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.
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.