One has been a martial artist for more than 35 years; the other has been a bus driver for almost as long. Instructors at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, Vidal Bitton and Joyce MacFarlane know what it's like to balance a busy schedule with the demands of staying healthy. Vidal's approach to yoga incorporates his knowledge of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tai chi, especially as to how physical exertion can lead to painful injury. Joyce also practices yoga with a mind toward healing—her years behind the wheel of a school bus have resulted in several spinal injuries. By juggling a demanding job that can take physical tolls, Joyce's empathy and spirit shine through in each class she teaches.
Along with the other instructors, Vidal and Joyce bring their distinct backgrounds to hot and power yoga classes that strengthen muscles and boost flexibility. The mind and spirit are considered just as vital; on-staff wellness practitioners augment the effects of yoga with services such as massage, acupuncture, personal training, and therapy.
Gary Olson taught martial arts, trained in meditation, and worked as a musician for much of his life, but the only discipline that allowed him to combine those passions was yoga. These mediums inform the sequences at The Ashram Yoga, which take structure from his martial-arts training, mindfulness from his meditative practices, and flow from his music career. He and a vast team of instructors lead seven styles of yoga, ranging from classic hot yoga with a Vinyasa-like sequence to the more meditative-focused yin yoga.
They also teach kids' yoga classes that introduce wee ones to postures with fun movements. They strive to boost kiddos’ self-discipline and self-esteem and help them productively cope with the stresses of school and tax season for their lemonade stands.
Bala Yoga’s collective of teachers helps students of any skill level explore and practice yoga. During power vinyasa sessions, participants tap into their physical and spiritual power with a sequence of poses designed to cleanse the body, warm muscles, and relax the mind. Along with vinyasa, restorative, and yoga basics classes, the studio also hosts teachers’ training and special events such as a 30-day detox and a kids’ yoga session.
If the ground happens to shake at the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street, don't assume it's an earthquake. It may just be the trio of 83-lb. subwoofers thumping inside the Bassline Fitness studio. There, the custom sound system—accompanied by two 180'' video screens—pumps beats as groups pump weights in a variety of fitness classes led by energetic instructors. During Bassline's signature Mashup class, the brainchild of owner David Fox, members exercise their freedom to design their own workout, free to spend the entire hour on the spinning bike or mix it up by hitting the rowing machine or lifting a treadmill over their head. Meanwhile, in an adjoining space, smaller-sized groups sweat their way through a balanced blend of cardio and weight training known as Lean425.
Hot Yoga Inc. likes to see you sweat. Not due to exhaustion or struggle, but because the perspiration caused by their classes encourages mental tranquility, muscle toning, and physical detoxification. Hot Yoga Inc. sends warmth deep into the skin and tissues instead of just decorating their studio with a bunch of Sun stickers. These higher temperatures help foster a greater range of motion as students of all skill levels follow a flowing series of yoga postures. Basic Hatha classes soothe the mind with a rush of endorphins while losing weight and improving flexibility, and Power Yoga pushes students with more intense workouts that build strength.
Tami Jones was a dancer since she was 2 years old, but an injury in college prevented her from pursuing it as a career. She turned to Pilates for physical therapy and in it discovered a renewed love of fitness. Later, Tami fused her favorite exercises?dance and Pilates?to create The Union Method, a fitness-focused program that seeks to unite mind, body, and soul while building lean bodies. Now, she and her fellow instructors teach yoga, Pilates, and barre classes to students of all experience levels.