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Embody Yoga and Pilates Turns Up the Heat with Hot Vinyasa

By Marina I. Jokic

After more than a decade of rigorous yoga and Pilates practice, Lea Ann Schneider was inspired to start her own studio focused on hot Vinyasa yoga. A particularly dynamic style of yoga, Vinyasa is made all the more effective and therapeutic by its application of a heated environment. Instructors at Embody Yoga and Pilates set the thermostats between 85 to 90 degrees and plunge into the ever evolving and restorative world of Vinyasa. To amplify the spirit of welcoming, Embody Yoga offers first classes for free.

"Part of my passion for yoga is to be able to share it with as many people in the community as possible," Schneider said. "I know that many are not able to go to classes due to financial limitations [so] I was prompted to offer the Karma Community Program because I feel very strongly that everyone should benefit from yoga no matter their financial situation."

The lineup of classes is varied offering hot vinyasa all levels, hot vinyasa basics, restorative yoga and Pilates. Vinyasa is essentially a yoga flow taught at a vigorous pace with certain modifications for beginners.

A more approachable alternative for beginners is the yoga basics class or event the restorative yoga, which is meant to bring the body back into balance in a slow and gentle way. The postures use bolsters and blocks to assist the body into deep, long-held poses to release tension, stress and even chronic pain. This slow-paced class is suitable for all levels, especially beginners or those with physical limitations. It is great to pair this class with a more vigorous yoga practice or with your regular cardio workout as well.

"Every day you're on your mat, you learn something new, either mentally or physically," Schneider said. "After the first training, I knew I wanted to share my knowledge and my experience with as many people as possible; I wanted to create a community where people can come together to connect with themselves and with others."

Schneider's yoga training over the course of the last 15 years has really solidified her teaching skills. An expert in hot Vinyasa, she remembers completing her first 200-hour teacher training years ago, which inspired her to devote herself entirely to teaching. Since then, she has completed hundreds of hours of training with various teachers across the U.S. After many years of teaching at various studios, she felt it was time to open her own place. Since she is a UW Oshkosh alum, Schneider felt closely connected to the city, a perfect place for her emerging studio.

There are so many options out there these days for yoga classes. It's very important to find a studio with qualified teachers who are certified with a minimum of 200 hours of training, and registered with the Yoga Alliance. I have been very selective in creating a staff of teachers who have these qualifications and who are truly passionate about yoga and their students. I am creating an environment where students can come to learn, heal, and grow mentally and physically in a healthy, safe environment.

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