While working inside her Bridgeville salon for the past five years, Lesa Morgan had a clear view of the run down pizza shop across Route 50.
The owner of had a few ideas for what she’d like to see the storefront at Washington Avenue and Hickman Street become if the pizza shop ever closed.
So when workers started carting the pizza ovens out in early May, she and her business partner, Christine Murray, pounced on the chance to start a new business at the prime location in Bridgeville. The transition from a pizza shop to a “hot yoga” fitness center in less than a month has been a stunning turnaround.
The Hott Spot Extreme Wellness center now offers “hot yoga” classes, massage therapy, laser treatment and other amenities. The 75-minute hot yoga sessions–the temperature in the front room is cranked up to 100 degrees using the furnace and floor heaters–are already attracting quite a crowd not long after the center opened on May 29.
“It’s like being in a sauna doing yoga, which is awesome,” Morgan said. “It’s unlike any workout I’ve done before because of the intense heat. When you leave here, you are drenched from head to toe.”
Morgan said she felt rejuvenated after going to a few sessions to a location in Downtown Pittsburgh, but she wanted to offer something similar to people living in the South Hills. Many of her salon clients have expressed interest in her new business venture.
“I don’t know how many people have said, ‘You’ve fixed my hair, can you fix my body?’ We’ve got a pretty big response from this already,” Morgan said. “They don’t have to drive into town, and they love it.”
Surprisingly, she said the workout is for anyone–even a few men have joined–and they’ve attracted people from their teens to their 60s. The routine includes normal yoga positions with push-ups in between to really work up a sweat.
“It’s hard to explain what it’s like to sweat like that,” Morgan said. “It’s intense, but it’s still floor yoga.”
There is also a massage room on the other side of the building and Morgan said they plan to lease a space for a plastic surgeon to offer consultations.
Murray, who is an interior designer, said it's been a fun learning experience running a new business. She said the two co-owners work well together and feed off each other's strengths.
"It’s been an incredible venture and I’ve learned so much from her just to run a business," Murray said. "We have a lot of the same beliefs and passions. We’re on the seame page with everything. Although it’s a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun."
The Hott Spot also is running introductory specials that include half-off first month memberships or two-week trials. For more information about rates and class times, go to www.thehottspotextremewellness.com or call 412-221-9500.