By Shay Moser
At last, the morning temperatures are in the mid-40s, and afternoons are in the 70s. But inside any of the four Valley locations of The Foundry Hot Yoga & Fitness Studios, the room is 105 degrees and 45% humidity for students coming to the 26&2 Hot Yoga class, also known as Bikram yoga, a set series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises.
“Giving yourself a burst of pressure, called hormetic stress, can help boost your body’s functioning and help you build a tolerance to bigger tensions,” says Niki Fillmore, teacher and chief operations officer of The Foundry. “Heat also allows the muscles to be warmer, which makes it easier to stretch while also increasing blood flow to areas of the body that are deficient in oxygen and nutrients.”
Every boutique fitness studio these days has an origin story, and The Foundry is no exception. Owners and siblings Nicole and Todd Deacon, born and raised in Scottsdale, started practicing yoga in 1995 at the Old Town Scottsdale location, the first hot yoga studio in Arizona. Their teacher, Cintra Brown, studied with Bikram for about a decade before moving from Los Angeles to Scottsdale. Deacon completed her Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in 2005 and continued volunteering and serving as faculty for over 15 trainings. In 2006, Nicole purchased the Paradise Valley location at Tatum and Thunderbird, known as Bikram Yoga Paradise Valley, until they rebranded as The Foundry in February 2017.
The Deacons have remained firmly rooted in the 26&2 hot yoga methodology over the 16 years of owning studios, touting how they’ve seen thousands of people transform their lives for the better. “Parents are learning to be more patient with their kids, athletes are healing injuries without surgery, individuals are freeing themselves from medications, and countless others are feeling more empowered in their jobs and relationships.”
The Right Hot Yoga Class for You
The Foundry strives to make hot yoga and fitness accessible to as many people as possible. “While I haven’t been a new student in a while, I still remember the first time I went and took my first class,” Fillmore says. “Being nervous to try something new is common, but the reward and the possibilities on the other side of trying a class are better health, increased energy, reduced pain and inflammation, and the list goes on and on. So, it’s worth it!”
For students who want to ease into the 90-minute hot yoga class or are recovering from an injury, The Foundry offers a Basic Yoga class sequence. It’s warm instead of hot, 60 minutes instead of 90, and features gentler poses that focus on opening the hips and strengthening the core.
They also offer Hot Flow Yoga, which is a Vinyasa-based practice. In this class, students learn arm balances and headstands while flowing to vibey music. This class is excellent for learning new poses while getting stronger and more flexible.
“Hot yoga at any level is physical, but it’s also energizing,” says Fillmore. “Students start standing taller out of confidence after just one class.”
But it’s not just hot yoga. The Foundry offers a variety of Hot Fitness classes that have become very popular among its members. Hot HIIT, Hot Pilates, and Hot Barre are available throughout the day at their studios. The fitness classes have louder music, and more energy, and hand weights and resistance bands create more strength and toning.
“We offer many ways to breathe, connect, and transform,” Fillmore says. Beyond their hot yoga and fitness classes, The Foundry offers workshops, meditations, teacher training, retreats, and group challenges throughout the year. “And you’re surrounded by a positive, like-minded community the whole time.”
So, What Does The Foundry Mean?
The Foundry is named after a metal foundry, which melts metal, and casts and creates pieces of artwork.
“The idea behind our name is that The Foundry is a place where people come to transform,” explains Fillmore. “Like the metal that is melted down and cast to create art in a metal foundry, people are coming into our studios, into The Foundry Hot Yoga & Fitness Studios, to melt down, recreate, reshape, and come out a new person. You are both the artist and the art. You decide who you are and what you want to be. The Foundry is where you create that change, that transformation.”
With their original Paradise Valley studio at Tatum and Thunderbird open since 2006, The Foundry has established quite a following. Now they have five studios in Arizona, including a brand-new studio in the heart of Arcadia at Indian School and 48th Street. They also have studios in Tempe-Mesa, Avondale, and downtown Flagstaff. This year, they started franchising, and the first franchise opened in February in Thousand Oaks, California. Fillmore says The Foundry hopes to open more franchises with “intentional growth.”
Find locations, class schedules, and more online. New students get five classes for $50.
And be ready to sweat like it’s summer in Arizona.
For more information, visit thefoundryyoga.com.
This content is sponsored by The Foundry.