While studying under renowned Ashtanga masters, Mark Nelson, owner of The Yoga Garden, learned that each person receives unique benefits from their yoga practice—be it the calmness felt postclass or the increased physical strength gained from core-centric poses. His roster of instructors, a diversely trained group, teaches with this knowledge in mind. The guiding yogis include a prenatal yoga master, a former philosophy student and martial artist, and a published author who pens poetry when she is not positioned in downward facing dog. The faculty also offers lessons in Pilates and meditation, allowing clients to choose from multiple, mat-paved routes to inner peace.
At Dana Hot Yoga, the path to relaxation is sprinkled with sweat. Within a heated studio, Vinyasa classes—which accommodate both advanced yogis and beginners—mix rigorous sequences with meditative breaks. By varying the pace and intensity, instructors ensure each workout targets almost every muscle while bringing the mind to stillness. And the warmth is an integral part of the experience as well, as it helps loosen up tendons so they flex further and release stored toxins.
Even though the environment is hot, the prevailing attitude is anything but. Teachers stress that students needn't be flexible or have ball bearings installed in their joints before taking their courses. For them, consistent practice and a positive outlook are more important than perfection.