Bend yoga instructor turning up the heat

Former heating contractor becomes 'hot yoga' teacher

Bend 'hot yoga' teacher sweats out benefits

BEND, Ore. - Calm, centered, but still working up a sweat.

It's a class offering all the physical, mental and spiritual yoga disciplines, but in a room that's cranked up to triple digits.

This is hot yoga, and the Eastside Bend studio owner, Steve Landry, is addicted to heat.

"I came to Bend in 1995 and built a small business called RiverBend Heating and Cooling and had that business until 2011.," Landy said Thursday. "I put a lot of heating systems into thousands of houses."

But when the big building bust hit Bend, Landry was out of work and looking for other ways to use his knowledge of heat.

That's where hot yoga came in.

"I started practicing every day," Landry said. "I came to the hot room every day for six months. I only missed two days because I physically couldn't get in -- the studio was closed."

The heating contractor-turned-hot yoga teacher then put a different twist on his expertise.
"I'm able to design heating systems for hot yoga studios, so I built my own heating system for this studio," Landry said.

Speaking of heat -- the hot yoga trend seems to be gaining steam. Landry posted a deal to LivingSocial: $9 for 10 classes. More than 600 people snatched it up -- another 100 were bought just Wednesday, making it the most-purchased LivingSocial deal in Bend.

Participants say even through the buckets of sweat, the 90-minute session is the perfect release.

"I come in here completely stressed, and come out perfectly balanced," said newcomer Teresa Zepeda.

"Don't be intimidated. Wear something you're going to sweat in -- you're gonna sweat, and it's gonna feel good," said Julia Scheri, another hot yoga participant.

And feeling good is why Landry turned his obsession into his profession.

"That's why you see construction workers becoming yoga teachers -- we have to take care of ourselves," Landry said.

But health experts say hot yoga is not for everyone.

Participants should consult with a doctor first. The combination of heat and physical activity could be unsafe for some who suffer from heart and weight complications.

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