In 1977, Maritza Detz ventured into the health-care industry. As a licensed practical nurse, she ameliorated injuries, softened the effects of trauma, and cemented her desire to help others live fuller lives. This career laid the groundwork for her next occupation as a certified Bikram-yoga instructor. Since 1988, she's been practicing Bikram Choudhury's 26-posture practice, helping students of all athletic abilities and fitness levels recovery from injuries, strengthen their bodies, and expel harmful toxins accumulated during family reunions.
Like most naturally athletic people, Meredith Feinberg was accustomed to being good at every sport. And yet when she took her first yoga class in 1992, she just couldn't seem to make her body do what she wanted, so she gave up after a few weeks. Then she suffered a debilitating injury that prevented her from participating in other sports. Determined to keep moving, she gave yoga another try, and kept at it until it became easier and easier. She loved it so much that she founded her own studio, Yoga Svana.
Here, she teaches Vinyasa-based classes that combine traditional exercise and yoga and pump up clients with energetic music spanning several decades and genres. Her homey, welcoming studio also offers more than 30 classes a week in Vinyasa flow, prenatal, Kundalini, and Dharma yoga. Yoga Svana even offers kids yoga classes, helping youngsters achieve the level of flexibility necessary to fold themselves up and hide in their lockers during boring school assemblies.
Owner Rosa Santana had the privilege of learning directly from BKS Iyengar, living yoga master who continues to practice even at the age of 95. She was so inspired by his unique approach to yoga?which combines poses with props such as blankets, bolsters, blocks, and straps to develop proper musculoskeletal alignment?that she began to devote her life to the healing practice, becoming an instructor in 1995. Today, she shares her passion with students and teachers in her studio, which serves to sooth nerves and rabid spirit animals alike. She and a team of equally fervent yoga teachers work with students of all abilities during the 60- and 90-minute sessions, shepherding students through a tapestry of postures, some prop-assisted. With enough practice, Santana believes that students may see an increase in strength and flexibility, as well as a decrease in stress and tension.
Lifelong dancer Carmen Garson chose the goddess as the symbol of her fitness studio and boutique because it represents a loving, feminine energy. She aims to channel that energy throughout each of her belly-dancing, flamenco, Bollywood, African-dance, and yoga classes, helping earn her establishment the Hollywood Gazette?s Best Place for Yoga award. Within the wood-floored studio decked out with creations by local artists, she and her team host 33 dance and fitness classes a week.
Garson also opens her space for monthly art and poetry events where women come to share their creativity and boast about how many arms their inner goddesses have. She stocks the on-site boutique with exotic clothing and jewelry, as well as with spiritual books, essential oils candles, and incense.
Rina Jakubowicz has played the roles of yogi, author, and motivational speaker, leading to media appearances on Spanish television and the Discovery Channel Latin America, as well as in the Miami Herald. At Rina Yoga, she leads an expert team of extensively trained yoga instructors, who tap their expertise in a variety of yoga modalities to guide students toward holistic well-being in a noncompetitive environment. Each location's seven-day schedule accommodates pupils of all skill levels with sessions including beginner-friendly hatha classes, power yoga, traditional Vinyasa, and dharma yoga, which fuses poses old and new to focus on relaxation and meditation. The studio also conducts frequent events and meditation retreats that use chanting and sympathetic whispers to soothe wild spirit horses. Rina’s Book, Choose Peace, is also a large part of the studio’s curriculum and appears during seminar discussions that cover healthy lifestyle choices and a 15-step guide toward peaceful transformation.
At first, Ken von Roenn III only saw yoga as a way to increase his flexibility for his true passion, climbing. Slowly, yoga began to eclipse climbing as his primary love. Now he?s a devoted practitioner and instructor, and his love has led him to create Skanda Yoga Studio?s namesake style. The Skanda yoga style hinges on posture and controlled breathing, much like Vinyasa yoga. However, Skanda augments these practical techniques with a holistic component: each Skanda session finds its spiritual footing in the Mayan Dreamspell calendar.
Sessions work to align participants? bodies with natural cyclical patterns found in this brand of Mayan mysticism that has proven more enduring than federal laws carved into stone with an exceptionally pointy Sharpie. Ken and his team of instructors offer classes outside their studio?s signature style, complementing their Skanda instruction with courses in modalities such as power yoga and Kundalini.