Mary Von Ahnen never thought she would find herself chanting “Om.”
As a CIO, Y-O-G-A wasn’t in her vocabulary. For years, Mary and her husband Mike’s life focus had been climbing the corporate ladder – and that didn’t include fun activities like yoga. If you had told them in the early 2000s that they would open Horizon Hot Yoga in 2018, they would have rolled their eyes.
For Mary, like many people, the idea of yoga was a bit daunting! She pictured the yoga body stereotype. Teeny-tiny, dancer-esque ladies in spandex, bent or twisted in impossible postures…
Add to that, she had the image of yogis sitting around a circle singing Kumbaya or meditating. “Omm….no, thanks!”
Yoga was quite simply NOT on their horizon.
But a personal discovery about the personal and physical benefits of yoga changed everything.
Discovering Their Own Horizon
In 2007, Mary was working out at a local gym and her personal trainer suggested she try a class at a Bikram studio. Despite her preconceived ideas about yoga, after one sweat session, Mary had a new exercise passion! “Bye-bye, personal trainer, hello yoga!”
Mary, like many women, has struggled her entire life with a negative body image. The gym environment only amplified negative feelings about her body type.
Maybe you can relate? Most of us have experienced that moment at the gym when we felt intimidated by someone slimmer, more toned, or with faster speed on the Stairmaster. For men, maybe it was the John Cena look-alike crushing weights. It kind of makes you want to slink into a corner and hide! Or simply…avoid working out there altogether.
When she discovered yoga, she found that it offered her a uniquely personal fitness journey and was a positive, encouraging experience.
The classes fostered a judgment-free environment where she felt a sense of belonging. Gone were the days of stress over her shape, size, and appearance. Instead, yoga empowered her self-esteem!
Five years later, Mary gained a yoga buddy! Observing how yoga had improved Mary’s health and well-being, her husband Mike opted to join her on the yogi journey. Now they down dog, together!
The Birth of Horizon Hot Yoga
With retirement on the horizon, Mary and Mike began to explore business options. They kept a book where each of them would jot down ideas that came to mind, but nothing ever felt quite right.
Then, the stars aligned! Through a twist of fate, they found an opportunity to buy an existing yoga studio. The opportunity fell through, but now they were set on the idea of owning a yoga studio.
To curate their craft, they tried various local yoga studios. Their general observations were that some studios were unwelcoming to newbies and others were clique-ish. Those experiences left a distaste in their mouth.
Mary felt passionate about creating an inviting yoga atmosphere where clients could build on their practice and let their inner yogi light shine! Fast forward to 2018, they opened Horizon Hot Yoga in Frisco.
Mary and Mike’s vision for the studio is to maintain an inclusive vibe that’s welcoming to all ethnicities, shapes, ages, and fitness levels. The friendly staff exudes a warm and friendly greeting each time you walk through the door and there’s a strong sense of community.
And perhaps most important of all? The environment promotes positive self-esteem amongst clients to help combat a negative body image. Mary and Mike articulate their vision this way:
Horizon Hot Yoga is a community of people on a journey through life with yoga, massage, and nutrition, exploring the depths of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. We welcome you to a place of friendship and self-realization. Come discover your own horizon and let us support your journey.
Pick a lane!
Mary and Mike had observed that in the yoga world, studios usually had to “pick a lane.” One studio held Bikram classes, while the other studios offered Vinyasa or Ashtanga. But, who wants to be stuck on a one-lane path with no u-turn insight?
Knowing diversity is the spice of life, Mary and Mike designed Horizon to offer a wide variety of class styles. Horizon currently offers over 40 classes a week with a range of times and styles to choose from.
Traditional yogis can opt for Classic Vinyasa, Power Flow, Ashtanga, or Hot 26 (Bikram Style).
Others may consider trying one of their more unique classes, such as:
- Sacred Geometry: Right-brain thinkers may opt for this unique class that’s tailored to the way you move your body. Movements provide the sensation of a flowing meditation class.
- Yin: This class will help you leave your worries at the door. Holding poses for several breaths at a time, your muscles will say “Ahhhhh” as the tightness melts away.
- Yoga Nidra: This class allows you to enjoy the deepest possible state of relaxation. (Sign me up!)
- Sculpt Session: Dumbbell lovers may consider booking a Sculpt session, which adds the usage of weights while performing yoga postures.
- Kid’s Yoga: Mary and Mike didn’t forget that kiddos need to stretch, too, so they offer kid’s yoga class for children ages 5-11.
Each of the class styles is outlined online. There’s truly something for everyone.
What’s next on the Horizon?
Next month, September 27 – 29, 2019, International yoga guru, Henry Winslow, will conduct specialized workshops at Horizon Hot Yoga. Sessions will include a Hatha Vinyasa session, Gratitude Practice, and more. Sessions are available for members and the general public. Book your spot now before the sessions fill up!
Calling all yoga instructors! February 4 – March 3, 2020, Horizon will host their first 200-hour teacher training taught by world-renowned yogi, Carson Clay Calhoun. Yoga student workshops are a great way to refresh your teaching style, expand your yoga knowledge, and improve your practice.
Also on the calendar, you’ll find that Mary and Mike are passionate about giving back to the local community. In particular, to Frisco ISD.
They partnered with Reedy High School to provide yoga to the basketball team and they’re holding yoga sessions for Frisco elementary and middle school teachers. Over the next year, they plan to bring yoga to more FISD schools.
At the end of the day, Mary and Mike’s single-minded passion and life dream for Horizon Hot Yoga is to support their yoga student community.
Seasoned or newbie, you’re invited to be a part of Horizon Hot Yoga‘s community that embraces all with open arms. You might find your inner yogi and discover your own horizon!
Sunday – Saturday: 5:30 am – 8:30 pm
View the Class Schedule.
PHONE | WEBSITE
469-664-0110 | www.horizonhotyoga.com
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7151 Preston Road, 221B
Frisco, TX 75034