Our Origin Story
Hello! I’m Brittani Whittington, owner + director of Rising Om Yoga (formerly Hot Yoga Tallahassee). We have been passionately serving our community through yoga + wellness classes since 2010. These studios, and the lives that have been transformed here over the years, are the deepest expression of my heart + soul.
The path from our opening day to where we are now, has been layered with joy, love, connection, pain, tears, trauma, loss, growth + healing. It’s been a wild ride to say the least and it’s hard to believe it all began with just one yoga class a decade ago.
I was a 24 year old professional dancer. My body was broken from a lifetime of dance training and my spirit destroyed after years of rejection.
I didn't even realize I was miserable though. I had always had a short temper, inability to process emotions, constant anxiety/insomnia + an overall struggle to simply be Happy. I didn't know life any other way. I found myself constantly searching for the next thing to "finally make me content".
Then…Yoga shattered my world in the best way possible. My soul cracked open after that first Bikram hot yoga class.
Well, it was actually AWFUL. Truly, why was it so DANG hot in there and why were they making me hold these poses this long?! And yet, on the drive home I found myself sobbing my eyes out—barely able to see the road. I could not understand what was happening to me but I felt a veil lifted off my eyes + heart for the first time in my life.
I felt Light. Open. HAPPY. Most obvious was my excruciating back pain that had existed since a dance injury 2 years before. It was gone. I felt relief. That day literally changed my life.
I was hooked. I willingly signed myself up to scrub the showers + toilets at the yoga studio in return for free yoga—I was a broke artist and needed a way to get myself in those yoga classes . I fell in love with the practice and everything about being a part of that yoga studio. It changed the entire wiring in my brain.
I started looking forward to waking up in the morning. I started feeling happy. My entire lifestyle evolved, not just the physical movement part. I absorbed every book there was on mindfulness, energy + personal development.
I learned the value behind choosing joy and the power of taking ownership of my health + happiness.
It was a massive tidal wave of transformation and I was having the wildest of rides.
I didn’t know it back then, but I was subtly paying attention to how that studio in Vegas operated. To the people who walked in the doors. To what I loved about the check in process, booking clients + daily operations. Energy was being put into motion that I wasn’t even aware of.
I was dreaming up the yoga studio that I would open one day.
In a matter of months I sold all my belongings, shipped my sweet dog, Lily, back to my parents and hopped on a cruise ship around the world to dance in their shows for 9 months so I could save money for my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training.
I completed my training at the Barkan Method Hot Yoga in Ft. Lauderdale.
I moved back to Tallahassee, FL where I had received my BA in Multinational Business at FSU just a few years prior. My sister
and brother in law lived here and I knew I wanted to be close to them as I started settling down.
I opened Hot Yoga Tallahassee in 2010 with no plan + zero equity. It was a complete experiment but one that I trusted with my whole heart. Building any business from the ground up is no small feat. It was just me in the beginning. It was grueling, back breaking, tearful work. Over time I was able to build my team of incredible souls who helped me develop this sacred space.
Life is SO much more peaceful when you have an amazing team surrounding you!
With the support of family, friends, community and what I call Divine Energy....we are now an abundant, beautiful + thriving community of yoga practitioners.
While these studios are my greatest pride + joy— it’s this ancient practice of Yoga that creates the magic.
For me, yoga literally saved + transformed my life. Multiple times. It has gotten me through injuries, postpartum depression/anxiety, motherhood, grief, multiple traumas and all the way back around to navigating simple every day life.
The ability to roll out my yoga mat and have a space to move my body away from discomfort, to come emotionally undone if needed, or to simply remember to breathe…it’s what has rescued me from some of my darkest moments.
My love affair with yoga runs deep and necessary. And it is my life’s purpose to share yoga with others no matter where they are
on their journey.
Over the years I have come to embrace all different styles of yoga. While we started out as strictly a ‘Hot Yoga” studio, I slowly began introducing new yoga classes such as Yin Yoga, Mind Body Yoga, Yoga Sculpt, Aerial Yoga and so much more. If you see it on our schedule, it’s because I believe in it that much and want you to experience it too. I wanted there to be something for every one here and I sincerely hope we are able to be a part of your journey to health + happiness.
I am so proud + excited for our new season as a community as we move forward as Rising Om Yoga.
Thank you to everyone who has shown love, support + an unwavering belief in what we do here. It is an honor to share this life experience with you. I look forward to many more decades serving our community.
I hope you will be a part of our mission to keep Rising Above.