Sunlight and warm breezes drift through the open windows of Yogaloha Studio, where baby-blue walls and wood floors set the scene for inner peace. In this calming environment, certified instructors lead students through the poses, postures, and breathing patterns of various yoga styles. The meditative postures and concentration techniques of Kundalini yoga work to reset stale chakras and help the client reach a higher state of consciousness. Power yoga—also called fitness yoga or gym yoga—emphasizes strength and flexibility without the predictable rigor of a set routine. Soon the studio will also offer sunrise yoga in beach parks, as well as sunset meditation sessions to suss out the meaning of the color orange. Unlike chess tournaments starring a supercomputer, Yogaloha's classes allow students of all skill levels to join.
From the diversity of Punahou Fitness Center’s health options, guests are empowered to craft a personalized fitness regime catered to their personalities and needs. Guests can manage their own workouts in the weight room or on cardio machines, running on treadmills while watching the hanging TVs or carrying an anvil. They can also receive guidance from certified personal trainers or work out in the company of others in Zumba, muay thai kickboxing, or yoga classes. Before, after, or during workouts, guests can throw themselves into the natural saltwater pool, as well as take alternating dips in the hot whirlpool and ice-plunge bath.
Before he made his way to Waikiki Hot Yoga, John Anderson taught 500 budding yogis the ancient art at Absolute Sanctuary—a yoga-teacher-training school in Koh Samui, Thailand. He studied the anatomy of the human body, and he spent hours leading groups through silent meditation. It’s all part of his Absolute Hot Yoga training program, which he started in Bangkok in 2003, and has spread across Asia. And it might not exist if Anderson hadn’t hurt his knee.
As a marathon runner, Anderson was laid him low and left anxious for physical activity by his knee injury. He attended a hot-yoga class in San Francisco on a whim, and it astounded him. “I couldn’t believe the sweat," he says. "I got my butt kicked."
Over the years, he began to develop his own sequence of 50 yoga poses. The flow adheres to the Hatha tradition of sinking deeply into poses, and focuses on core strength and spine twists.
Now, at the Miramar at Waikiki hotel, Anderson leads practitioners of all ages and levels in those 50 poses. “I think there’s something valuable in consistency,” he says of the repetitive sequence. “It’s always the same foundation, and if you’re willing to look and see inside, you learn things about yourself every day.”
Even Waikiki Hot Yoga's studio reflects Anderson's researched meticulousness. The practice room boasts brand-new bamboo floors and infrared heating panels that heat bodies from within to help eradicate toxins and encourage deeper stretches. Ionized light blasts impurities in the room to freshen the air. After class, students are welcome to hit the showers or take dips in the adjacent swimming pool.
Fitness experts Marc and Sara Zimmermann boast an impressive background. He is a former professional soccer player and certified personal trainer, yoga teacher, nutritional counselor, and sports-rehabilitation instructor. She began formal dance training at the age of 4 and is a registered yoga teacher, dance teacher, and reiki master. Together, they guide students through yoga poses, prenatal exercises, and boot-camp classes while outdoors among a herd of grazing palm trees. Additionally, personal training sessions help clients achieve their fitness goals, whether it is losing a few pounds or learning to walk on their hands.
As the sun rises and falls over the ocean, experienced yoga instructor Karen Le leads classes through Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow yoga sessions. Drawing from her training in the hill town in India that’s also home to the Dalai Lama, she instructs participants through postures that maximize blood circulation and improve breath and alignment. Rhythmic music and ocean breezes wafting around palm trees set the scene as students flow through dynamic Vinyasa movements and mindful Ashtanga postures. Voted #29 out of 145 Honolulu attraction on TripAdvisor, Beach | Sunset Yoga Hawaii's classes meet at the quiet left end of Waikiki, which showcases views of Honolulu's central beaches, allowing participants to finally do a true sun salutation, as opposed to a living-room-ceiling how-do-you-do.
Dorian Wright, a student of meditation since he was six, and Lehau Kai, an asana practitioner with more than 10 years experience, were both trained by renowned yogi and founder of the Power-yoga style, Bryan Kest. After mastering this style, which provides a rigorous total-body workout capable of sculpting lean muscle while improving circulation and mobility, the duo opened their 1,700-square-foot studio with a team of certified instructors. In addition to leading Power-yoga classes, the diverse team infuses the schedule with a range of yoga varieties, such as Vinyasa flow, slower paced Yin yoga, and Aerial yoga performed on suspended fabric that's designed to facilitate deep stretches. On Thursdays, Power Yoga invites a DJ to come spin motivating beats during classes, inspiring upward dogs to get down and downward-facing dogs to "get down."