When not training for a triathlon or embarking on an adventure race, certified yoga instructor and Get Twisted owner Dee Chrisman teaches daily yoga classes in her Hope Mills studio. Dee helps each student on their path to honing a stronger body and sounder mind through Vinyasa-style classes. As each session's sequences of flowing postures link together with mindful breathing techniques, students follow at their own pace, making the classes appropriate for practitioners of all levels. A stock of mats and props provides all the necessary materials for yogis, and soft lighting and sepia walls give the studio a cozy, earthy feel, generally preferred over the barren, overly bright lunar feel of many other studios.
“I’m too scared to do a hot yoga class” is a phrase that’s all too familiar to Sherry Carpenter. The owner of The Funky Buddha Hot Yoga Studio and instructor recognizes that the balmy temperatures and 26 plus poses of hot yoga can intimidate those who have never taken a class before. That’s why she offers a beginners class that teaches students the poses used in hot yoga and prepares them for entry into one of the studio’s hot or warm yoga classes.
Sherry Carpenter trained under Arianna Gallagher of Chesapeake Hot Yoga, who was in turn trained by Bikram Choudhury—the founder of Bikram yoga—as well as B.K.S. Iyengar. In addition to her yoga classes, Sherry also offers Russian medical massage, which she learned while studying at the American & European Massage School. She teaches students inside a pale-green studio with mirrors and smooth hardwood floors. The studio also features curtained changing rooms, where post-yoga students can trade their sweaty asanas for clean ones.
As they gaze through floor-to-ceiling windows at the wooded landscape, guests at Triangle Yoga find it easy to believe that they're floating above the treetops. This daydream holds especially true for aerial yoga and dance students—who are indeed floating with the aid of suspended fabric slings—but the studio strives to imbue all of its visitors with that serene feeling of weightlessness, subtracting stress with specialized classes for all ages and abilities.
The studio’s certified instructors hold at least four classes each day, seven days a week, filling the loft-like space with several varieties of Hatha yoga. Their emphasis is on accessibility; aside from leading a long list of beginner's and advanced offerings, they welcome seniors to Yoga Over 50 sessions, pre- and postnatal moms to baby-centric series, and children to playful workshops. With free classes every month and a work-trade program, which exchanges class time for help around the office, they steer around many patrons' financial difficulties.
Though the studio has earned the 2011 Best of Chapel Hill Award in Yoga Instruction from the U.S. Commerce Association, it summons peace in myriad ways besides posing. Certified massage therapist Natalie Sablina imbues all of her kneads with reiki or other energy work, such as aromatherapy scents culled from the dreams of candlemakers. Kirtan call-and-response chanting assemblies collect donations for children in need, and artists sketch renditions of live models during meetings of the woman's art co-op.
Elite Training is a fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art, white-knuckle facilities that provide focused alternatives to the typical workout. Learn CrossFit methodology, an intense training program that beefs up everyday movement to form a broad, core-strength-development regimen. Cardio kickboxing classes launch feet to the ceiling while shedding pounds and building stamina, all to a mixtape of energetic workout music. After sweatily sampling the alternative exercise room and full CrossFit method gym, wipe the beads off a shining brow with a less taxing cool-down activity such as browsing the equipment pro shop or slurping a chilly elixir from the smoothie bar (costs not covered by this Groupon). Eager finger muscles can use the computer mouse to browse the schedule for a full list of class times.
At Hot Asana, more than a dozen instructors, most of whom are certified with Yoga Alliance, help unify minds and bodies with intense practice and disciplined techniques. Spiritual athletes can pick from a schedule of classes, some held within a room heated to more than 100 degrees, some designed for beginners, and some for seasoned backbenders. Start with a beginner foundation course, which focuses on the basics of hot yoga, including breathing techniques, standing and floor-series poses, and a gradual introduction to heat. The sweat-inducing environment allows for easier blood flow, looser muscles, and the ability to use your body as a slip 'n' slide. More advanced sessions, such as the 75-minute Aerial Yoga, which employs a fabric swing, or the 90-minute Fire Flow class, which employs the soothing calm of candlelight, help further yogic practice.
Embrace Yoga Studio's flexible founders and team of Yoga Alliance–certified practitioners lead a schedule of Hatha yoga classes in a 1,000-square-foot studio, which is dressed in eco-friendly bamboo floors and dye-free linens. Seven days a week, up to 40 students per class practice beginner, child, pregnancy, and advanced yoga maneuvers designed to instill patience, strength, and balance while awakening inner spirits more effectively than throwing coffee on an Ouija board. Coordinated pranayamas score the connected, breath-centric movements of flow classes, and gentle relaxation takes a front seat in both Gentle and Absolute beginning courses. Each class offers enjoyment for all skill levels, but flow classes infuse aspects of yoga that challenge and strengthen the mind and body like playing chess with 200-pound pieces.