hot yoga experience. “You’ll experience less pain, better sleep, clearer skin, a stronger body and a calmer mind.”
The Hot Room is located at 11591 Yard Street, Suite 520 in Fishers. For more information, call 317-999-8375 or visit thehotroom.com.