Before heeding the call to a life as a certified yoga instructor, Diana Roehl helped companies to cultivate corporate talent as a human-resources specialist. Now she helps individuals to discover the strengths that lie within. Roehl steers students toward these revelations with Hatha yoga, whose deep breaths and focused poses center the mind as they fortify the muscles. Natural light and calming blue walls envelop group classes at her studio, casting a soothing glow on shiny wooden floorboards where students practice shoulder stands and bridges. Roehl also brings her yoga teachings to local offices, showing employees how to dislodge stress and impossibly jammed printer paper with graceful movements and powerful exhalations. Between classes, she leads Thai bodywork sessions, which combine acupressure and ayurvedic medicine through assisted yoga poses.
At Sunstone Yoga, students radiate calm and self-awareness as they practice ancient poses designed to stretch, strengthen, and purify the body. Instructors complete 500 hours of training in yogic techniques, teaching, and physiology before leading classes, so they can hand out researched, tested tips on safety and alignment. Most classes come in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute varieties and focus on energy or restorative relaxation. A two-class introductory series welcomes beginners with basic standing poses, and the popular fire series explores up to 34 poses in a 99-degree room that loosens muscles to facilitate deeper stretches as it ousts toxins. Filled with soothing music and 90-degree temperatures, the water series cultivates more serenity than getting a massage from a singing whale.
Born in the late 1930s, Sri Dharma Mittra studied the eight branches of yoga under guru Sri Swami Kailashananda, the man largely responsible for introducing the healing practice of yoga to the Western world. Through years of selfless teaching, and focus on building a community of healthy, spiritually-centered yoga practitioners, Dharma Mittra developed a devoted following of students throughout the United States.
Arlington Yoga Center's instructors stay true to the yogi?s teachings by welcoming pupils into an oasis of soothing pastel-colored walls and an airy practice space, guiding students through a roster of classes for all skill levels. A quick perusal of the studio's schedule yields ample opportunities for rejuvenation in a variety of sessions, including the restorative sequences of Gentle Dharma, which invigorates minds and bodies alike with gentler, less demanding poses. Targeting the muscles that support the spine, Dharma 1 and 2 sessions incorporate the eight limbs and 40 phalanges of the style's philosophy into a series of asanas that promotes stamina, graceful flexibility, and the ability to imitate a statue. More advanced classes bump up the thermostat to 80 degrees in order to ensure a more invigorating workout with deeper stretches. As a precursor to attending yoga classes, Arlington Yoga Center requires all new students to fill out a waiver and leave their pet howler monkeys at home.
When owner Jen Chitwood entered her first yoga class in 2002, she was amazed by the mental, physical, and emotional exertion she experienced in just a single hour. The positive benefits of yoga, including stress relief and a positive attitude adjustment, spilled into the rest of her life and relationships almost immediately, leading her to eventually realize that yoga was her life’s passion.This realization led her to study and, in time, come to own her own studio. Now, she leads a team of experienced instructors who dedicate their yogic pedagogy to students of any skill level, leading them through Vinyasa-style yoga and guiding them with individualized adjustments. They also hold prenatal yoga classes, private lessons, workshops with national teachers, and teacher trainings for those wanting to dive deeper on the yogic path. Additionally, the studio’s knowledgeable nutritionist works with individuals or groups to help them exercise good decision making and portion control when they’re lounging at home, working at the office, or vacationing at their timeshares in Candy Land.
Uptown Yoga is dedicated to creating a positive change in the world at large. Jen Chitwood cofounded One Love Dallas, a local branch of the charity Off the Mat, Into the World, which inspires conscious, sustainable activism and grassroots social change within communities around the world.
Tucked away from life's daily barrage of appointments, meetings, and expectations, Dallas Yoga Center provides a tranquil haven for self-discovery and the mental truces that achieve inner peace. An arched Indian doorway marks the threshold between the outside world and the refuge of the 8,000-sq.-ft. facility, which houses four spacious, naturally lit studios.
Inside, instructors lead groups through more than 65 classes per week, which focus on a variety of yoga styles. During the studio's Beginners Yoga classes, aspiring yogis learn the basic motions and breathing techniques that serve as the jumping-off point for their yogic journeys. From there, they can explore the gentle calmness of Yin Yoga, the intense exertion of a hot Ashtanga Yoga class set at 85 degrees, the prop-aided poses of Iyengar Yoga, or the ab-toning workouts of Yoga Core. They can also take part in t'ai chi sessions that leave minds spry and energies recentered. After class, students can propel their practices forward by stocking up on the center's selection of yoga clothes, jewelry, props, accessories, and DVDs. For those seeking even deeper enlightenment, the center also sponsors yoga teacher training, and even arranges retreats to India, where students study ayurveda and yoga straight from the source.