The instructors at Bikram Yoga Seacliff embody a commitment to wellness through the method's 26 postures. Demonstrating their dedication, the CPR-certified teachers must undergo recertification every three years, ensuring that they can lead classes in the studio's 105-degree heat.
Their 90-minute sessions bend and stretch through Bikram's poses in a progressive order, a sequence that both warms and limbers up the body's connective tissues. As the steamy temperatures flush out toxins through sweat, newly oxygenated blood refreshes every part of the physique. The staff encourages guests to cultivate a deep understanding of technique rather than a drive to quickly perfect it, reassuring them that "there is no standard of comparison except yourself."
After walking through the studio’s namesake entryway, visitors to Funky Door Yoga Polk Street are greeted by the grunts of Bikram practitioners carried on waves of steamy heat. The stretch dojo's seven-day schedule boasts early-morning, afternoon, and evening classes that take place in a classroom stoked to up to 105 degrees, the perfect temperature for facilitating flexibility or melting a corporate rival's ice statue in effigy. Students run through Bikram Choudhury’s 26 poses that pique muscles, organs, veins, and ligaments while the sweltering heat flushes toxins from the body. After a 90-minute session, students can hop into one of Funky Door Yoga Polk Street's showers, or down a bottle of water or sports drink available for purchase. The studio also stocks rentable mats and towels for greenhorn yogis not quite experienced enough to levitate.
The bright studio helps students fine-tune posework with wall-to-wall mirrors, and the expansive floor space affords enough space to execute even the most complex poses. Two nearby parking lots and metered parking afford convenient parking for car-toting students.
After her first visit to Mission Cliffs, Donna Dunlap tore the fake fingernails off her hands. It wasn’t out of frustration, however, but from sheer excitement. Excitement to return to the climbing emporium and once again experience the rush of scurrying up 14,000 square feet of climbing walls, boulders, arches, and slabs. It’s not clear whether Donna ever replaced those nail tips, but it’s unlikely; she’s now the manager of the entire facility, and oversees a staff of equally enthusiastic guides that make the daunting heights attainable for visitors of all ages and abilities. Mission Cliffs’ centerpiece is its towering five-story-high lead wall, a veritable maze of routes, slants, and crags. The gym’s arches have coaxed forehead sweat from even the most accomplished climbers, while its moderate terrain along the cylinder and mezzanine walls takes it easy on first-timers. Upstairs, a family of hulking boulders awaits the feet and hands of climbers turning in their ropes for some freestyle bouldering. The gym also outfits guests with gear rentals and introductory lessons, and raises heart rates with a range of fitness classes.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
Hot Yoga Ocean Ave's team of certified Bikram and hot-yoga instructors believe that yoga is life, and share their passion with students of all experience levels, guiding them in achieving mental and physical wellness. Their philosophy emphasizes yoga as a practice, urging students to be patient with their progress and to move through poses modified to their abilities without pushing their muscles too far or blackmailing the hamstrings to hold standing bow pose longer than everyone else. Though the classes are open to students of all abilities, Hot Intro guides newbies through the 26-pose series and two breathing exercises, and the vigorous Surya Namaskara challenges yogis with a repeated sequence of 12 flexing and stretching poses to push limbs to their maximum range of motion. To help muscles sink deep into healing stretches and expel toxins through sweat, the studio is heated to balmy temperatures, so patrons are advised to drink lots of water and leave snowmen tied up outside.
A third-generation spiritist, certified yoga teacher, and Thai yoga therapist, Archimedes de Leon strives to bring his students to a realization of their inner selves, talents, and ultimate essence through spiritual and physical discovery. By achieving a state of self-awareness, he believes that people become compassionate stewards of their planet, whether it is Earth or Krypton.
Archimedes named his studio after the god of physical culture. The studio owner explores the forces of mind and body by offering yoga instruction and hosting local art at the Hanuman Center art gallery. In addition to leading daily fitness classes, he helms a series of workshops that further explore the art of healing and self-awareness through methods such as acupuncture, yogic breathing, and Reiki.