Not long after opening the doors to their newly remodeled yoga studio in 2009, owners Elaina and Dr. Ben Zorensky knew they needed a better solution to balancing the heat and humidity levels in their 2,800-sq-ft space in Tempe, AZ.
After having purchased four humidifiers at the advice of their contractor, they had nothing but problems with the units. They could never get the humidity even close to the optimal level of 40%, and the units were constantly breaking down, requiring ongoing maintenance.
Ben and Elaina consulted with fellow yoga studio owners in the valley, who all recommended they switch to a Nortec humidification system. “As soon as we installed the Nortec unit, we noticed a drastic change in quality and reliability,” says Elaina. “Now I turn the system on twenty to thirty minutes before a class starts, and I can trust it will humidify the room. Our students are a lot happier, too.”
WHY HUMIDITY IS KEY TO THE BIKRAM EXPERIENCEAccording to Elaina, who has been teaching Bikram Yoga for nine years, the idea behind this unique style of hot yoga is to mimic the temperatures in Calcutta, India - where it was first launched more than 40 years ago by renowned yoga master, Bikram Choudhury. The room is kept at 105°F and at a minimum of 40% humidity. This helps students to start sweating right away - sweating out the toxins in their body and stimulating their organs, glands, and nerves. The hot, humid temperatures are also key in helping to relax the muscles so students can stretch without worrying about injuries.
“A hot room with no humidity is very uncomfortable,” says Elaina. “Your eyes and your skin feel very dry and you don’t sweat in the same way. With the old humidifiers, we could never get the humidity higher than 25% and I had to refund several classes because people complained they weren’t sweating enough. The truth is that having the right balance of heat and humidity is very important to the success of our business.”
FLEXIBLE SOLUTION NEEDEDWhen Alan Snow of LDP Associates Inc., the local agent for Nortec, was asked to recommend a humidifier for Elaina and Ben’s studio, he knew exactly what they needed. “Many of the studios in the area started off using floor models to humidify their space,” says Alan. “I saw that the units had to be filled continuously and they required a lot of maintenance due to calcium build-up. They just couldn’t keep up with the high temperatures in the studios.”
Snow, who also services many of the humidifiers he sells, advised the Zorenskys to go with a Nortec system because of their top quality products and their superior customer service. “These units have longevity,” he says. “Some of our customers have Nortec humidifiers that have lasted 25 years.”
Snow replaced the studio’s four floor units with one large 45-pound Nortec resistive element humidifier - tucked away in the studio’s utility closet to save floor space. The steam produced from the humidifier is blown evenly into the space through a remote blower pack mounted in the studio. The humidifier is designed for precise humidity, which is ideal for changing environments. The Nortec system responds quickly to these changes while maintaining the relative humidity setpoint.
REPEAT CUSTOMERS, MORE GROWTHFor Elaina, just having a system she and the other yoga teachers can rely on has made all the difference. With thousands of students coming through the Tempe yoga studio each month, Elaina says that the investment in a better humidification solution has truly paid off.
“With Nortec we have a state-of-the-art humidifier that is far superior to anything you plug into the wall,” she says. “The feedback from our customers has been excellent. We have people who come from all over the world and who have tried many different Bikram studios. They continuously tell us that we are the cleanest and most comfortable studio they’ve been to. Our new student retention rate is also at the highest it has ever been, so we have plans to expand our studio from 1,400 to 2,300 sq ft this fall. It’s very exciting.” ES