Sacred Garden Yoga founder Cindy Olah discovered a love for nature growing up in Peru. She’s fused that passion with yoga instruction by leading retreats in the mountains of North Georgia, North Carolina, and back home in Peru. Whether outdoors or within her pastel-green workout studio, Cindy and fellow instructors lead non-competitive sessions that foster lifelong friendships. Their group, private, and prenatal sessions emphasize proper body alignment and breath work. Students can also discover healing with reiki and reflexology treatments and workshops on subjects such as meditation and painless band-aid removal.
At Marietta Center for Yoga and Well Being, yoga classes represent a fraction of the therapeutic practices offered. Wanda DeVaughn augments private yoga sessions with special techniques, such as chakra focus, which includes meditation to rebalance internal energy, and koshas, which brings awareness to students' five levels of being. Alternatively, Tina Rae teaches the importance of eating well through holistic chef services and nutritional counseling.
The Yoga Room's founder, Lynn Louise Wonders, draws upon 15 years of experience as an instructor of meditation, yoga, tai chi, and chi kung, as well as the skills of five instructors, to guide patrons to improved fitness and repose. A teeming class calendar caters to yogis of all stripes and most plaids. Neophytes can choose from a selection of introductory classes, which will convert woeful recumbent chimp posture into regal warrior poise, while intermediate classes incorporate various elements of Iyengar, Anusara, and Ashtanga disciplines. A selection of specialty classes caters to fragile relaxation seekers, expectant mothers, children, and pretzel impersonators. Vinyasa virtuosos can also delight in discovering the distinct calming motions of tai chi and chi kung at the skilled hands of The Yoga Room's seasoned relaxation wizards.
Perhaps his degree in physics from Georgia Tech or his longtime stint as a partner in an engineering firm prepped Jeff Sousa to understand the improbable poses that yoga demands. Before starting Ember Yoga, he knew that he wanted to take possession of his own physical health, and so he left his engineering days behind and became a full-time yoga teacher. He opened Ember Yoga as a venue for others to discover their own passion for yoga.
Now, 16 other passionate yoga teachers—including former basketball players and professional cyclists—aid Jeff in teaching 16 unique yoga classes. Along with the hot-yoga courses, including Vinyasa, the team leads diverse groups through sessions intended for pregnant mothers, children, and practitioners intent on mediation. This panoply of offerings recently won the Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch Readers' Choice Award for Best Gym. The 4,400-square-foot studio features four distinct areas, including a hardwood hot-yoga studio, locker rooms with onsite showers, and a boutique full of yoga equipment and apparel.
As a Bikram yoga instructor and studio owner, Naedra Fox's job is to make a 105-degree room with 40% humidity a welcoming space. To do this, she and her fellow teachers made a pilgrimage to Los Angeles to attend the once-yearly instructor certification course taught by Bikram Choudhury. The intensive nine-week apprenticeship focuses on more than merely mastering the 26 poses. Certified Bikram instructors learn how to make their classes a beginner-friendly, nonjudgmental space that still pushes students to expand their limits. Additionally, Naedra strives for an inclusive, family atmosphere. Newcomers nervous about the notoriously sweaty, 90-minute Bikram sessions are free to stretch postures only as far as is comfortable for them.
Atlanta Dance's seasoned instructors lead all fitness levels through country western, swing, Latin, and ballroom dance styles in a flexible schedule of group classes. Students embark on an expedition to the pinnacle of grace during a four-week series of 50-minute sessions where experienced guides steer twinkle-toes through winding skill sets, building upon the previous session's moves and secret handshakes. Feet flow within a supportive environment, fostering steadfast rapports among pupils as they conquer salsa's six sultry maneuvers or pay homage to all-American ballroom routines in the foxtrot's intricate choreography. Superfluous curves flee from Zumba's Latin-inspired beats, which chisel abs as hard as diamonds and legs able to roundhouse-kick through a parking meter with heart-pumping swivels and energizing undulations.
The certified instructors at 'Nchanting Yoga teach students to achieve and maintain healthy bodies through strategic postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Students are guided through exercises in small classes to guarantee individualized attention and to minimize the risk of their body smelting with someone else's mind. Yoga neophytes who don't have their own mat can either borrow one from the studio or quickly fashion one out of a mushroom patch. Classes are held at many convenient times in the morning, afternoon, and evening.