Summit County: Hot yoga in cold weather |

Summit County: Hot yoga in cold weather

Summit Daily/Kathryn Corazzelli

The weather outside may read six degrees, but the inside of Deby Curcio’s studio feels like you’ve just stepped off a plane in Maui. Warmth and humidity fill the air, and the scents of eucalyptus and lavender waft past your nose.

Curcio owns Hot Yoga in Breckenridge, which opened in late November. She and four other certified instructors teach the Barkan method, a style of Hatha Yoga that originated from a lineage in Calcutta, India. The Hot Yoga website states the practice “brings vital balance and restores all systems to optimal health.”

The studio is heated to 96-100 degrees. Curcio said a controlled humidity and the right amount of heat warm the muscles, prevent injuries and allow for a deeper release within the body. She said sweating helps flush toxins and poisons from the body. Curcio’s is the only hot yoga studio in Summit County.

“I saw there was a desire for hot yoga here, because no one up here had done it before,” she said. “It seemed natural to me, being in a cold environment.”

Deby and her husband, Jim, moved to Summit County a few years ago from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They owned Kula’s Cafe in Dillon, which they recently sold. While they ran the cafe, Curcio taught yoga out of a small studio in her house. The studio fit six or seven people at a time, and she had 20 to 30 consistent clients. Curcio ended up with a waiting list for lessons at her home.

“I knew there was a need for a larger space,” she said.

Curcio began practicing yoga in 1997, after her immune system crashed as a result of severe allergies and chemical sensitivities. She studied under Jimmy Barkan, who trained and taught under the famous Bikram Choudhury for years. Choudhury is the innovator of hot yoga, which is meant to simulate the heat Choudhury experienced practicing as a boy in Calcutta. Curcio said she loves all forms of yoga, but the detoxification process she experienced with hot yoga resonated with her.

“I feel hot yoga is what helped me overcome some of the illness,” she said. “I got trained because I just had to share it with everybody.”

Because of Curcio’s chemical sensitivities, everything in the studio is non-toxic, including the paint used for the walls, and a homemade mix of tea tree oil, eucalyptus and lavender is used to clean the studio.

“I’m a huge proponent of not involving any more chemicals in our bodies or our lives then we need to,” she said.

The studio itself is also eco-friendly. Cork flooring, recycled materials and a “very green and efficient heating system” were all used.

Curcio’s website states hot yoga’s benefits are physical, mental and spiritual. She said students tell her they’ve lost weight, and their skin seems healthier and softer. She said students also enjoy the sweat involved.

“With our lack of humidity up here, people don’t get to sweat as much as they do in other parts of the country,” she said. “Sweating is really a very good thing for the human body.”

Curcio said she’s had so much positive feedback “it’s sort of silly.”

“People are just thrilled that it’s hot because of the cold up here,” she said. “It’s warm, it’s cozy.”

For more information, visit, or call (970) 547-9977.

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