Teacher Feature: Monique Crous

What year did you attend training? Why did you go?

I went to Bikram Yoga training in the fall of 2008. I had been practicing consistently for 7 years. I made the choice to become an instructor because the practice had changed me for the better and touched me very deeply. I wanted the opportunity for Bikram Yoga to become even more of a central focus in my life and to share it with others. I went to Hot Pilates training November 2015, because it is such an important compliment to Bikram Yoga. It makes your practice that much stronger.

We’re thrilled to to welcome you back, and are really excited about this week’s launch of your Hot Pilates classes. What are some things you’d like to share with our students about High Intensity Interval Training?

HIIT is the most effective way to burn fat and increase your endurance quickly. In Hot Pilates, we work at 110% for 20 seconds and rest for ten, doing either 4 or 8 sets of each exercise. The Pilates Principles we use create long, lean muscle mass, and especially in the hot room, you see results rapidly. It is challenging, but just like in a Bikram class, you do the absolute best you can with the correct form and every day you will become stronger.

The important thing is to keep moving, even if you have to drop your intensity level down. You have to overload the muscles to improve them. The great thing about this program is it is all zero impact, so it is the perfect high intensity workout for anyone who has been injured during Crossfit, or any other high impact workout, but still craves that high. It is up to each student to find their perfect balance of working as hard as they can, and maintaining the integrity of their form.

Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?

Hands down my most challenging postures, mentally and physically, are planks. Forearm plank, side plank, you name it. Any time your life is going by quickly, do a 60 second plank. Everything will slow right down for you. There are days when it literally feels like time is standing still while I’m in it. Exactly because of that, I do a minimum 2 minute forearm plank every day. I do it because I know the postures and exercises that are most uncomfortable and challenging are the ones we need the most. I do it because I know I can. I do it because the challenge reminds me to not take myself too seriously. I do it because every second longer I hold it, I get stronger.

Outside of yoga, what projects are you involved with? What do you do for fun?

I had my own yoga studio for three years, which closed this past August. I was very busy with my business during that time and did not have many outside projects. Now that I have more free time, I am enjoying all the doors that have opened for me. I love to long distance run, but have been mostly doing interval training as of late. Honestly, I go to yoga and hot pilates classes for fun. It sounds silly, but I am so blessed to be doing for a living what I love the most in the world. 

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I am currently reading “Pilates’ Return To Life Through Contrology” by Joseph Pilates. I’m listening to my Discovery Weekly playlist on Spotify so that I can get you guys some new music for your Hot Pilates classes!

Any final words?

I’m honored and excited to be teaching Hot Pilates at Bikram Yoga NYC. It is something I feel passionate about and believe in completely. You get very strong very quickly, you see changes rapidly, and it is so fun to take it. I have a blast teaching it. I hope to see everyone in class soon!