The home of Hot Yoga in Stellenbosch
Nestled in the historic heart of Stellenbosch, lies The Hot Yoga Studio; the first of its kind in the Boland. This unique hot yoga studio makes every yoga class an awesome experience, leaving everyone with a smile after their practice. We got in touch with the owners, Nolte and Johannes, to find out all about their journey and the exciting yoga events they have in store!
Neither Nolte Coetzee, a rugby jock, nor Johannes Bertus, a nerd, would be considered your “typical yogi”. That is what helped these two to create a yoga studio for all people, not just the classic "yogi type". The Hot Yoga Studio is for the young, old, fit, unfit, skinny, fat…. it is a place where everyone feels at home.
The Hot Yoga Studio was founded by Nolte after he returned to Stellenbosch from the USA in 2013 … and found there was no hot yoga in their town. In fact, there were none in the Cape Winelands. He took a leap of faith to start the studio in a small town, which everybody said would never be able to sustain a hot studio. Since then, the studio has blossomed and today, all of their classes - morning and night - are packed. Johannes joined their team in 2015, acting as manager and a yoga instructor.
“We have such joy at The Hot Yoga Studio. It is a bustling studio with no pretentions - our yogis are old and young, boys and girls, sportspeople and geeks, nobody is made to feel awkward or inferior.”
Being in the platteland, they have no airs. If you attended one of their average classes, you would find an age range of 15 to 65 among our students. Some look like cover models, most just look ordinary, but everybody smiles.
“It has been very important to us to create a community that affirms people as they are and lets everyone feel at home. It also helps that we have a range of classes in different styles (bikram, vinyasa, ashtanga, yin, meditation) so everyone can find something that suits their requirements.”
The Hot Yoga Studio is the largest studio in Stellenbosch, so they are picky when appointing yoga teachers. Their teachers all have unique talents that set them apart from the rest. “We have a colourful offering" explains Johannes.
Nolte's yoga is influenced by martial arts and animalistic locomotion.
Johannes focuses on basic alignment, but give experienced yogi’s the opportunity to explore.
Sandi is a former dancer who does graceful moving classes.
Eva is also an academic and offers so much research and alignment in her classes.
Eugene is a former aerobics teacher whose classes burst with energy and motion.
James is a deep soulful guy who focusses on breathing and slow meditative postures.
Adele does a textbook no-nonsense bikram class.
This year, The Hot Yoga Studio offered their first 200 hour yoga teacher training where students are getting trained in bikram, ashtanga, vinyasa and yin yoga. At the end of their training, they hope to offer the Western Cape yoga community a batch of new teachers that aren't just clones of something that came before, but folks that offer a truly unique blend of highly sought-after yoga teacher skills, people who can work across different modalities.
Although The Hot Yoga Studio does mostly offer heated classes (as their name suggests), they have also discovered a need for ashtanga and yin yoga, as well as meditation which are non-heated.
“I am specifically happy with how these offerings have grown”, says Johannes, “We often have up to 25 people in a led ashtanga class, very impressive considering that it is a challenging practice. In the meditation class we have had up to 35 people!”
Although they are called "Hot" Yoga Studio, that sometimes refers to the temperature in our classes, but at other times just to the great attitude of our yogis.
“I believe most people are capable of more than they believe, and seeing them discover abilities in their practice that they would never have imagined before, is the greatest joy a teacher can have.”
Johannes went on to explain how there is a little light that goes on in people's eyes when they do their first armbalance, when they realise how a proper chaturanga feels, when they come out of their first meditation session. “You see that light go on and you know a life has just been changed, and that person is on the way to conquering fear forever.”
The Hot Yoga Studio believes in the philosophy of the "third place". Everyone who comes to their studio also has a home and a job, but they want a third place where they can go to.
Their studio strives to provide a space where everyone is kind, where they hear affirmative words and get to press the pause button on their worries for an hour or so.
In April, The Hot Yoga Studio are excited to be hosting David Regelin, an internationally-renowned vinyasa yoga teacher from New York.
Johannes had the opportunity to practice with David Regelin. “He is part of a very exciting network of teachers in New York that are turning yoga in that city upside down” Johannes said, “They bring to yoga a sense of body geometry and deep physiology that helps students access unimaginable heights.” In a one class with David, Johannes managed to master pinchamayurasana. “I really wanted other folks in South Africa to experience the same magic.”
Not only is David is coming to Stellenbosch to assist the students on their teacher training, but he will be sharing his knowledge and skills to the broader public through open workshops.
Find out more about the workshops HERE
"We have people coming over for yoga from Somerset West and Paarl, and increasingly from the city." says Johannes, as he tries to encourage more people not to be dissuaded by the distance, but to make the journey and come practice with them.
The Hot Yoga Studio offers a truly high level of yoga teaching... and lets not forget to mention that they are situated right in the heart of town, with about ten coffee shops, delis, craft beer shops, chocolateries, etc, on their block.
So make The Hot Yoga Studio part of your breakfast run on Saturday or Sunday. No need to book - we are always glad to see people and will always make space for visitors.
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