January-February 2015 | SOME LIKE IT HOT!

Dawn Ehman



The exercise craze known as hot yoga is sweeping the nation like a tidal wave — just ask Dawn Ehman of VogaVibez

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

Looking for a really “hot” workout that will shape you up on the outside while purifying you on the inside? You may want to give hot yoga a try. As the name suggests, hot yoga is a rapidly growing exercise craze that is performed in a humid, hot environment. Some yoga disciplines, like Bikram, have been known to dial the thermostat all the way up to 105°F, with 40-45% humidity, though Dawn Ehman of YogaVibez in West Ocean City prefers things a little more balmy for her clientele.

“Our sessions maintain roughly the same level of humidity as Bikram, but our experience has taught us that we can get the same beneficial effects at or around 90 degrees,” said Ehman, who practices the Vinyasa-flow method in her Rte. 50 studio.

Dawn’s classes are designed to accommodate virtually all ages and levels of experience, from kids experiencing yoga for the first time to people in their seventies and beyond. Dawn added that there are also plenty of men and even pregnant women who take classes at the studio. The sessions she and her 12 certified instructors oversee also vary, lasting anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and consisting of as few as seven poses, all the way up to a couple of dozen.

“Sometimes we’ll just have what’s called a ‘focus pose,’ so we can concentrate on a specific body part,” shared Dawn, who’s been a group-fitness professional for 25 years and a yoga devotee for 12. “It could be the hips, arms, hamstrings or something like that, so we’ll do fewer poses and hold them for longer periods of time.”

Dawn added that her clients seem to be thriving in the hot yoga climate and that the benefits make it well worth the effort.

“We’re beach folks down here, so a little heat doesn’t bother us,” she said. “What my clients and I love about hot yoga is that in addition to the strength and postural benefits offered by traditional yoga, hot yoga warms you up more quickly, extends your flexibility, maximizes calorie burn and, of course, really detoxifies your body.”


They got their official start back in 1998 as a way to help surfers keep their edge when they couldn’t get down to the water. But today, Indo Boards are popping up in gyms, health clubs and fitness studios all over the U.S.

Developed 40 years ago by veteran surfer/skateboarder Hunter Joslin, the Indo Board is a high-grade, oval-shaped hardwood board, which, when used with a durable injection-molded plastic roller, becomes an extremely effective training-and-exercise instrument.

“We use a modified version here at the studio, called an Indo yoga board, which is designed for stand-up paddleboard yoga,” said Ehman. “The yoga-adapted version features either three or four rollers, which makes it safer for and useable by almost anyone. More advanced students, however, have the option of increasing the board’s instability by inserting special cushions beneath it, for an even better workout that really targets and works those fast-twitch muscles.”

The device has received high marks from fitness advocates all over for the way it works and firms the core. However, unlike most other core-developing exercises, the Indo Board improves agility, coordination, neuromuscular response and overall body-balance, which is important for everyone, especially as we age.

YOGAVIBEZ: A Hot Yoga Studio



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