Kristina Anderson has a Napier room that heats up to 38C to thank for what's turned into a mini-empire.

Anderson opened her popular Napier yoga studio in 2010. It's now thriving because of her Bikram yoga classes, more commonly known as "hot yoga", which takes place in a studio heated at 38 degrees.

Anderson trained in Canada before graduating in 2007 and moved back to Hawke's Bay to follow her passion.

"We were defined as a 'hot yoga' studio and we only taught the Bikram method, so it's a specialised studio with specialised flooring, along with mirrors and lighting," she said.


Anderson says the classes do wonders for those who want to lose weight.

"You sweat profusely because of the warm environment, but the yoga movements are very slow.

"Half of the class is done standing and then the other half is done on the floor. It's almost like elevation training where the heart rate will go up and down throughout the entire class.

"You start sweating after about the eight-minute mark. Once you do start to sweat you come into a very comfortable position because the sweat is cooling the body. But at the beginning it can feel a little bit overwhelming for people because they're not used to that environment."

Anderson says the classes usually lasted up to 90 minutes, but they had also developed a shorter class of 60 minutes - a faster version for those with busy days.

The studio also holds the BBL competition - or The Bikram's Biggest Loser.

The rules are simple: The person who loses the most body fat, centimetre loss and kilograms along with a supportive and encouraging attitude wins.

"I got the idea off a girl who runs a studio on the East Coast in the USA who started doing the competition. I started to read about it and contacted her and she gave me all the details.


"We've been running it since 2014 and it's just fantastic for motivation and communication and someone wins a year of yoga. Even if people don't win they always return, just to get into those good habits and join the yoga community."

The next BBL starts on April 21 and will finish on July 20 this year.