Heat permeates Bikram Yoga West Linn’s sprawling studio, whose circling ceiling fans symbolize the constantly flowing movement that takes place in classes below them. The 105-degree temperature loosens muscles and releases toxins, as students flow through Bikram’s 26 poses, taught by 16 instructors. In this setting, instructors helps students of all levels get the most out of Bikram yoga by building strength and developing the flexibility of an astronaut who can rap, cook, and touch her toes while freestyling about beef stroganoff. For 90 minutes, teachers help pupils control their breathing, resulting in more oxygenated blood.
The mission of Body and Brain Yoga—alongside its affiliate yoga centers—is to make yoga accessible to everyone, everywhere. To this end, each team of instructors modulate movements based on Korean sun do to match each students’ needs. Classes emphasize aligning the body and mind equally through stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation, and each session is capped off by a 10-minute tea time, during which students and instructors can socialize or reenact Alice in Wonderland's interview with the Easter Bunny.
IM=X (Integrated Movement Xercize) fuses the muscle-toning techniques of Pilates with resistance and plyometric jumps for a more athletically geared workout. Limbs will be lengthened during two private reformer sessions, in which a certified instructor familiarizes clients with the reformer equipment, bending physiques to reach their individual fitness goals with ample personal attention.
Dance with Joy Studios owner Rachel Lidskog strives to imbue her classes with the happiness she feels when dancing. Rachel has competed or taught in Argentina, Cuba, Holland, and Spain, among other countries, and her philosophy of uplifting people through dance is supported by the values of teamwork, creativity, and responsibility.
Along with a crew of professional instructors, she whisks fledgling hoofers around two hardwood-floor ballrooms, infusing their feet with the basics of Latin, country, and ballroom dance. She and her team identify private lessons, group classes or special workshops, and weekly dance parties as the best ways to learn to dance, superior even to dropping a family of ants into your overalls. They also organize wedding-dance lessons to ensure nuptial celebrations progress smoothly and cheerfully.
Community and inclusiveness are the cornerstones of the yoga practice that co-directors Bill Walters and Vilma Zaleskaite established at The Yoga Project. With more than 10 years of yoga practice each, Bill and Vilma now lead a seven-day schedule of sessions that offers traditional Level 1 and 2 yoga classes led by many instructors as well as sessions tailored to meet students' specific needs. Classes such as Easy Does It cater to a more senior crowd with lessons that run at a slower pace, and Patterns: Body & Breath combines traditional yoga poses with breath work to create a deeper experience. The center's most prominent claim to fame is instructor Vilma's brainchild, Yoga for the Larger Woman, which has gained praise from The Oregonian and The Bee. The supportive yet challenging 75-minute class uses props and poses to relax minds and slim silhouettes, aiming to improve participants' overall wellness. Each class at the studio has a similar goal, whether it's meant for beginner or advanced students.
A certified medical massage therapist and registered yoga instructor, Lora Edmiston knows the human body intimately. At Lone Oak Massage+Bodywork, she puts her techniques to work on patients’ physical maladies, often beginning with a postural assessment that helps her adapt her work to the client’s needs. By combining Swedish massage techniques with facilitated stretching, exercise, and palpation, she helps clients overcome discomfort and attain muscular looseness and range of motion that can help them live a pain-free life. Alongside orthopedic and Swedish massage, she also offers craniosacral therapy, a soft-touch treatment designed to improve the function of the central nervous system, and cupping, a holistic method of drawing toxins out of the body. For expectant mothers, she administers prenatal massage, which can reduce the discomfort caused by heightened joint pressure, emotional stress, and the agony of picking a baby name from a bingo roller.