Armed with equal parts passion, dedication to the practice, and wisdom gained through teaching certifications, Blissful Yoga Studio's instructors help students achieve lithe, flexible bodies with classes catering to all activity levels. Introductory classes help beginners pay special attention to their alignment and breathing, and hot Vinyasa-flow classes challenge the mind as well as the muscles with a continuous series of empowering postures performed in a room that's heated up to 97 degrees. Instructors also incorporate the studio's specially outfitted wall, using its system of straps to sink students into deeper supported postures during yoga wall stretch sessions, which help them better impersonate the lowercase letter q. In addition to classes, the studio hosts workshops for seniors and those recovering from injuries that cover the basics of the yoga sutras.
Although Bikram Yoga Avondale’s classes always cycle through the same 26-pose sequence, the practice is anything but boring. The repetition gives practitioners a pretty clear point of reference when it comes to tracking their progress over time, and the addition of sweltering heat challenges even the most adroit yogi. The heat of the Bikram studio boosts the heart rate, so the sessions function as cardio workouts, and the poses stretch and strengthen every major muscle group. Some even maintain that it boosts the immune system and improves focus. Since its inception, its grab-bag of benefits has attracted the admiration of high-profile adherents such as Shirley MacLaine and President Nixon.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Avondale infuse each lesson with their personality, adding a touch of variety. The new facility, which also offers massage services, features a state of the art heating and ventilation system, new waterproof and anti-microbial carpets, along with larger changing rooms and additional shower facilities. To keep boat-loads of fresh oxygen coursing through circulatory systems, the staff deep cleans the facility with ardor, and deploys a state-of-the-art ozone air purifier.
Named after the Sanskrit word for “community,” Sangha Yoga stays true to its title by bringing together yogis of all levels in peaceful classes six days a week. The studio’s curriculum incorporates both extremely gentle sessions and such intense rounds as the "rock my body, soothe my soul" class, which keeps sweat glands' hands full with challenging poses that strengthen the frame without overworking internal systems.
Metta Yoga?s Zuzana Kolinkova, star of the popular DVD The Art of Flow Yoga, helms a staff of seasoned instructors that spans two studio locations and leads indoor and outdoor classes steeped in several yoga traditions, including Hatha, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa. Metta Yoga offers a variety of new and unique classes such as Yoga Walk, Yoga Therapy, and Aqua Yoga at the Phoenician Pools. Classes at The Phoenician Spa?s Centre for Well-Being often take place outside, where students can exhale stress as they admire a relaxing landscape of palm trees, fountains, and spanish-tile rooftops. Spring-green walls and lush potted plants line the Phoenix studio, helping students enjoy nature and prevent shouting matches with raindrops.
All certified at the 200 or 500 hour level, Hot Yoga Ahwatukee's band of seasoned instructors keeps their heated yoga studio ready to help bodies of all shapes and sizes begin the journey toward yoga’s healing qualities. Soft colors, the dim glow of lantern-like light fixtures, and a hypoallergenic vinyl floor conjure cool, calming notions that contrast to the room's intense weather—101 degrees with a balmy 40%–50% humidity. While the temperature may seem overwhelming, it stays lower than a standard Bikram class, giving students a reprieve while still helping muscles sink safely into varied posture sequences. Post-class, students may also wash away their hard-earned sweat in the studio’s shower and locker rooms.
Sutra Midtown Yoga’s warehouse-style space has a hip, industrial vibe, outfitted with wood floors, brick walls and an open rafter ceiling. Classes are designed for contemporary tastes, too, such as Basic Flow yoga, Skullpt Pilates and Core Flow, which is a combination of yoga with Pilates core work. Owners Rebecca and Matthew Fritz also specialize in sutra mum prenatal classes, which are perfect for a mom-to-be. Given the comfortable digs, it’s not hard to extend a workout stay, and customers can kick back in the Living Room Lounge with its couches and local art displays. The Chop Shop Cafe is another nice touch, offering locally-roasted coffees and espresso drinks, organic iced and hot teas, fresh pressed juices and smoothies and bakery snacks.