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.
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.
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.
Under the tutelage of Stillwater's expert instructors, fledgling yogis begin to master the basics of Iyengar yoga in group sessions that bolster flexibility, balance, and overall well-being. On a mat-covered wooden floor populated by up to a dozen classmates, pupils learn critical yoga techniques such as proper breathing, maintaining correct posture, and ignoring the annoying calls of telemarketers yelling through the windows. Early training involves a preponderance of standing asanas (poses) that hone muscles as well as toe-touching skills, and all Iyengar movements stress the importance of bodily alignment. During sessions, sutra squires also put to use yoga props—an innovation unique to Iyengar yoga—such as blankets, blocks, straps, and pillows.
National Yoga Alliance–certified instructor Ginna Turnamian began her lifelong love of fitness under the mentorship of her aunt, a certified personal trainer. She experienced the positive effects of yoga and fitness first hand, and as a result Ginna dedicated herself to sharing her experience with others.
At Hot & Soul Yoga, located within Cirius Fitness, Ginna leads a team of experienced and caring instructors who help students of all ages and skill levels, from advanced to novice, improve their bodies and relax their minds. In studios saturated in a careful balance of heat and humidity, instructors lead noncompetitive hot yoga classes to boost balance, strength, and flexibility while aiming to flush toxins from the body, helping clients safely go deeper into their asanas. The studios also host traditional yoga classes, and each room is outfitted with antibacterial, antiskid Zebra Mat flooring to keep students from falling mid sun salutation and incurring the wrath of that notoriously short-fused star. Hot & Soul Yoga also offers kids’ yoga classes and childcare services in a play area outfitted with toys and games.
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.