The Montauk studio is open again. Photo by Danielle Gingerich.
By Genevieve Kotz
After running the Hamptons Hot Yoga studio in Bridgehampton for the past 11 years, Lienette Crafoord said she knew that the next step would be step to open a studio in Montauk to make Bikram and hot yoga more accessible to its large fan base.
The HOT’auk Yoga Studio, located on 649 Montauk Highway in Montauk, reopened for a second summer season in May.
“We wanted to get out to Montauk for years and years,” said Ms. Crafoord, the founder and yoga director of Hamptons Hot Yoga.
At the Bridgehampton location, yoga enthusiasts from all over the East End were coming for classes.
Ms. Crafoord said the Montauk location was the perfect place to expand to serve clients from Amagansett and farther east.
It’s easy to see why the yoga studio is so popular. It exclusively offers Bikram and Hot Vinyasa yoga classes, which are beneficial not only for the body, but for the mind as well.
“Even though it’s all very physical, there’s a lot of emotional benefits that are occurring without us realizing it,” Ms. Crafoord explained.
With both Bikram and Hot Vinyasa yoga, the studio is kept at very hot temperatures. Depending on the humidity, the temperature during a Hot Vinyasa class is typically around 95 degrees, while it is raised to about 102 degrees during the Bikram classes. This allows the yogis to sweat out toxins, a process that is very liberating, according to Ms. Crafoord.
For Bikram, each class is a set of 26 postures that are the same every time. Created by Bikram Choudhury, the classes are a series of beginner yoga postures that are more static and focused, allowing yogis to correctly realign their bodies.
“There’s a lot of time to figure out where the body is, because you don’t move quickly,” Ms. Crafoord explained.
In the Hot Vinyasa classes, on the other hand, the postures change every time and the style is more up to the teacher. Compared to the Bikram classes, it is a more moving, flowing set of postures and includes vinyasas like the sun salutations and the warrior series.
The Montauk and Bridgehampton classes are 75-minutes long, and there are 90-minute classes available at the Bridgehampton studio as well. While the idea of a 75-minute yoga class in over a 100-degree rooms may seem intimidating, Bikram yoga is especially great for students of all levels, even beginners.
“All levels can be in one room,” Ms. Crafoord explained, “As your body becomes stronger and more flexible, you’re able to go deeper in the postures.”
Bikram yoga is also beneficial for those who are suffering from or wish to ward off injuries, which is how Ms. Crafoord discovered the practice.
“In general, the word yoga itself means union, the union between the body and the mind,” Ms. Crawford explained, “Ultimately that is what we are working for—connecting the body and the mind and allowing the body to heal so it is no longer a distraction.”
A professional sailor and avid runner, Ms. Crafoord practiced different styles of yoga as a complement to her athletics. However, it was not until someone suggested Bikram to help her hip flexor problems that Ms. Crafoord discovered the practice and fell in love. After studying with its founder, she began teaching and moved east. She opened the Montauk studio last year for the summer season until October. This year, she hopes to keep it open through the holidays.
“We’d very much like to be a part of the community instead of a seasonal business,” Ms. Crafoord said, “We’d like to cater to the community.”
Currently, the Montauk studio is offering exclusive specials that allow clients to get more classes for less. A five-pack of classes is $100 with other packs that allow clients to buy 10 or 30 classes at discounted prices. For the devoted yogi, an unlimited month pass is available for $185.
“It’s a dream to be out here because this community is such a nice community and it’s a great demographic for hot yoga,” Ms. Crafoord said, “It’s going to be fun to connect to the local crowd in Montauk.”