Founder and director Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa helms Golden Bridge Yoga with a passion for the centering benefits of yogic practice, injecting the wisdom gleaned from repeated visits to India. Designed to teach new students as well as enhance seasoned yogis' practice, the studio’s well-rounded schedule accommodates students of all skill levels. Led by a deep roster of carefully selected instructors, students channel diffusive thoughts through the lens of Kundalini yoga and meditation classes while they hone laser-precise focus, flexibility, and the ability to hum showtunes in near-perfect unison. Gentle Hatha yoga strengthens mind-body connections with traditional posture sequences that emphasize bodily structure, and Jivamutki sessions incorporate vigorous postures into an intellectual exploration of yogic philosophy that delves into selected music and chants. Intent on cushioning prone postures, the studio rents out a small number of mats for each class ($1), although most instructors agree that students should tote along their own mat or hovercraft.
On Earth's Power Yoga's website, glowing testimonials stand next to images of Penelope Cruz, Jewel, and Renee Zellweger. While these celebrities aren't necessarily the studio's typical clients, they do share something in common with most students: a need to look good and manage stress. To that end, the studio gears its hot yoga, Vinyasa, and other classes to athletic students, with an emphasis on strengthening up cores and toning muscles. This results-oriented approach has earned the studio an ample fan base, including press outlets such as LA Weekly, who recognized the studio in 2010 with the "Best Yoga Sans All That Yoga Crap" award.
The man responsible for this rather unique accolade is head yoga teacher Steven E Metz, who titled the studio after his own nickname, "Earth." The moniker comes from his passion for outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, and his refusal to do them anywhere but on planet Earth. Of course yoga has also been a longtime passion of his, remaining a staple in his workout routine since he was 12 years old. Steven understands the power in yoga, realizing that, in addition to being a great workout, it can be a powerful tool for rehabilitation. In fact, he’s used it to overcome his own numerous activity-related injuries over the years.
As a fervent believer in the practice, Steven has continued to find ways to make yoga more effective and less boring. Over his more than twenty-year career, he’s studied the human anatomy, as well as traveled the world to study the roots of yoga in places such as India, China, and Thailand. He also keeps things fresh by taking his classes outdoors to nearby mountains during teacher-training sessions, as well as by reaching out to yogis across the world through online audio and video instruction.
Moksha Yoga is a green, clean, hot yoga series that stretches, strengthens and tones the muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind - why not right? While all classes are rooted in the Moksha Yoga series, teachers are encouraged to bring their own unique knowledge and experience each class.
As mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, Harmony Studios' extensive schedule of small-group and private Pilates sessions accommodates students with a wide variety of skill levels and fitness goals. Inside the 4,000-square-foot facility, private classes partner students with an experienced fitness guru in order to hone proper form and develop an appreciation for electrolytes. The one-hour group classes cap attendance at five students to ensure that each pupil receives individualized attention and sufficient high fives. Each session begins with focused breathing exercises and stretches intended to loosen hip joints, backs, and ship-sinking lips to help ease students into practice before beginning the muscle-toning regimen. A series of meticulously aligned movements engages the entire body with many repetitions of each exercise, forging slender limbs and sturdy cores with the tensile strength of diamond-woven linens. Instructors tailor the difficulty of sessions to suit each student by proffering subtle modifications and calling out algebra problems.
Co-founder Gillian Clark's been teaching since 1987 and is certified as both an instructor and personal trainer through ACE, AFAA, and Cal State Hayward. After developing the Yoga Booty Ballet at Crunch, Clark and partner Teigh McDonough (a trained instructor, trainer, dancer, choreographer, actress, and movement director for more than 20 years) created the boutique body-shop Swerve.
Up Dog Yoga and Cycling founder Meaghan Kennedy Townsend believes that “each of us is powerful, if only you have the courage to feel it.” She helps her students find that courage by keeping her fitness classes small, allowing instructors to individualize attention, and tailoring separate programs for beginner to advanced students. Meaghan also applies her knowledge of yoga disciplines including Vinyasa flow, Iyengar, and Hatha to develop a widely varied course curriculum.
The Up Dog facility also boasts a team of Johnny G Spinning–certified instructors that conducts its courses on Schwinn IC Pro stationary cycles, which are compatible with both SPD and Look pedals and guaranteed not to get cyclists roped into a newspaper route.
Guests arriving to The Raven Spa may find themselves feeling like they've traveled a thousand miles away from their everyday cares. The aesthetic is both spiritual and indulgent, with stone statues that stand sentinel beside a plush purple couch and lush, sun-drenched drapes and glistening chandeliers holding court over an eastern-inspired communal massage chamber. A colorful patio overflowing with exotic flowers welcomes visitors to sit and soak in sunlight streaming between red and white umbrellas, creating a peaceful oasis for quiet reading or self-reflection. "Whoever comes here feels like it's their own," a front desk manager told LX TV's 1st Look, "Our whole goal is to take you away from whatever's out there."
The spa's international decor also mirrors its diverse menu of services, which includes acupuncture, facials, and hammam––a traditional Turkish soak that corrals plant extracts and herbs to nourish and detoxify the body. Therapists work out imbedded muscle kinks through seven varieties of massage including traditional Thai massage, which combines rhythmic kneads with yoga-like stretches and Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, which often sees practitioners using their elbows to nudge tension until it gets the hint and leaves.