When owner Nicole Duke took her first Bikram yoga class, she was a competitive long-distance runner looking for something to complement her already active lifestyle. What she found went beyond just the physical; she noted an increased sense of calm and decreased desire to punch in ceiling tiles after completing the 26 intentionally sequenced poses of the 90-minute Bikram class. Once she graduated from teacher training, she set about opening Bikram Yoga Aptos—a studio equipped with eco-friendly antibacterial flooring, private showers, and a high-quality air purification and filtration system. These facilities get put to good use—seven days a week—as a cadre of teachers lead all levels of students through the classes conducted in a room heated to 105 degrees.
When students arrive for class at Aptos Yoga, they’ll see standard mats and blocks, but they’ll also find props that might surprise them: blankets. That’s because the instructors adhere strictly to a therapeutic brand of yoga where blankets support posing pupils. The staff’s chief aim is to release deep tensions in the body's spinal muscles, and for total body relaxation along with mental clarity.
As a member of the world-wide Ananda yoga community, Ananda Yoga Scotts Valley holds classes with specific focuses. These include yoga postures, chair and restorative yoga, meditation instruction, and classes in yoga philosophy and practice.
Divinitree Yoga and Art Studio's instructors seek to share their passion with the community, creating a welcoming atmosphere for students of virtually any skill level or yogic persuasion. The classes encompass a range of styles, although flowing Vinyasa and Hatha sessions appear prominently throughout. The more advanced sections of these energetic practices encourage students to push themselves physically while still keeping a mindful awareness of their breathing and posture throughout.
Beyond the yoga mat, the instructors also keep themselves busy by hosting art classes for students' children and caring for their onsite garden, which grows organic produce and spare chakras.
Yoga Center Santa Cruz offers yogis of all skill levels the chance to increase flexibility and reduce stress and body ailments while developing their mind-body balance through various styles of yoga, including BKS Iyengar, vinyasa flow, and restorative yoga. Limber up during the upcoming six-week Introduction to Yoga (January 20–February 24) or Introduction to Flow Yoga (January 6–February 10) series, great for beginner body-benders who need to learn the basic poses, concepts, and anatomy of yoga. For more seasoned students, the Yoga Center offers a variety of drop-in classes, which take place several times a day and usually last between 60 and 90 minutes. Like the five realms of Chutes and Ladders mastery, classes range from the beginner level one to the advanced level five and are taught by certified, trained instructors. Private lessons, which can be scheduled with Tamara or Karen, are also available for dedicated practitioners looking to master the fundamentals of yoga while avoiding the penetrating stares of a nosy group of yoga mats.