#yogastory: my time at TheHotTT


For most of the 9 years I have been practicing yoga, I was only interested in my own practice. That’s what we’re there for right? To focus only on ourself for 90 minutes. So when my studio owner kept prodding me over more recent years to think about training, I really wasn’t that interested, surely it would take time and focus away from my own practice? That’s not to say I didn’t think about what a teacher training would be like. I read lots of online blogs and stories about Bikram trainings, I read ‘Hellbent’ twice and talked to lots of my own teachers. While that style of training was the only option, I knew I wouldn’t be training to be a teacher anytime.

However, the universe sometimes has a way of getting you to do what it wants by trying another approach. TheHotTT had started to appear on the newsfeed of one of my teachers and she told me to check it out. Cue, triumphant choirs of angels. It sounded exactly how I would love to learn if I wanted to be a teacher. Did I want to be a teacher? Everyone kept saying I would be a great teacher, I’d been practicing so long, I loved the series, I understood it, I read and attended workshops and learned everything I could about it, but teaching it?


As the idea started to grow on me, the universe stepped in again with the wholehearted support and encouragement of my family, my friends, studio owner, my boss gave me the time off work without hesitation and the successful settlement of a work case meant a bonus appeared for the training fee. What’s a girl to do?

So it was settled, I was going to Santa Barbara (originally was to be in New York) in April 2015. I had 9 months to prepare, and trust me, obsessive preparation is what I do best!

The moment I got the dialogue I started memorising, my 50 minute morning commute was my study time and I practised and practised the dialogue for months; I read the books and wrote the assignments; I brought more yoga gear; and I practised my yoga. I read more and more about teacher trainings; I watched the Sept-Nov 2014 HotTT first training as it unfolded on Facebook. I tried to imagine myself in that place, I saw the teachers who I might be learning from, it looked like so much fun and warmth and friendliness and I started to get excited.


Six weeks out I started writing a journal as I knew that one day I would want to try and remember how I felt about this adventure in my life. The first entry is a page long list of “What ifs”!! : “what if my practice is shit? what if I can’t cope with their heat? what if I turn out to be just an ordinary teacher and I want to be a really good one! what if I hate it? AND I haven’t even started learning the floor series yet!!!!” OMG, the horror!

I was right, I did look back at that list about 5-6 weeks into the training and laughed myself silly. I loved every minute of my training at TheHotTT, and I know it was because I was prepared, not just with the things I needed to bring or know beforehand, but with what to expect as far as the daily schedule, the study and living in close quarters with other people. Because I always knew that this way was 100 times better than any other option around.

So if you’re reading this and thinking about training TheHotTT way, absolutely do it! You will never regret it, the training curriculum is superb, thorough, professional and exactly what is needed to turn out great teachers. The staff at TheHotTT are the nicest people anywhere in the world, they will move heaven and earth to help you be the best Self you can be, they know things about you before you realise you know! Appreciate them, they spend a lot of their time soothing frassled, nervous, grumpy would-be teachers!


The only thing left to say is, savour every minute, it will be gone in the blink of an eye and you will miss it all and everyone terribly.

Oh, and be prepared!!!

But one more last thing… after all that preparation, let it go! Have no expectations and trust the process. But you won’t get that until near the end no matter how hard you prepare, trust me. Resistance is futile.

(PS, none of my “what ifs” happened, especially not the one about just being an ordinary teacher)

Margaret-Anne Hill


Marg is from New Zealand and took her first Bikram yoga class in mid 2006, she was hooked immediately. Marg attended the second HotTT training in Santa Barbara in Spring 2015 where her and Elias bored everyone else with their constant stories of how beautiful New Zealand is and what great people ‘Kiwis’ are. Marg loves her yoga community and students at Bikram Yoga Christchurch and is thrilled to be on the podium sharing her love of the 26 and 2 series.