Inside a purple studio strewn with mats and padded blocks, experienced instructors Pamela, Karen, and Dana lead students through a stretching workout regime that centers the mind and body. Karen and Dana each have yoga certifications, and Pamela has an ACE personal-training certification. Their backgrounds range from Dana's degree in journalism and Karen's MBA from NYU to Pamela's BA in dance. They keep their students' muscles loose by heating the studio to a crisp 105 degrees, the temperature at which books on tape burn. The staff specializes in teaching Barkan hot yoga, a Calcutta-derived practice, and classic hot yoga, which can promote detoxification with its 26 poses.
Stacy Plaske, founder and owner of Balance Yoga & Healing Arts, nurtures an environment of self-discovery and holistic health with a team of alternative-health professionals and the experience she accrued over 10 years of teaching Ashtanga-style yoga. Stacy hones her understanding of the challenging yoga modality through constant study and yearly pilgrimages to India, where she studies Ashtanga’s self-guided counterpart, Mysore. Bolstered by a staff of instructors, Stacy helms a schedule of athletic Ashtanga, flowing Vinyasa, and alignment-focused Iyengar classes. Instructors accommodate students of all skill levels by suggesting modified poses, and ease less flexible attendees into stretches by affixing helium balloons to students' limbs. The center’s professional massage therapists use relaxing or restorative modalities to soothe overstressed muscles, and an on-staff acupuncturist frees up the body's blocked energy pathways with a combination of precise needle placement and Chinese herbal medicine.
Inner Spirit Yoga Center's team of certified instructors foster a diverse community of yogis dedicated to wellness and kinship with a curriculum that accommodates all ages, skill levels, and abilities. A four-week beginner's yoga series imparts the foundational postures, breathing techniques, and tricks for housebreaking stubborn spirit animals. In addition to yoga, the center also hosts belly dance classes, tai chi, and peaceful meditation sessions. A packed calendar of events maintains community vibes through potluck dinners, movie nights, and inspirational book club meetings.
Nicole Tzen, Inner Balance’s owner and a certified holistic practitioner, wants to do more than treat illness; she strives to empower clients to take control of their own health. That’s why, in addition to offering integrative-healing services such as massage therapy, acupressure, and reiki healing, she hosts a range of yoga classes to bolster clients’ fitness. This balance between mind, body, and spirit is also seen in the wellness center’s Peaceful Minds program, in which licensed holistic practitioner Amy Mahoney provides free massage therapy, reiki healing, and yoga and meditation instruction for combat veterans.