When owner Jen Chitwood entered her first yoga class in 2002, she was amazed by the mental, physical, and emotional exertion she experienced in just a single hour. The positive benefits of yoga, including stress relief and a positive attitude adjustment, spilled into the rest of her life and relationships almost immediately, leading her to eventually realize that yoga was her life’s passion.This realization led her to study and, in time, come to own her own studio. Now, she leads a team of experienced instructors who dedicate their yogic pedagogy to students of any skill level, leading them through Vinyasa-style yoga and guiding them with individualized adjustments. They also hold prenatal yoga classes, private lessons, workshops with national teachers, and teacher trainings for those wanting to dive deeper on the yogic path. Additionally, the studio’s knowledgeable nutritionist works with individuals or groups to help them exercise good decision making and portion control when they’re lounging at home, working at the office, or vacationing at their timeshares in Candy Land.
Uptown Yoga is dedicated to creating a positive change in the world at large. Jen Chitwood cofounded One Love Dallas, a local branch of the charity Off the Mat, Into the World, which inspires conscious, sustainable activism and grassroots social change within communities around the world.
TELOS Fitness Center merges the business brilliance of general manager Brent Darden—a member of the health-club industry for more than 30 years—with the corrective-therapy expertise of fitness director Everett Aaberg—founder of the Ortho-Kinetics system. The center's regal interior casts a Greco-Roman vibe over advanced gym equipment, class studios, and spa chambers overseen by licensed massage therapists. Professionalism remains at the heart of the center's hiring philosophy, with all personal trainers required to collect at least two nationally recognized certifications and five active wasp nests before they are hired. As a sign of success, the staff's innovative training methods have garnered awards from such media outlets as the Dallas Business Journal.
More than 10 Pilates modalities fit inside a roster of group fitness courses, all of which culminate in a mandatory game of Marco Polo in one of the private jacuzzi tubs. Additional amenities include a childcare area with a Nintendo Wii, an affixed café with a full-time chef, and an onsite hair salon.
Tucked away from life's daily barrage of appointments, meetings, and expectations, Dallas Yoga Center provides a tranquil haven for self-discovery and the mental truces that achieve inner peace. An arched Indian doorway marks the threshold between the outside world and the refuge of the 8,000-sq.-ft. facility, which houses four spacious, naturally lit studios.
Inside, instructors lead groups through more than 65 classes per week, which focus on a variety of yoga styles. During the studio's Beginners Yoga classes, aspiring yogis learn the basic motions and breathing techniques that serve as the jumping-off point for their yogic journeys. From there, they can explore the gentle calmness of Yin Yoga, the intense exertion of a hot Ashtanga Yoga class set at 85 degrees, the prop-aided poses of Iyengar Yoga, or the ab-toning workouts of Yoga Core. They can also take part in t'ai chi sessions that leave minds spry and energies recentered. After class, students can propel their practices forward by stocking up on the center's selection of yoga clothes, jewelry, props, accessories, and DVDs. For those seeking even deeper enlightenment, the center also sponsors yoga teacher training, and even arranges retreats to India, where students study ayurveda and yoga straight from the source.
When Karen and David first met at the Bikram College of India in Los Angeles, they could barely believe that they had grown up within spitting distance of one another in their hometown of Houston, Texas. Through their intense nine-week, 500 hours of training, they grew closer, swapping stories about the unfulfilling corporate lives they had left behind. It wasn't until David returned to Texas and Karen to Portland that they realized they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. After Karen returned to her home state to be with David, the pair embarked on the biggest adventure of their lives: scouring the earth for scissors big enough to cut the grand-opening ribbon to Bikram Yoga Dallas in tandem.
The duo outfitted their spacious 2,300-square-foot sanctuary with soft, eco-friendly flooring and gigantic windows that flood the heated studio with sunlight. They corralled a troupe of passionate, Bikram-certified instructors to help lead the 90-minute classes that strengthen students with 26 postures. To keep the space community-oriented, Karen and David offer special events such as new student orientations, posture workshops, yoga challenges and celebration parties.
Chris was in terrible health. At 51 years old, he was battling two issues familiar to many Americans—high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, he started attending Dallas Fitness Boot Camps. In time, he lost 40 pounds and 18% of his body fat, which enabled him to get his cholesterol down to normal levels and finally ditch his blood-pressure medications.
Though the classes completely changed his life, Chris didn’t have to make an exorbitant commitment—coach Ron Routhier asks students to attend just three 30-45-minute workouts each week. That’s all the time it takes for Ron’s masterful approach to emerge. The former infantryman spent years as the trainer in charge of soldiers that had met or exceeded the Army’s physical fitness standards. That discipline shows through now; in fact, another of his students boasts that Ron’s training got her in better shape than she was while in the Army Reserves. That’s not to say that students are expected to arrive in tip-top shape—Ron’s routines can be modified for all fitness levels, and his plans include nutritional guidance that helps people supplement their exercise with custom diet plans.
Karmany Yoga's two studio locations, 14 instructors, and seven days a week of class are impressive, but the numbers alone didn't earn it D magazine's award for Best Yoga Studio. That honor belongs to the teachers' passion. They all came to yoga from diverse backgrounds, having worked as fashion-magazine editors, full-time moms, or high-school band conductors. As different as their outside interests are, they share one main quality—a great drive to aid others in discovering the balance that yoga helped bring to their lives.
They teach three primary forms of class. Slow flow gently coaxes the body toward greater feats of flexibility. Power flow, taught in the style of Baron Baptiste, challenges athleticism with a much faster-paced series, best performed in a movie montage leading up to an incredible victory that defies all odds. They also teach traditional Iyengar yoga, a style that almost exclusively focuses on perfecting the alignment of postures and bringing health to the skeletal and muscular systems.