After forging a friendship during a yoga class for breast-cancer survivors, Kellie Moreland and Therese Blomberg joined with Michele Taylor to bring yoga’s restorative powers to their families and neighbors. Their signature class, Yoga Core and More, sculpts limbs, abs, and backs with a lineup of back bends, arm balances, and inverted poses. Ideal for seasoned yogis, this class raises the heart rate to burn calories and foster cardiovascular health. Sweltering temperatures draw students of all skill levels to hot yoga classes, loosening tight muscles and drawing out toxins as the group stretches between exposed-brick walls and wooden floors. Mom and Me'a classes, filled with songs, stories, and playful movements, help yogis aged 2–5 liberate the peace, joy, and Capture the Flag prisoners that lie within.
Above all else, Bikram Yoga emphasizes personal growth and development?not competition and comparison. That means newcomers are welcome to attend alongside experienced practitioners. Although the sessions at Bikram Yoga St. Louis may seem like a more physical challenge at first, the goal is for students to recognize and strengthen the connection that exists between the mind, body, and spirit. This progress does bolster physical fitness, but also creates a restorative and relaxing experience.
When thinking of gym equipment, most people imagine whirring treadmills and racks of free weights. The names of Pilates machines are more innocuous—chair and barrel, for example—but to the uninitiated, these tools might seem more like pieces in an art gallery. Thankfully, the certified instructors at The Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis help to demystify them. They guide clients through exercises that enlist the gliding platform of the Reformer, or the malleable ring that is the Magic Circle, hosting group and private classes for all skill levels.
Owner Karen Prechtl and her team ease new clients into a Pilates practice by customizing their guidance and keeping class sizes small. They emphasize the importance of breath work, proper form, and body awareness during each lesson, helping students to achieve a leaner, more bendable physique without simply telling them to "be the rubber band." For those who prefer a highly personalized approach, one-on-one training utilizes weights, kettlebells, and mat-based floor exercises in addition to the Pilates equipment.
Having practiced since 1997, training under leaders in the field, and serving as the sole yoga instructor for the Kashi company in 2008, owner Brigette Niedringhaus opened Southtown Yoga with the goal of bringing a unique approach to the city yoga-studio concept. In doing so, Brigette built up a schedule replete with a variety of classes held in a warm and welcoming environment for students of all skill levels. The Riverfront Times recognized her efforts by naming Southtown Yoga its Best Yoga Studio in 2008. The staff that helped earned that award features 11 highly trained instructors who guide students through a series of poses during 45- to 90-minute group classes. Slow-paced Basics courses pave the way for Mixed Level sessions that expand on the fundamental concepts, and rooftop classes enable students to mix up the workout scenery, like lifting weights in a phone booth. Classes are available seven days a week, with some sessions beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. and as late as 7:30 p.m.
The instructors at YogaSource strive to make yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability. To meet that goal, they offer eleven types of classes split between two studios, which are kept at different temperatures to accommodate those who prefer to stay calm and cool during practice, as well as those who like to sweat as they stretch. Yoga basics and intro to Hatha classes lead newcomers from pose to pose to build a foundation for future practice, and may incorporate props such as straps, blocks, and donuts that dangle just out of reach. Advanced options include power Vinyasa, where students flow through rigorous poses in 90-degree temperatures believed to help increase flexibility and promote detoxification, as well as the open-level class—known as The Practice—in which instructors and students attempt handstands and other challenging feats.
With mindful instruction and loving attitudes, Marbles Yoga Studio's certified yoga teachers support each student on their journey to emotional, physical, and spiritual health and wellness. Studio owner Elizabeth Callahan has studied under celebrated yogis such as John Friend and Seane Corn and taught students ranging from multisport athletes to beginners. The studio's class schedule reflects Elizabeth and her fellow instructors’ diverse experience in many yoga styles, offering patrons vigorous Vinyasa flows, strengthening power classes, and soothing, slower-paced restorative classes. Regular workshops scheduled on weekends delve into individual practices, combining meditative exercise with such creative pursuits as painting or using magic markers to fill out tax forms.