Hot air swirls around Bikram Yoga’s studio, heating limbs and relaxing tense muscles as students sink deeply into their practice’s 26 postures. During 90-minute sessions, a Bikram-certified instructor leads classes through a consistent routine of standing and seated poses mixed with two breathing exercises. In the space’s equatorial temperatures, students of all fitness levels burn calories, strengthen muscles, and eject perspirable toxins as instructors offer encouragement and personalized modifications. In addition to bringing a yoga mat and towel from home, students should prepare for class by drinking enough water to float a flock of rubber duckies.
In the 1940s, Walt Baptiste and his son Baron created a new branch of yoga?called Baptiste yoga?that combines the principles of yoga, meditation, and inner reflection. The Baptiste-yoga movement grew rapidly, and in 2005, senior Baptiste teacher Mark White introduced his community to the practice with two studios. He and a staff of more than 20 certified yoga instructors guide students from pose to pose while observing proper alignment and breathing technique. Studios are heated to 90 degrees to keep bodies limber and destroy any ice cream that enters the building.
The staff at Yoga Bala believes that true yogis perform each move with all of their attention focused on the body and that this level of inner peace that can be achieved by students of all experience levels. They help participants free their minds in all of their classes, which range from restorative yoga, to strengthening ashtanga yoga, to posture clinics, during which students learn the proper form for extra-challenging arm balances, inversions, and twisting postures. Through yoga, one can tap into a wealth of bodily benefits, including a boosted metabolism, prolonged endurance, and improved pliability.