NOW Power Yoga is the “hot” trend among teens

Ani Svendsen

A collective “Wooo!” fills the NOW Power Yoga (NOW) studio in Corte Madera as the yogis alternate from one pose to another, energy and adrenaline spreading throughout the room. NOW Yoga has become the place to be for a wide demographic, including many Redwood students. If you ask a fellow student what their morning looks like, weekday or weekend, it might include attending the famous Susan Hauser’s hot yoga class at NOW. 

Susan Hauser, a parent of two Redwood alumni, started practicing yoga 20 years ago after an unfortunate loss of a family member. Ever since then, yoga has been her passion and Hauser recently celebrated NOW’s seventh year anniversary.

“What I really focus on is building a community,” Hauser said. “There have been a lot of friendships made; it’s a very social studio. I try to make it light and fun as well as accessible to all levels so everyone, no matter what age they are or if they are new, is welcome.”

What makes NOW different from other studios is the usage of heat as well as Hauser’s approach to teaching. Hot and humid conditions allow for excess sweating, which increases heart rate and intensifies the workout. It is vital that she maintains a class that is just the right amount of challenge for each level and age. To Hauser, catering to people’s individual needs is what creates a positive atmosphere. 

“Each class is pretty similar in terms of the poses I teach. I like to be consistent for the client because when they know where they are going, it’s easier for them to grow and see their progress. I think the key is consistency,” Hauser said. “When you sweat that much in hot yoga, all of your senses are heightened. Your taste and smell are so much more present and your body is more awake. The chakras are open, so it’s the sense of, ‘Wow, I feel fantastic when I leave class.’”

Warming up, yogis practice technique at a morning class and sweat it out.

For senior Annika Danne, who has been attending NOW classes since 7th grade, the rewarding feeling from the 6 a.m. before school class is what keeps her hooked. 

“I try to go before school when I can because it changes how I feel for the rest of the day. Especially after I take a shower, I feel awake and ready to start the day. When I was in 7th grade, not a lot of people I knew went, mainly just parents, [but]seeing the evolution of the younger generation heavily participating is super cool, and I love being surrounded by those who are also in high school,” Danne said. 

Similar to Danne, senior Olivia Mount has been a frequent attendee at NOW, as the classes are not just filled with fun music and teens, but also a safe and positive environment where she can challenge herself.

“Susan [Hauser] always pushes me to go out of my comfort zone. Every time I walk in, she’s so supportive. At NOW you are doing what you feel comfortable with and nobody pays attention to others. You can practice whatever your body is feeling,” Mount said. The days I don’t go early to yoga I notice a complete difference in my day.”

Over the past few years, Hauser has watched the enrollment of teens in her classes skyrocket. Classes are filled to the max not just with parents but local teens. She continues to teach not just because it is rewarding to watch improvement among the younger generation, but because she sees the impact her practice has had on so many people.

Holding a bridge position, sophomores Audrey Jaegerr and Evelyn Spiegel pose after receiving athlete of the week at NOW. Courtesy of Susan Hauser.

I see people who were once new to hot yoga stick with it and become totally different both physically and mentally,” Hauser said. “I’ve had a lot of clients tell me that these classes have helped them out of a rut, or even hard times in life like depression. NOW is a safe space for them to go and sweat it out. It’s like a yoga party.”

Hauser continues to focus on building a community within her studio as well as forging friendships with those she inspires, striving for an all inclusive environment.  

I’ve had people come in and just stretch the whole time or I’ve had people do 500 push ups and go crazy,” Hauser said. Either way, I want people to have fun and leave feeling elevated in the mind and body.”