Steven Epstein had been practicing hot yoga , usually at Fire Shaper in Westwood and North Haledon , for 13 years prior to COVID — and he was not about to let the shutdown stop him . “ I tried to practice virtually , but I needed the heat ,” he says . “ Heat loosens muscles , tendons and ligaments so you can stretch more deeply and safely . Practicing in a hot room gives you a cardio workout as you improve your core strength and flexibility .”
So Epstein , an inventor and something of a Renaissance man , decided to build his own studio in the backyard of the home on ahill he ’ s shared for three decades with his wife Robin ( seen at left striking a Warrior II pose with her husband ). Robin uses the space every week with a group of friends and an instructor ; Steven practices with a “ harder core group ,” often following along with instructors on YouTube . Their three adult children , who all live in Manhattan , are frequent visitors , and enjoy building a sweat in the exercise room next to the yoga space .