FACES of Nashville: Susannah Herring

Although she’s lived all over the world, Susannah Herring, owner of Hot Yoga Nashville, is happy to call Music City home. Following college at the University of Virginia, this Memphis native moved to Sydney, Australia, where she earned her Masters in Finance at Macquarie University. She lived in Hong Kong before moving back to Memphis for a job in finance, and for the past 8 years, she has worked in private equity for Morgan Keegan investing in small businesses. Buying Hot Yoga Nashville in December 2010 was the perfect opportunity for Susannah to use her background and turn one of her passions into a job. (And we’re so glad you did!)

When and why did you move to Nashville?

I moved to Nashville in February of 2010. My parents and two of my sisters were already here, and I was spending so much time here for work that it just made sense. I thought it would be a stepping stone to New York City or San Francisco, but I woke up one day and thought,  “This city is just about perfect. Why would I ever move?”

What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given?

I worked for a great guy at Morgan Keegan named Kim Jenkins. He told me once that there are very few times in your entire life when you need to draw a line in the sand. You can almost ALWAYS accomplish more by listening, communicating and being patient.

What are the benefits of Hot Yoga and how many calories an hour does it burn?

Hot Yoga offers an amazing balance of cardiovascular exercise, strength and resistance training and increased flexibility. The number of calories burned per hour depends on many different factors (weight, body fat, etc.), but you can probably count on between 600 – 800 calories per class. Hot Yoga is incredibly healing because so many of the postures create tourniquets and compressions, and when you release these postures, fresh oxygenated blood (which is how our bodies repair) rushes back through the body flushing out free-radicals and toxins. And I haven’t even begun to address the mental benefits!  Almost all of our students come for physical reasons but stay for the mental benefits they begin to see in their lives.

With Hot Yoga, do you suggest adding cardio or weight training, or does Hot Yoga fulfill all areas of exercise?

Although I do think Hot Yoga provides everything you need (stretching, resistance, cardio), I’m a big believer in mixing things up just to keep it interesting and to keep you coming back. I practice anywhere from 3 – 6 times a week, but I also run and lift as well. My yoga teacher in Colorado said that the point of practicing yoga is not to hit the splits one day, it is to keep you healthy enough to do all of the other things you love into old age.

Do you have any irrational fears?

I am absolutely terrified of roaches.

Favorite thing to cook?

It takes forever to make a good roux, but you can’t beat crawfish ettouffe with a super-dark roux.

What books can be found on your bedside table?

My Bible, my Kindle (currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen) and Inside the Yoga Sutras by Reverend Jaganath Carrera.

What is your favorite hangout in Nashville? (place to eat, bar, park. You can answer for all of these, or just one!)

I love having lunch at The Food Company and drinks at The Patterson House.

Event most looking forward to attending this summer?

At the risk of sounding sales-y, we are having a 3-weekend power vinyasa training with Johnna Smith from Charlotte, NC, in July and August. She came to the studio a few weeks ago and taught one of the best yoga classes I have ever taken. I cannot wait to attend her training.

What is your “must-have” purchase for summer 2011?

I’m on the hunt for the perfect summer handbag in a cream color.

Favorite vacation spot?

Telluride, Colorado, or the southern island of New Zealand.

Do you have a playlist for a dinner party or a great workout that you can share with our readers?

My sister, Amanda McGown, makes amazing playlists. This playlist would be great for a dinner party (to see on itunes, click here):

  • All You Need is Love – Brandi Carlisle
  • Tighten Up – the Black Keys
  • See you in the Spring (duet with Jakob Dylan) – Courtyard Hounds
  • All the Best – My Morning Jacket
  • Angel from Montgomery – Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Little Fire (feat. Emmylou Harris) – Patty Griffin
  • Misdirection – Sanders Bohlke
  • Poison & Wine – The Civil Wars
  • Live Forever – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
  • Do you Feel Me – Anthony Hamilton
  • Tell me What We’re Gonna Do Now – Joss Stone

Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God).

Dark chocolate – I eat a bite after every meal. Endorphins. And, salt. (I know I shouldn’t, but I put it on almost everything I eat.)

While our intention was not to feature Susannah during the same week as the upcoming Hot Yoga StyleBlueprint Deal, schedules moved, the stars aligned and that is exactly what has happened. So, if you are intrigued by Hot Yoga, be sure to check out our StyleBlueprint Deal this Wednesday and Thursday.