For some people, health and luxury are wishes to make on the future. But at The Big C Athletic Club, they happen to be the main draws all the time. Once inside, you pass the multilevel grand lobby and 75,000 square feet of weights, cardio machines, fitness classes, and sports courts open before you. After conquering workouts or group fitness classes, a dip in the temperature-controlled pool or the healing mist of the sauna soothes worn muscles. The facility's own Big C Grille offers healthy bites post-workout to replenish the body's all-important protein levels and angel-hair pasta enzymes. Even when members aren't working out, the club strives most of all to keep them happy: extra amenities such as massage therapy and a hair salon offer conveniences that help you leave both looking and feeling good.
Recognized by the Green Yoga Association for its eco-friendly space, Sol Yoga helps students trim down and limber up while treading lightly on the environment. Inside the softly lit practice room, yogis stretch in the sun-like warmth that shines down from overhead radiant heat panels, loosening up tight muscles, and escorting toxins from the body through pores. HEPA filters fill the studio with fresh air while sustaining a relentless, merciless rampage against odors, airborne contaminants, and dust bunnies disguised as dust people. After cleansing their bodies and minds during vigorous Vinyasa power flows, students relax in the spa-like locker room complete with hardwood lockers, slate-tiled floors, and private showers.
Above all, the certified instructors at Type A Yoga strive to give people an unpretentious place to practice yoga. To that effect, their beginner-friendly vinyasa and hatha yoga classes include Lunchtime Yoga, ChillOut Challenge Yoga, and Very Detailed Yoga, which is a spin-off of their Yoga for Total Newbies class. More challenging classes are available, too, such as the Upama yoga course for aspiring teachers. Keeping with the simplicity theme, all the poses and meditations take place in two studios: one small, the other large, and the other invisible.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
With an ERYT certification from Yoga Alliance, more than 200 hours of training, and 2,500-plus hours of teaching experience under her belt, instructor Umang Goel strives to instill mind-body wellness in her students during classes in a variety of yoga modalities. During classes that can be filled with children and adults alike, Umang emphasizes the connections among the physical, spiritual, and spandex aspects of yoga practice, encouraging students to perform challenging poses as they clear their minds through meditation, which she studies in basic and advanced courses at the Art of Living Foundation. Umang incorporates life-coaching skills into classes such as laughter yoga, helping students of all skill levels reap a host of benefits, including stress reduction, increased body awareness, and sharper vision in the third eye.
Started by Billy Wee—a student of Bikram Choudhury, the original founder of Bikram yoga—Bikram Yoga East Bay is a hot yoga studio dedicated to helping its students discover the healthful benefits of Bikram yoga. In each 90-minute class, students stretch and twist into 26 postures, working every major organ system in the body while sweating in a room specially heated to help release toxins. Classes are intense and challenging, but suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike, and the studio is spacious and mirror-lined. Open 364 days per year, Bikram Yoga East Bay offers complimentary towel service to its members as well as a feeling of community in each class.