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Special Projects Coordinator Rebecca Johnson teaches yoga in Yankton.
Special Projects Coordinator Rebecca Johnson teaches yoga in Yankton.

Yoga's Hot in South Dakota

Dec 9, 2011

South Dakota may not be the yoga mecca of the U.S., but there are classes galore at fitness centers and studios throughout the state. Yankton alone has at least seven yoga teachers, and two of them work right here at South Dakota Magazine. I personally teach a basic, flowing style of yoga – linking poses with the breath then ending class with a guided relaxation. And it’s not just an exercise class – yoga is a 4,000-year-old tradition originating in India that helps to strengthen the body, improve flexibility, and calm the mind. An added benefit for us in the Western world is that it helps to manage stress.

One thing South Dakota has lacked is a hot yoga studio. Hot yoga classes typically take place in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 30% humidity. I tried a workshop once at the Dharma Room in Sioux Falls. I expected it to be a vigorous, powerful class, but was surprised by the slowness and gentleness of the practice. The class consisted of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. The heat allowed me to feel more flexible in poses that normally would have been out of my reach. But, since it was a one-time workshop, I hadn’t been able to have a go at it again.

Now I am in luck. Two hot yoga studios have popped up in South Dakota in the last few months and both have events this weekend. Deena Rushton opened Yogaversity in November. It’s located in the new Old Market Galleria in downtown Brookings. The studio is hosting their first workshop tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the cost is only $20.

Also new to South Dakota is Santosha Hot Yoga at 5003 S. Bur Oak Place in Sioux Falls. Their grand opening is tomorrow with the first class starting at 10:00 am. According to instructor Jennifer Long’s blog, Saturday’s class has a waiting list, but you may still be able to get in on Sunday’s class at 4:30 p.m. I recommend calling 275-YOGA to sign up. All December classes are only $5.

Yoga in a 105 degree setting is not for you? Then try a different type of class in your community. It’s a fantastic way to improve your overall health and you will be glad that you did.  


01:07 pm - Fri, December 9 2011
Bernie Hunhoff said:
I honestly think that having two yoga practitioners here at the magazine (plus a dog) helps us to keep the atmosphere calm and relaxed. Or maybe it's all the wine in the coffee room. Whatever, we're proud of Ruth and Rebecca, our yoga-ites.
02:00 pm - Fri, December 9 2011
Heidi said:
I tried Rebecca's prenatal yoga class and LOVED IT! I especially liked the guided relaxation. I was never so relaxed in all 9 months of pregnancy as in those few minutes. And the hot yoga classes sound particularly wonderful in this cold South Dakota weather! Thanks for the information Rebecca.
03:50 pm - Fri, December 9 2011
Lisa said:
I enjoy yoga at home, as it helps tremendously with my anxiety, however having had back surgery, with some complications has put my yoga on pause. I miss it! Any advice or positions you would recommend? I had a lumbar fusion, with spinal stenosis as well as dvt's. I am able to exercise as tolerated. Thank you!!!
06:01 am - Sun, December 11 2011
Rebecca said:
Hi Lisa. I would look for an experienced yoga practitioner in your area to help you get started again. One good place to locate one is on the list at Also, you can still experience many benefits of yoga through guided relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises. If you are interested in meditation I can recommend a great book - Moving Inward by Rolf Sovik. There is also a great recording, available on iTunes, called Embrace the Heart of Yoga by Susi Amendola. It introduces you to breathing, meditation, and has a 16 minute guided relaxation. There is also a section with gentle poses to practice. I hope this helps!
11:32 am - Wed, December 14 2011
Yoga-Versity in Brookings has been a true blessing in my life!! I appreciate Deena and her staff so much! The benefits are so numerous, I believe everyone should try it.
04:00 pm - Wed, December 14 2011
Such an exciting time in SoDak !! We have also been offering 5$ classes all of December! 605-695-3134 very competitive memberships!!
09:58 pm - Sun, December 18 2011
Ken Blanchard said:
I have been practicing Ashtanga Yoga at the YMCA in Aberdeen for many years. I am just now starting to figure out what all the poses really mean. It is a wonderful practice.
11:38 am - Mon, March 19 2012
Teresa Mentzer said:
Hello,I am interested in taking some yoga training this spring or summer. I am a teacher in Schuyler, NE, but I will be living in Yankton for the summer. In my search for yoga training I have found this area of the Midwest has limited offerings. Any idea if trainings will be available in your area?Thanks for your assistance.Teresa Mentzer
06:57 am - Tue, March 20 2012
Rebecca said:
Hi Teresa. I did my training in Omaha but I know there is a school in Sioux Falls. I will shoot you an email. Thanks!
06:13 pm - Mon, May 14 2012
Doreen Weeldreyer said:
Rebecca, I'm so glad I came across your article about yoga. My daughter is looking into doing yoga training for her graduation project (senior project). I was glad to hear there is a school in Sioux Falls. Would you please let me know the name of that school. It would be much more convenient to travel to Sioux Falls instead of Omaha. Thank you!
06:31 am - Tue, May 15 2012
Rebecca said:
Hi Doreen! I'll send you an email with some information.

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