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Dancer by trade, Dustin Isom’s pure talent and positive personality radiates off the walls of Barre3 in Henderson, NV. As a barre instructor and advocate for the LGBTQ community, Dustin leads all of his classes with inclusivity and acceptance—blending confidence and conviction during every workout.
We asked Dustin to tell us about how his life experiences have shaped how he teaches (and relates to) each student who steps into the studio.
I grew up as an extremely active child. I played sports all through middle school, but as I transitioned to high school, I developed a love for dance. One of my teachers was an instructor at a local studio and invited some of her students to take a class. That was about five years ago. A few years after that, a friend brought me to Barre3 Henderson, and I instantly fell in love.
With barre, I am not afraid to test my masculinity. I continue to step into a barre class—even being the only male in the room—simply because of how the LGBTQ community has shaped me. I will throw myself into a class of mostly women, and confidently walk out proudly sporting my Barre3 gear.
Barre3 Henderson has become my studio of choice because of their core values. With a focus on balance, Barre3 teaches people how to find harmony in their minds and bodies, which is extremely beneficial to a dancer and athlete like me.
Being the first and only male instructor at my studio, my goal is to get more men into a barre class. I want them to enter feeling just as comfortable and confident as all my female clients, and leave feeling accomplished. I challenge more men to break barriers, try something new, and dive deeper into what connects their mind and body.
When I am not teaching, I stay as active as possible. I train at a local gym or even take other Barre3 classes from fellow instructors. When I’m not relaxing by the pool, I keep my afternoons light before heading to the Las Vegas Strip for an evening of performances.
When I have new clients in my class, I like to end with a quote from Denis Waitley, “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” This quote really resonates because the only thing standing in your way is you. What holds us back and makes us feel discouraged or intimidated is all up to us. Allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable and open is the only way we can allow for change in our mind, body, and soul.
My number one tip is to be open and accepting. Find acceptance in yourself, acceptance in others and acceptance in change. Nothing in life is ever accomplished through denial and self-hatred.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.