Betsy Jones-Cooper, Director of Betsy's Hot yoga Louisville, is a native Louisvillian who was drawn to yoga at an early age. When she was just 12 years old, Betsy arrived at her first yoga class at the neighborhood "Y" with nothing more than sheer curiosity and the company of her less than willing mother. Betsy can still see the beautiful teacher that put her in a "trance" (Shavasana) at the end of every class.
Betsy went on to pursue a career in tennis throughout high school and college. In the years following, while she worked in the telecommunications industry, she remained true to her enthusiasm for health and physical fitness. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Betsy, her mother remained a diligent yoga practitioner.
Betsy discovered this while on safari in Kenya, when she was awoken one morning by her mother's faint screams. She leaped from the small cot in her hut to find her mother frozen in headstand, staring at an uninvited creature that was under the bed.
Shortly afterwards, Betsy was lured to a yoga class in Fort Lauderdale by a work colleague who guaranteed her it would be a great "workout!" The colleague did not tell her it was "hot" yoga, for fear that she wouldn't go. Given the run-down conditions of the tiny studio, Betsy merely assumed that there was a problem with the air conditioning. Nonetheless, she was hooked immediately!
That first class at Bikram's Yoga College of India Fort Lauderdale, in 1985, was the one that changed her life forever.
Ten years later Betsy returned to her hometown to fulfill what had become her dream of opening her own Bikram Yoga College of India in Louisville. To test the Louisville market, she started at a local gym where she rented the aerobics room to teach a couple yoga classes a week. This is where her following began. There, it became apparent that indeed there would be a substantial interest in the concept of "hot yoga."
In keeping with her vision, Betsy moved her business to the apartment building where she also lived. She converted a small apartment into her first makeshift studio where she mirrored the walls, added space heaters, and conducted a minimal number of hot yoga classes on a weekly basis. Not only did her following grow, but so did the demand for a full schedule.
In two short years, the volume of students outgrew this temporary situation. With yoginis now commuting from all parts of the community, the need for Betsy to become professionally certified was urgent.
In 1997, Betsy went to Los Angeles and spent three months training directly under Bikram. She received a 500-hour certification and mastered the Bikram 26-pose yoga series. At the end of that same year her dream was realized when she opened Bikram's Yoga College of India Louisville, joining the ranks of the various Bikram studios that were being established by her training counterparts throughout the country.
This was a monumental step that put "hot yoga" on the map in Louisville, Kentucky.
Betsy's studio thrived over the next ten years. She added classes at a steady rate to accommodate the ever-increasing demand while mentoring new teachers at the same rate. By the end of this era, she had accumulated a database of over 6,000 students.
While running her studio in Louisville, Betsy's passion for yoga grew beyond the confounds of the Bikram practice. Her extensive travels to observe studios throughout the country ultimately resulted in an awakening of the spiritual realm of yoga. Through this heart-opening, Betsy began to embrace other styles and forms of yoga practices. As a result, she became a student once more, diving into trainings and workshops in styles that ranged from Vinyasa to Yin Yoga. (Currently, Betsy is training to be an "Anusara Inspired Yoga" teacher.)
Although her heart remains true to her roots in Bikram, she developed a more holistic mission and dreamt of creating a new home for her students that would embrace both the physical and spiritual, the yin and the yang, the expansion and the contraction, the fire and the water - the spanda of life and practices that would lead one closer to discovering the Self.
In support of this mission, Betsy's Hot Yoga Louisville opened in September of 2007, featuring a state- of the art- studio, a wide range of class offerings and a very talented and passionate family of highly trained teachers. Betsy's Hot Yoga Louisville continues to attract a large and diverse student body and fosters a solid yoga family who support one anotherthrough big life changes...A DREAM COME TRUE!