When the Beatles returned from India, they brought with them tranquility, sitars, and the ability to stretch their hair past their shoulders. Test the limits of your flexibility with today’s Groupon: for $39, you get two months of unlimited classes at Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh (a $300 value).
Cleansing waves of heat roll through Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh's mirror-lined practice space, helping students of all skill levels to deepen stretches and purify their bodies. The studio's robust schedule boasts classes throughout the week, and the 90-minute sessions crank thermostats up to around 105 degrees to loosen up joints and stimulate the local popsicle economy. The traditional flow of Bikram's 26 postures targets specific muscle groups, ensuring a systematic workout for the entire body that floods cells with oxygenated blood while ejecting delinquent toxins out the nearest pore. Rental yoga mats ($1) and towels ($2) transform floors into a kaleidoscopic patchwork with sprouts of arching limbs, and on-site showers rinse away any evidence of exertion to leave students feeling fresh.
Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh
Though he has studied, practiced, and taught yoga in such far-flung locales as Mexico and Southeast Asia, Zeb Homison counts his childhood living room in western Pennsylvania as the site of his fondest yoga memory. That's where, as a tottering pre-kindergartener, he worked through poses alongside his mother. After studying dance and theater, Homison—now the owner of Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh— moved to San Francisco, where he rekindled his relationship with yoga while working at a Bikram yoga studio.
The heat, combined with the repetitions of the postures, focused his mind while conditioning his body, and he was hooked. Studying under Bikram Choudhury, the father of Bikram yoga, was another clarifying experience and one that taught Homison to open up and accept the inevitable. That could mean working through intensely fatigued muscles to push toward greater flexibility, or performing all 26 poses at a black-tie dinner party whenever guests clink their glasses and shout "Pose!"
"When studying yoga, you have to be patient with yourself," says Homison, echoing the philosophy that his staff repeats to encourage students to take their time learning the practice. Together, the team works with patrons, inspiring them through bouts of frustration. "Yoga can be a lifelong process," Homison says, "and you just have to be open to it."