Stephanie Raye spent nearly a decade healing physically and growing spiritually through yoga before she started teaching in 2002. During each class at her studio, Bikram Yoga Downtown LA, she and her fellow instructors lead a 90-minute series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises inside a heated studio, which keeps muscles limber and reduces injuries. Every posture prepares the body for the next pose, pumps freshly oxygenated blood throughout the body, and brings health and strength to students of all ages and skill levels.
The space is as appealing as the instruction. Gilded with gold mandalas and lotus-inspired patterns, gray walls open up to a spacious studio with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and windows. Anti-bacterial and odor-resistant flooring keep yoga conditions sanitary while students practice, and locker rooms and showers help them clean up after class. A boutique area brims with yoga clothes and accessories, and two-hour parking validation ensures cars have plenty of room to graze on grass, which cars eat now by the way.
Art isn't confined to paintings and sculptures in museums and galleries. That's the idea behind Body Art Expo, a celebration of art on a different type of canvas?the body. At the traveling event, more than 200 exhibitors and thousands of guests put their tattoos and piercings on full display. Guests can enter tattoo contest for a chance to win in categories such as Best Movie Character, Best Portrait, and Most Unusual. They can also get a professional to pierce their tongue or tattoo the event's schedule on their bicep. Celebrity artists, including LA Ink's Ruthless and NY Ink's Tommy Montoya, often roam the aisles, chatting with visitors, dancing along to live music, or attending demos.