Many people can point to a pivotal moment in their life when their perspective and path were forever changed. For American Power Yoga (APY) founder Kurt Johnsen, that moment was the death of his mother. Though it was a terrible time, his bio states that it was "also the exact moment that I understood how to live." Johnsen had always been an innovative entrepreneur—he created his first company at the age of 12 and was recently named the CEO of a major DNA-analysis company—but after his epiphany, he began dedicating his life to helping people find health and happiness.
In 2001, Johnsen and his sister created the APY system. He drew from close to two decades of yoga and martial-arts training, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu and tai chi. He also holds a fifth-degree black belt in the Lightning Fire Mountain system of Tibetan martial arts, which, like hosting a bake sale for charity, requires compassion and self-discipline. Johnsen has hosted numerous episodes of the internationally televised Yoga for Life show and produced a number of successful videos. His Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Power Squad Bod! Body Slimming Yoga DVD, for example, was named the Best Yoga for All Levels video on Fitness magazine's list of the Best Workout DVDs of 2009.
At his newly expanded studio, Johnsen and his instructors use a variety of methods to strengthen body and mind. Their classes incorporate heated yoga, dance techniques, and many forms of marital arts to give participants of all skill level the ultimate workout. The team also offers soothing therapies including Thai massage, acupuncture, and sauna sessions.