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, incorporate 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 Hot Power Yoga and Classic Bikram Yoga in the hot room to the meditative Yin and playful Yang classes in the warm room.
They also teach kids' yoga classes on weekends 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.
In addition to yoga classes, The Ashram Yoga regularly holds Deva Meditation training sessions and workshops that encourage clients to develop personal meditative practices.
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.
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.
Though Fusion Hot Yoga's philosophy emphasizes the release of the ego, it's hard not to feel special in Fusion’s heated studio. The instructors—each of whom brings a different teaching style to classes—dole out personalized tips during Hatha and power Vinyasa sessions. They also remain after class, answering students’ questions while they extinguish the coals within the walls. By helping every visitor to discover the mental and physical benefits of hot yoga, the staff recalls their own journeys from such backgrounds as competitive gymnastics and service in the Navy Reserve.
In addition to the quality of its teachers, the studio's setting also probably contributed to its ranking on KING5’s Best of Western Washington list, where it was voted second of 96 nominees for the area's Best Yoga Studio. The space's antibacterial, Tatami-textured floor cushions feet to counteract slipping, and dressing rooms with showers permit guests to rinse off after lessons. At the onsite boutique, shoppers can purchase mats, healthy refreshments, and baking thermometers that tell them when their partner is ready to cool.
A former Zen Buddhist monk, Yoon opened his first yoga studio in South Korea, where he gained attention on a national TV documentary. After successfully launching this first studio and teaching yoga and meditation at retreats in South Korea and the United States, he founded Yoon's Yoga Bliss, where he brings his years of monastery and yoga experience to each class. In Korean, Yoon means happiness, and that's exactly what he strives for in each class—to help each student feel and share happiness through continuous awareness of movement, breathing, and golden retrievers. Whether teaching rigorous Vinyasa classes or gentle Hatha sessions, Yoon guides students through poses that strengthen and stretch the body.