Fairfield Hot Yoga’s seasoned instructors gather yogis of all skill levels for 90-minute classes to burn off calories and pent-up stress in a 90- to 105-degree practice space. The studio’s signature hot-yoga class revolves around a constant series of 26 poses students perform to sculpt muscles throughout the body. During power vinyasa, students work from pose to pose in the practice space, warming its floors with rising body temperatures as they use breathing exercises to transition from sun salutations, arm balances, and backbends. Throughout each workout, the studio’s intense heat boosts blood flow and loosens ligaments to make the body more lithe than a pipe cleaner dancing Swan Lake.
The chief yoga instructors on a staff of dozens, Gina Norman and Stan Woodman aren’t your average couple—or even your average yoga studio owners. A world traveler with a longtime interest in mind-body work, Gina followed her path to Thailand, where she learned the local yoga practice, and then to India, where she studied up on vipassana meditation. Prior to opening Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Center, Stan was a snowboarding addict and decades-long yoga practitioner living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Today, the two strive to offer “a yoga for everyone,” with a lineup that includes smooth Vinyasa practice, disciplined Ashtanga poses, hot yoga in a 95-degree studio, and family-friendly fitness classes. After working up a sweat exercising or reciting Ulysses in one of the studio’s classes, students can take the heat off with soothing, natural spa services such as massages, body scrubs, and energy healing. With a long menu of pampering therapies, no aspect of the body leaves Kaia wanting for its own treatment, and the onsite vegetarian café’s baked goods, wraps, juices, and smoothies help guests with the other kind of bodily nourishment.
Heat floods the expansive Bikram Yoga Norwalk studio, loosening taut muscles as students of all levels perspire through static, strength-building poses. Certified instructors lead these students through the 26 poses that strengthen and stretch the body, modifying the trickier postures in order to accommodate beginners. The studio itself stays at a balmy 102?107 degrees with 40%?60% humidity in order to help facilitate deeper stretching, increase blood flow, and destroy stowaway snowmen.
With just one look at Yogi Brian's gallery, it's easy to see that Yogi Brian Buturla favors the practice of Dharma Yoga. The style combines traditional yoga techniques such as meditation, breathing, and stretching with challenging movements including headstands and backbends. Classes are geared to work at every student's fitness level, from beginner to advanced. Yogi Brian's also offers gentle and rehabilitative classes firmly rooted in the classical yoga tradition.
Bikram Yoga Shelton's certified instructors lead 90-minute classes that take place within a sultry practice space with 58% humidity and temperatures that reach as high as 103 degrees. In the therapeutic heat, they help students of all abilities achieve deeper, safer stretches and detoxifying perspiration. They walk their pupils through two breathing exercises and a powerful sequence of 26 standing and seated poses in each class to challenge muscles more effectively than bench-pressing a chakra. Each posture helps unleash torrents of oxygenating circulation throughout the body, promoting healthy organ function as the sustained stretches bolster stamina and flexibility. After class, students can rinse themselves in the onsite showers and retrieve any restless spirit animals they stashed in the studio's lockers.
Sal Chillemi didn’t realize just how much he valued yoga until September 11, 2001. A New York City fireman since 1988, Chillemi used the meditative techniques he learned on the mat when his team was called to Ground Zero. His yoga study may have helped him save lives that day, and the experience affected him so much that he decided to deepen his practice by opening a studio of his own.
Soon after Chillemi completed a 200-hour training course and hired a staff of experienced instructors, Yoga For Life was born. Today, the studio’s weekly schedule includes classes divided into three categories: gentle, moderate, and advanced. Aside from these flagship classes and workshops, the studio offers massage therapy, acupuncture, Thai yoga massage, and rolfing.