Nancy Mahon, founder of Sanctuary Yoga Studios, was raised by a family of Buddhist teachers. Her family led her down a meditative path throughout her teenage years, which laid a foundation for a lifetime of studying zen, as well as other cultures and religions. She was also inspired to pursue yoga with an inquiry-based approach to cultivate awareness and understanding. While she instructs, she strives to elicit the same passion from her students. She incorporates classic poses, breathing techniques, and meditations to coax bodies and minds into harmony without resorting to bribery.
Inside her serene studio, sunlight and gentle breezes waft through the room as seasoned instructors lead hatha- and Vinyasa-based classes. Students of any skill level can deepen their practice through traditional yoga, or target problem areas and ailments during therapeutic and stretching sessions or classes focused on abs and glutes. When they aren't teaching regular classes, the yogis inculcate novice instructors with their teacher-training programs recognized by the Yoga Alliance.
A licensed chiropractor and experienced martial artist, Dr. John Surie started practicing hot yoga when he met his future wife, Natalie. Charmed by her Australian accent and passion for the practice, he soon became an avid Bikram student himself, and in 2002, the husband-and-wife duo opened their first studio with Natalie helming her own curriculum of Bikram-inspired classes. Today, their hot-yoga empire has expanded to five studios sprinkled across the United States and Australia, each teeming with certified instructors who lead students through 13 different class styles. Designed to make hot yoga accessible to everyone, classes range from the studio’s signature Ignite series, which introduces newcomers to the foundations of hot yoga, to intense Shape classes that see stretchers melding hot-yoga and Pilates moves while solving Pythagorean equations.
Each studio comes equipped with special flooring tailored to the humid environment of hot yoga, as well as air-circulation and advanced heating systems to keep fresh, hot air blowing. Studios also boast children’s classes that take place concurrently with adult sessions, allowing kids and parents to work out simultaneously.
YogaWorks' expert instructors open the door to lithe well-being with a variety of yoga stretching, flowing, and strengthening classes for pupils of all levels. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, each instructor focuses on the needs of the students and develops posing prowess with a varied schedule. Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow classes feature a dynamic series of postures that hone alignment, concentration, and the confident grace to approach a yoga mat without startling it. More exotic stretching sessions include therapeutic lyengar yoga, a prop-based style ideal for students recovering from injuries or those in chronic pain, and ISHTA yoga, which melds personalized poses with meditative pranayama breathing. Fast-paced YogaWorks Cardio Flow sessions harness a driving soundtrack and energetically engage students with a swift series of basic poses and sun salutations to improve circulation and sculpt a muscular form more quickly than an espresso-fueled Michelangelo.
Apogee Pilates and Wellness Centers' dedicated staff of instructors help students of all fitness and experience levels work toward their goals during one-on-one training. At private sessions, expert staff members help their clients refine Pilates technique, including spinal alignment and muscle control, and develop the mental focus needed to correctly perform each exercise while reciting all of the U.S. presidents' favorite colors. Depending on each student's abilities and fitness goals, instructors employ different moves and equipment to tone the core, back, and pelvic muscles that support good posture and can help reduce the risk of back injury. While the studio allows visitors to use the locker rooms after each lesson, the mat classes and cardio machines are off-limits for everyone except center members and unstoppably stubborn, fitness-conscious rhinoceroses.
A pioneer of brain education and president of the Korean Institute of Brain Sciences, Ilchi Lee folded his studies into the design of his own Dahn Yoga, equal parts traditional asana and neuroscience research. A typical session begins with a simple tapping of the lower abdomen to gather chi energy that would otherwise get absorbed by Bagel Bites swallowed whole. Sessions launch into an exercise routine that combines aspects of yoga and tai chi to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Next, yogis cool down and focus energy during an active form of meditation called Brain Wave Vibration, the studio's specialty, that harnesses flowing movements in an attempt to align minds and bodies. After the physical segment, workouts shift into a meditative portion that infuses cardiovascular systems with a stream of purifying oxygen through deep breathing.
The instructors at Yoga Souls progressively put guests in touch with their individual limits, guiding them through Vinyasa and hot yoga classes that accommodate all experience levels. As they help students hone flexibility, their supportive attitudes encourage personal development.
Gina Goldberg—the director of Home Yoga Experience— discovered Anusara yoga more than a decade ago, and she is now a certified Kripalu-yoga instructor and children's yoga teacher. Gina's time in trainings and workshops has greatly influenced and inspired her to awaken the same passion in her students.
Gina and her fellow instructors teach an array of classes inside a hot studio, which cleanses the body and loosens muscles. In addition to guiding adults through intentional movements and conscious-breathing techniques, they also teach children's classes sans heat. After each session, the lounge and gift shop beckons students with cozy furniture and yoga accessories. When she isn't instructing students, Gina presides over workshops, teacher training, and drum circles.