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Pro Profile: Richard Failla, Fairfield Hot Yoga

Most adults usually want to avoid policemen for one reason or another.  So why does one Westport cop literally have 35 people who seek him out on a Tuesday night at 7:30 to spend 75 minutes with him in a 95 degree room?  Answer:  Because he is the owner and instructor extraordinaire at Fairfield Hot Yoga.

Richard and his German Shepard, Yogi

Richard and his German Shepard, Yogi

A veteran police officer (29 years!), Richard Failla was introduced to Bikram Yoga 15 years ago at the suggestion of his dog walker.  One class changed him forever … it was love at first sweat.  After practicing for four years he became Bikram certified in 2006 and then opened FHY in the Sportsplex in 2010.

Richard teaches both ‘Hot Yoga’ (Bikram) and ‘Power Vinyasa’ (Hot Vinyasa).  He tells me that very few yogis like to practice both.  The ‘type A’ personalities tend to favor the structured repetition of Hot Yoga where as those who want more cardio and enjoy music and an element of the unexpected tend to favor Power Vinyasa.  Personally I favored the latter but both were challenging and fulfilling.

Richard has a massive following; he consistently draws between 25-35 students into one of his classes (they once had 72 students in the studio!).  He teaches 4 classes a week however should he occasionally be called in you can expect Abbey to substitute (Fit CT profiled Abbey back in June, see post here).

richard fhy 1

What I like most about FHY is that you will see students of all ages, shapes, sizes and all abilities.  A beginner is as comfortable in his or her skin as the elite yogi to your right.  All instructors at FHY have mastered the art of teaching to all ability levels simultaneously.  FHY is a place where you go to feel good about yoga and about yourself and if you are not an advanced yogi you do not feel bad about your practice.  Unlike some other studios, there is no ‘dharma talk’, rather Richard enters the room and you begin to work and move immediately.  Be sure to bring your own towels, mat and water (available for rent and purchase if you forget).

The studio currently has six instructors on the schedule.  Interested in becoming a certified Hot Yoga instructor?  Their first teacher training program starts this January.

Richard in a perfect low plank

Richard demonstrates a perfect low plank

I was curious to learn more about Richard and was fortunate to spend some time with him after one of his classes (and before the nocturnal police officer went into work at 11pm).

Your greatest indulgence?  Motorcycling and nice vacations

What is your healthy eating philosophy?  Everything in moderation.  I juice a lot but am not super strict and try to generally be healthy.  I appreciate that as you get older it is more important to eat the right things to stay in shape. (I promise you this cop isn’t eating any donuts!)

What 3 things are always in your refrigerator?  Beer, salad fixings and milk

Favorite vacation spot?  Caribbean every winter

If given 4 hours to do whatever you want, what would you do?  Ride one of my motorcycles.

Who or what inspires you?  My Dad.

What do you do to stay Fit in CT?  Hot Yoga & Power Vinyasa, of course!

Thank you, Richard.  I hope to see you in the studio (and not in the police station 😉 ) again soon.

For more information and to get on board during this hot yoga season visit

85 Mill Plain Road, Fairfield in the Sportsplex

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