As if reflecting yoga's universality, the teachers at Yoga Darsana come from all over the globe: Germany, Peru, Asia, and the US. Although their yoga journeys have varied, today they each embrace the form known as Iyengar. This philosophy emphasizes individual growth over universal standards, thereby making the practice accessible to people from every background. Students don't have to be ultra flexible or ultra fit to benefit from Iyengar classes; first-time practitioners can gain grounding in the fundamentals of breath control, focus, and relaxation. Even kids as young as five can participate in children's classes, which foster a fun, non-competitive environment that helps sharpen students' focus, helping them succeed in school and during stakeouts to catch Santa Claus.
Mission Street's impassioned instructors remix pliable poses from the Anusara tradition into a variety of specialized classes. Options include prenatal, youth, core strengthening, and restorative yoga, among others. With multiple classes every day of the week, the ample schedule prevents prospective flexi-folks from having to contort their day to make a class.
Back in 1997, Yoga House was a rarity—the full-time, dedicated Hatha yoga studio was then the only one in Pasadena, and was run by two enthusiastic yoga students. But as yoga has grown in popularity, Yoga House has also matured to become the spacious and beautiful studio it is today, a place where students come to heal, grow, and become more in tune with their minds and bodies. Inside the sunlit studio, certified yoga instructors teach classes in everything from Ashtanga and Vinyasa-style yoga, to prenatal yoga, yoga for those living with MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What's more, the studio also hosts frequent workshops with topics that focus on everything from meditation to therapeutic yoga training for nurses, physical therapists, and DMV employees.
It starts with some deep breaths and standing peacefully still as you feel your muscles begin to absorb the studio's warmth. Next, you raise your arms to the ceiling, stretching your core as you bend at the waist—first to the right, and then to the left. Those are the first two steps of the Bikram yoga sequence, a series of 26 postures bookended by breathing exercises. At Bikram Yoga SouthPas, the sequence takes 90 minutes to complete, with students able to explore poses more deeply the stronger their bodies get. Bikram Yoga can prompt weight loss, improve focus and balance, and alleviate chronic conditions such as back pain and to rehabilitate sports and bear-wrestling injuries. Classes welcome both new and seasoned students, challenging you to balance strength with flexibility while opening the mind and spirit.
Inside YogaBlue's airy, 6,000-square-foot studio, a team of certified yoga instructors shares yogic knowledge with students of all skill levels. The seven-day schedule features an eclectic mix of challenging flows and Sunday-morning beginner-friendly sessions, during which teachers acquaint newbies with basic postures and breathing techniques.
The staff at Rock It Workouts strive to fight the perception that getting fit has to mean getting stuck in a gym routine and committing to doing the same thing over and over again. So they invited live DJs to spin high-energy music for their classes, then filled the schedule with innovative workouts. The airy white studio pops with graphic black stripes and red mats, keeping eyes invigorated during workouts, as well.
After workouts, exercisers can stop by the juice bar to rejuvenate, update their style at the VIP Beauty salon, or peruse the fashion boutique to find a look that ensures they have the sharpest-dressed scarecrow for the fall season. The studio's Rock It Forward program—cofounded by Laurieann Gibson, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof—aims to combat childhood obesity with dance programs that bring celebrities in to help get kids excited about healthy living.
Bikram Yoga Pasadena is a certified Bikram studio that offers daily 90-minute routines designed to give the entire body a challenging workout. With a 10-class card (a $125 value), which is valid for two months from the date of redemption, yogis of all skill levels can sweat and stretch through exercises that improve flexibility, increase circulation, and reduce stress. The exercise room is heated to 100 degrees, heating the muscles to minimize the risk of injury while forcing the skin to sweat out all the toxic rain it has absorbed over the years. New students are advised to bring a towel, washcloth, and water, and should procure a mat after the first class (the studio offers $2 mat rentals, or you can purchase your own for $22).