THE STORY SO FAR
Hot Yoga Health was founded by Newport resident Geoff Latham. An idea born from his recent love affair with Hot Yoga and his belief in positive change. After teaming up with his daughter Suzie, they embarked on creating a purpose built Hot Yoga Studio in the heart of Newport.
Suzie — Aged 37
I was a little nervous when I arrived for my first session. New place, new people, new type of fitness class. “I won’t know what to do, everyone will be fitter , thinner than me, what if I can't handle the heat and I’m sick in the studio!” These fears quickly disappeared as I was greeted by the friendly staff and fellow members at Bikram Bristol. The teacher answered any concerns I had, explaining “your first goal today is to just stay in the room. Take a break when you need one. This is just the beginning of your practise. Take it easy.” Lying down on the mat, feeling the intensity of the heat, I was thinking “what am I doing? Just lying in this heat is tough!”
But I loved it. I loved the continual instruction, it made me feel safe and supported. The heat was intense. I felt nauseous, like I might faint. I spent most of the session sat on the mat. But after the initial feeling of total exhaustion and overwhelming heat, something in me wanted to go back. After my second session, where I managed to do most of the postures, I was hooked.
One year on, after practising twice a week, I persuaded my sister Louise to come along and join me, and hey-ho another Latham hooked. It wasn’t long before we managed to persuade our dad to join us.
Geoff — Aged 67
I had always been pretty fit but knee, ankle, back problems and pretty constant osteopath visits meant I was now a walker/occasional golfer. No more tennis, no more jogging, no more gym. Weight gain. Stiffer joints. Lower energy levels.
‘‘Don’t fancy it; yoga’s for girls; too sedentary; not a workout’’ were the lines I trotted out. Well, on my 65th birthday my girls bought me an intro offer at Bikram Bristol, and now I had to give it a go. I was hopeless. I couldn’t do a great deal of it, sat out for at least a third of the session, kept looking at the clock ‘when is this torture going to end’. Was told off for clock watching, was told off for making comment s (can’t be repeated). Afterwards however I realised that I had just had a workout, it was just like the feeling I used to feel after a run or circuits.
Later in the pub, there was the endorphin rush, and later still the best nights sleep for as far back as I could remember. I went back. A third Latham hooked.
There followed a period of mentally feeling brighter, more positive, sharper. Physically ‘on the balls of your feet fit feeling’, getting toned again, losing weight, losing facial moles, skin improving, less wrinkles, scar tissue healing, taller, less stooped, better balance, better posture. Shed over a stone. Shed 10/15 years.
“Everyone needs to be doing this. Let's start our own studio!”