On the day when Everyday Yoga opened in 2010, the yogis behind the project prepared a pot of tea to warmly welcome in new practitioners. Their goal was to make yoga accessible to their community, regardless of financial restraints. Though the gentle aromas of that first pot of tea have long since faded, the instructors still uphold their community-minded mission, helping students to apply yogic philosophy to their lives, on and off the mat. They continue to serve up pots of hot tea daily to welcome students to their studio.
Amid EveryDay Yoga’s warm adobe walls and delicate pendant lamps, students of all ages and abilities flow through Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and restorative Yin series that range from slow and gentle to vigorous. The instructors strive to make the atmosphere as welcoming as possible so that guests can confidently reach for their toes, reach for their neighbors' toes, and practice resonant breath—which they’ve cheekily dubbed "Darth Vadar breath."
"Torture chambers"—that's what Bikram Yoga's founder Bikram Choudhury calls his yoga studios. It's an apropos name for places set at a blazing 105 degrees that feature students twisting their bodies into 26 yoga postures as Bikram shouts: "Lock the knee!" "Lock the knee!" at someone who isn't quite into the desired position.It might sound unpleasant, but Choudhury believes that if you follow his instructions, which are passed on to each Bikram yoga teacher at the various franchises located around the world, you'll "live a better, healthier and more peaceful life.”The yoga guru, who was born in 1946, has strived to live such a life since he was a little boy in India. At the age of 4, after giving up dreams of being a robot, he started practicing yoga with India's most renowned physical culturalist at the time. At the age of 13, he won the National India Yoga Championship and went undefeated for the next three years before retiring as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.However, when Choudhury was 17, his life took a terrible turn. He severely injured his knee during a weight-lifting accident and was told he would never walk again. Ignoring the doctors, he turned to his old yoga teacher, and within six months, his knee was totally recovered. That's when he realized how effectively yoga could heal the body, and he decided to develop his Bikram method.Bikram is a form of Hatha yoga that is taught in specialized studios throughout the world. The studios are always set at 105 degrees, which helps the body flow through the 26 Bikram postures effectively. The studios can be found everywhere from the United States to South Africa to Antarctica's vast polar bear caves.
Melanie has been active in the health community—as a fitness consultant, personal training, and yoga and Pilates teacher—for more than 14 years. But it wasn’t until she discovered pole fitness while mining that she was able to combine all her passions into one activity. As she started experimenting with pole fitness, she felt her experience with yoga, Pilates, and fitness classes coming together into one comprehensive workout. She knew that with her background in health and fitness, and passion for pole fitness, she would be able to help students achieve their fitness goals. And so PoleFIT Revolution was born. Today, she and a team of instructors teach a variety of classes, such as pole fitness, aerial yoga, boot camp, and stretching classes to ensure all students are receiving the workout that best suits their body.
Nobody should have to suffer through a workout, say the fitness pros who helm Studio Thrive. So, to make exercise as enjoyable as possible, they design group classes that are fun, social, and suitable for all skill levels. Most instructors bring an extensive dance background to the classroom, filling classes such as Zumba and Kids' Hip-Hop with moves that translate to nightclubs, school dances, and royal weddings. Boot-camp classes and personal-training sessions often center on functional-training tools such as TRX suspension straps and kettlebells, both of which foster flexibility and core strength. In addition to designing highly customized workouts, certified personal trainers perform body-composition analyses and fitness assessments to track their clients' progress.
When they're not leading classes or personal-training sessions, Studio Thrive's staffers host private Zumba parties in the spacious studio, lined with oversize mirrors, a polished wooden floor, and a cobalt-blue ceiling. Upon request, they can also bring Zumba sessions to offices, apartment buildings, or painfully quiet libraries.
Yogi Jason Schramm, inspired by the daily struggles of the city he loves, named his yoga school in its honor. Within the school’s three locations, he draws upon more than 10,000 hours spent teaching to show students how to find inner peace and use it to effect change. The instructors use ancient yoga poses to propel pupils inward, and Schramm lets subtle influences from his martial arts training shine through in some courses. Ashtanga classes summon sweat with vigorous poses that build strength and flexibility, and Vinyasa techniques weave movement, stillness, and deep breathing into a fluid sequence that changes daily.
Upon entering Go Cycle Studios, it might feel like you’ve accidentally walked into a club: hip-hop, rock, and dance music streams from the expansive sound system, reverberating off the exposed brick walls and polished concrete floors. The cycling and fitness center’s owners, Jimmy and Lisa, use this atmosphere to set the mood, but they’re serious about exercise. They and the other instructors tailor spin classes and other fitness programs to challenge riders of all levels, from beginners to those who want to work up to jumping a police barricade. Under their instruction, riders sweat astride Keiser stationary bikes, each outfitted with monitors that display RPMs, heart rate, approximate calorie burn, and miles covered. Before or after class, students can head to the back patio to sip coffee in the fresh air or furtively discuss ways to hasten the comeback of handlebar streamers.