Bikram's Yoga College of India
Though students chatter amicably in the main lobby, the atmosphere is completely silent and serene within Bikram Yoga Elk Grove's bright, sunlit studio. There, yogis of all shapes sprawl out on colorful mats and towels, stretching and meditating in the sauna-like air, which is heated to 105 degrees to aid flexibility and draw out toxins. When class begins, students follow a certified instructor through 26 postures and two breathing exercises, occasionally sitting on their mats to rest and relax. After class, they head back to the lobby to rehydrate or head to the locker room to check their cell phones, pagers, or portable telegraph machines—all of which instructors request stay outside the studio. Students of all levels and athletic abilities experience the benefits of these sessions, including enhanced strength, reduced stress, and increased energy.