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Teacher Feature: Adi Westerman

By April 30, 2024No Comments

HYA’s founder and owner Adi Westerman is returning to the studio this month to teach classes and host an epic workshop: the Hot 26 Master Lab on Sunday, May 12 at 1 pm, where poses will be broken down so you can master the nuances of each position in the Original Hot Yoga series.

Adi founded HYA in 2008 and ran its day-to-day operations while teaching full fime until moving to Costa Rica in 2021. She returns several times a year, and when she is in town, come experience a class and learn from her years of experience and accumulated wisdom!

During this visit, she is focusing mostly on Hot 26, the original hot yoga series. When HYA opened, it was the only style of class the studio offered. Eventually, it expanded to incorporate Flow classes, as well as the strengthening BLAST classes and Yin. Adi loves and appreciates them all, but Hot 26 is where she began and where a big part of her heart remains.

Get to know our owner and founder and introduce yourself if you have not met her!

HYA: How did you get started in hot yoga?

Adi: It was my last year in college, and really, I just wanted to sweat. I have the kind of constitution where I don’t sweat very much. I wanted something where I could get a meditative practice and feel like I was working my body and mind at the same time. I was a Lit major in college and I did a lot of sitting around reading and writing. Plus, my metabolism was way out of whack after years of not taking care of it so I needed to do something to feel better. I needed some way to begin to hear my inner voice and feel inspired – the community and lifelong friends was a bonus.

HYA: How did you decide to teach yoga and eventually open a studio?

Adi: Where I practiced (Shout out to Village Yoga Santa Cruz), I was also ‘work-trade’ cleaner so I saw the other side of things a little bit. I had a lot of jobs at the time, and put myself through college so work-trade allowed me to be able to practice. I had been going to the studio for about four years and I decided that because it was something that clicked with me so strongly, I wanted to share it with others, so I deferred grad school and went to my first 500 hour training in 2005.

At the time, there weren’t a lot of hot yoga studios. I wanted to move out of Cali and live in a new place where I could start a family … and that’s where I found Asheville – its amazing vibe, great food, music, weather and people! There was no Hot Yoga studio in town, so we just knew that we had to share the love!

When I opened HYA, we did it old school. We stood on street corners downtown handing out postcards. There was no social media really, so we did it all by grassroots.

HYA: When did you start offering Flow classes?

Adi: Our first Flow teacher, Dr. Joe Wheeler – who now running a sports and chiropractor clinic in Charlotte, NC, Restore Sport and Spine  – approached me about offering Vinyasa classes in 2014. He was adamant that there was a way to do Vinyasa with the full heat and precise cueing that I always valued in the 26 series. I told him it had to be alignment based like Hot 26 because most Vinyasa classes I didn’t like at all. They didn’t tell you how to do anything, and I barely sweat. When he said he could do it, I said let’s go! He turned down the lights and pumped up the music. It was a whole vibe.

I then fell in love with Hot Power Flow and did my first Vinyasa training in 2015. Since I have completed another 500 hours and then some in further trainings.

HYA: Why do you stay loyal to Hot 26?

Adi: It is my reset button. When I find myself out of alignment or just want to feel strong, I can always depend on it. I don’t have to think of a sequence. I just plop on the mat and go. I still love Power Flow of course, but with the Hot 26 series I can do a shorter class or a full class and I always feel better.

HYA: What’s the motivation behind this Hot 26 Master Lab?

Adi: My dream is that everyone at the studio would do Hot 26 at least once a week. Unlike Vinyasa, it gets you off your shoulders and wrists. As you get to know the series, you will find that it’s just such a great complement to all the classes at HYA.

I hope people can even embrace and learn to love the repetition of it. That part is huge for really feeling your body and hearing yourself. It’s also not about doing more or it being hard. It’s about doing what you do more efficiently and effectively, so I hope to help with that.

I love watching people learn something knew about their own bodies. They’ll leave with little hacks to level up their practice and learn how it all connects from the ground up.

Stay connected with Adi on IG to learn about her current projects.