In the fitness industry, only a select few exercise pioneers enjoy widespread name recognition. Bikram Choudhury is one of them, and the instructors of Bikram Yoga Everett have earned that name by enduring his legendary nine-week training course. The program also keeps yogis on their toes by requiring recertification every three years. In the intense training sessions, aspiring instructors learn to make use of a heated environment to push the mental focus and muscular endurance of students during the 90-minute classes.
The Bikram Yoga Everett Studio welcomes visitors with a lobby bursting in bright primary colors and a spacious workout room swathed in natural sunlight. The computer-controlled temperature remains evenly regulated throughout the space, and a ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air, occasionally pumping in helium for cartoon voiceover workshops. Floors are covered in Zebra yoga mats that dramatically reduce joint strain.
Hot Yoga Inc. likes to see you sweat. Not due to exhaustion or struggle, but because the perspiration caused by their classes encourages mental tranquility, muscle toning, and physical detoxification. Hot Yoga Inc. sends warmth deep into the skin and tissues instead of just decorating their studio with a bunch of Sun stickers. These higher temperatures help foster a greater range of motion as students of all skill levels follow a flowing series of yoga postures. Basic Hatha classes soothe the mind with a rush of endorphins while losing weight and improving flexibility, and Power Yoga pushes students with more intense workouts that build strength.
At Hot Yoga of Mill Creek, experienced teachers walk students through traditional Hatha poses and sequences of athletic Vinyasa stretches in a practice space heated to deepen each stretch safely. The temperature rises up to 105 degrees for Hatha classes, which helps increase students' blood-circulation rate to purge pent-up toxins from the body as they bend and balance at their teacher's instruction. During 95-degree Vinyasa classes students engage in breathing exercises to focus their attention as they work through poses in a dance-like sequence that helps strengthen muscles, raise heart rates, and melt away muscle tension. To tone muscles all over, Yoga Sculpt instructors fuse flowing Vinyasa moves with optional weight-lifting exercises.
Oversized mirrors lining the walls of the practice space encourage students to correct their posture and spinal alignment while executing poses. Outside the classroom, students can peruse the boutique's selection of yoga-ready tank tops and AdvoCare nutritional supplements. Instructors can host private classes for students in need of one-on-one attention or feature yoga classes in the workplace to help employees destress during the day.
Though Fusion Hot Yoga's philosophy emphasizes the release of the ego, it's hard not to feel special in Fusion’s heated studio. The instructors—each of whom brings a different teaching style to classes—dole out personalized tips during Hatha and power Vinyasa sessions. They also remain after class, answering students’ questions while they extinguish the coals within the walls. By helping every visitor to discover the mental and physical benefits of hot yoga, the staff recalls their own journeys from such backgrounds as competitive gymnastics and service in the Navy Reserve.
In addition to the quality of its teachers, the studio's setting also probably contributed to its ranking on KING5’s Best of Western Washington list, where it was voted second of 96 nominees for the area's Best Yoga Studio. The space's antibacterial, Tatami-textured floor cushions feet to counteract slipping, and dressing rooms with showers permit guests to rinse off after lessons. At the onsite boutique, shoppers can purchase mats, healthy refreshments, and baking thermometers that tell them when their partner is ready to cool.
One has been a martial artist for more than 35 years; the other has been a bus driver for almost as long. Instructors at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, Vidal Bitton and Joyce MacFarlane know what it's like to balance a busy schedule with the demands of staying healthy. Vidal's approach to yoga incorporates his knowledge of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tai chi, especially as to how physical exertion can lead to painful injury. Joyce also practices yoga with a mind toward healing—her years behind the wheel of a school bus have resulted in several spinal injuries. By juggling a demanding job that can take physical tolls, Joyce's empathy and spirit shine through in each class she teaches.
Along with the other instructors, Vidal and Joyce bring their distinct backgrounds to hot and power yoga classes that strengthen muscles and boost flexibility. The mind and spirit are considered just as vital; on-staff wellness practitioners augment the effects of yoga with services such as massage, acupuncture, personal training, and therapy.
A former Zen Buddhist monk, Yoon opened his first yoga studio in South Korea, where he gained attention on a national TV documentary. After successfully launching this first studio and teaching yoga and meditation at retreats in South Korea and the United States, he founded Yoon's Yoga Bliss, where he brings his years of monastery and yoga experience to each class. In Korean, Yoon means happiness, and that's exactly what he strives for in each class—to help each student feel and share happiness through continuous awareness of movement, breathing, and golden retrievers. Whether teaching rigorous Vinyasa classes or gentle Hatha sessions, Yoon guides students through poses that strengthen and stretch the body.