The Norman Transcript

January 13, 2013

Yoga with a touch of class

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Audrey Hepburn may not be around to appreciate it, but Yoga at Tiffany’s Norman in Brookhaven Village, 3770 W. Robinson St., Suite 112, will be the first yoga studio to feature hot yoga as its primary specialty.

Owner and operator Catie Coon is an experienced teacher who is well known to many of Norman’s yogis. Coon’s schedule will include classes for beginners as well as intermediates and elite students.

Yoga at Tiffany’s uses a fresh air system to regulate the temperature and air flow at the studio.

“It oxygenates the air and regulates the carbon dioxide levels in the room so you’re never getting too much carbon dioxide,” Coon said. “It also maintains a humidity level. Humidity keeps the air fresh and it keeps the air moist. That’s what yoga is all about — breathing.”

The state-of-the-art Fresh Air System used by Yoga at Tiffany’s is manufactured by Hot Yoga Studio Supply and Design. It regulates carbon dioxide levels in the room by bringing in freshly oxygenated air and maintaining humidity at 40 percent.

Yoga at Tiffany’s is the only yoga studio in Oklahoma that offers the specialized technology.

“We’re the first yoga franchise in Oklahoma,” Coon said. “We’re still locally owned, but Tiffany Porte opened the studio in Oklahoma City, and she, as far as I know, was the first hot yoga studio to open in the area. That was in 2008.”

Now that concept is coming to Norman.

“The No. 1 most important benefit of hot yoga is that you are going to burn more calories,” Coon said. “You’re going to detox the body and expell toxins including environmental pollution, infection, chemical food additives and chronic tension created by emotional stress.”

Heat allows muscles to expand and stretch more safely and deeply.

“The heat also promotes relaxation of the muscles and the nerves,” Coon said. “When the muscle is cold, you’re more prone to injury or to straining something.”

Hot Vinyasa Flow classes are the bedrock of the studio’s offerings.

“Vinyasa means synchronizing breath to movement,” Coon said. “As you are flowing in a yoga class, each breath is coordinated with a yoga pose, which creates a high-intensity interval training or cardio vascular exercise or workout.”

There’s a lot more to yoga than many people think. Trying is believing, Coon said.

“This is not stretching,” she said. “Raising core body temperature increases circulation and boosts metabolism, resulting in rapid fat loss and muscle growth.”

However, beginners or those who have suffered injuries and want a more easy-going class need not fear.

“Not all of the classes I offer are going to be the higher-intensity training. I do offer some slower-paced classes,” Coon said.

The Warm Gentle Flow class is good for anyone who wants to do restorative yoga, whether recovering from injury or simply wanting to use yoga to destress.

Warm Gentle Flow yoga is taught at 82-84 degrees, to allow those who want the detoxification and comfort of hot yoga without the extremes of higher temperatures.

“That class is going to appeal to anyone who is wanting to get the effects of hot yoga but who wants something less intense,” Coon said

Even students from the more intense classes might enjoy the Sunday class as a break from more intense routines.

“They can use this on an off-day,” Coon said. “Give the body a break with deep breathing — pranyama. Toward the end of the class, we do yin yoga, which means we’ll be holding certain stretches for a longer time.”

The strength and alignment class is for anyone wanting to work on yoga form.

“It’s not as much of a Vinyasa Flow class,” Coon said. “It breaks the postures down. You’re going to stay in the posture long enough to feel the posture. You’re going to build strength while learning alignment.”

If you hate lifting weights, this class and any of the Vinyasa Flow classes might be for you.

“I don’t think anybody needs any other strength training but yoga,” Coon said. “You use the weight of your own body to generate strength through the Vinyasa sequences or through holding the postures with proper body alignment.”

She said the strength and alignment class is ideal for strength building because of the longer poses.

“When you are building new strength in the body, we have to work through the strong muscle fiber by holding posture for longer periods of time and move into the weak muscle fibers,” Coon said. “That’s when you start to go really strong, when you start to strengthen those weaker, internal muscle fibers that haven’t been awakened. That’s when the true strength starts to build.”

Coon has been teaching yoga for 13 years. She incorporates core work at the beginning of every class.

For a complete listing of classes, visit yatglownorman@gmail.com or call 706-2277.

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