TODD MILLER, 55
Director/teacher at Studio 26 Hot Yoga
After 10 years as a national gymnastics competitor, Miller has spent the last 30 years in the fitness and dance industry. He trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1976 where he received the Arnold Sphor scholarship to attend Les Ballet-Jazz of Montreal in 1977-1979. He taught youth and adult jazz programs at Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers and then became a certified fitness instructor. He has taught aerobics, dance, conditioning and aquafit classes in city programs as well as at the University of Manitoba as he completed a recreation studies degree.
From 1992 to 2001, Miller worked locally for the YM/YWCA and for the YMCA national program where he recruited and trained instructors, developed Instructor Training Workshops and evaluated facilities across Western Canada.
His teaching career was put on hold suddenly in 2000 when he suffered a serious neck injury in a trampoline accident while teaching gymnastics. After extensive rehabilitation, he needed three types of prescribed medication to manage the pain and an antidepressant. He credits his discovery of Bikram Yoga in 2005 with helping him became free of pain and medication.
"The heat, I didn't really like very much when I first went in (to the first class). I literally crawled to the door and tried to suck the air out from under the door," he said, laughing. "But an hour later, I felt better than I had in 10 years."
He became a Bikram Yoga instructor in 2008 after training in Acapulco under the famous Craig Villani. Miller opened Studio 26 Hot Yoga on Oct. 17, 2013 and added a program he created combining ballet, jazz and yoga called Ballet-Yoga. On Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., he will host Friday with Lululemon, a free drop-in beginner yoga class.
1. Favourite workout?
The original 26/2 Hot Yoga. In my many years as a dance teacher, gymnastics and swim coach, Fitness/Pilates instructor and personal trainer I have never found a workout that compares to the 26/2 Hot Yoga series. The 26 Yoga postures are performed twice and there are two breathing exercises, one at the beginning and another at the end. It is taught in a studio heated to 41 C with 40 per cent humidity and combines strength, flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning and meditation together with a continuous detoxification of the entire system. The results can be astounding.
2. Favourite workout song?
My favorite workout is done in the Hot Yoga studio and there is no music. The best sound is a great teacher's voice and synchronized breathing.
3. Fitness tip?
If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't do anything. I say it every day. You must overload your system to get results. There's no need to overdo it, but you must challenge yourself.
4.What's in your fridge?
I love soup, yogurt and skim milk.
5.What's your guilty pleasure?
I used to eat a lot of cookies. I now treat myself to Thinsations (Chunks Ahoy) which are 100 calories per pack. That's my new treat!